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Our Milestones

  

October 30, 1921 is the foundation date of the main educational establishment in our country – the Belarusian State University.

Elimination of illiteracy, assimilation of European and world cultural heritage, formation of the national system of higher education and science — all these impressive achievements of the Belarusian people in 1920-1930s would have been impossible without the University and the  work of its staff.

 

Academician Vladimir Ivanovich Picheta – the outstanding historian and slavist – headed the University. The first Rector united the staff consisting of scholars from Moscow, Kazan, and Kiev universities. 

 

November 1, 1930 students started attending regular classes at its three faculties: Workers’, Medical, and Social Sciences. At that time the teaching staff consisted of 49 lecturers including 14 professors and 25 associate professors. Such prominent scholars as professor M.N.Pokrovsky, professor V.P.Volgin, academicians E.F.Karsky, K.A.Timiryazev, D.N.Pryanishnikov and others were among the founders of the first Belarusian University.

 

The 1920-1930s marked one of the most dynamic periods in the history of the University. The University campus construction was started under the resolution of the VIII All-Belarusian Congress in November 1927 and in 1930 it welcomed students.

 

In October 1927 the post-graduate education began. Soon, efficient relations with scientists from Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Czechoslovakia were established, students’ scientific societies were organized at the faculties.

 

 

The BSU first Rector, academician

Vladimir I. Picheta

 

1928, the BSU students and faculty members

 Rapid development of the University played a significant role in the creation of the educational system of the republic. The University’s educational and research capacity gave birth to a number of independent higher educational establishments, such as Minsk Medicine Institute, Minsk Law Institute, Minsk Pedagogical Institute, the Belarusian Institute of National Economy, Minsk Chemical and Technological Institute, which later became a part of the Polytechnic Institute. The Belarusian State University contributed much to the foundation and development of the Academy of Sciences, the Republic’s State Library and a number of large research institutions.

  

In a two decades’ time the Belarusian State University trained 5240 specialists in History, Law, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, etc. The activities of the People’s Writer of Belarus Yakub Kolas and outstanding Commander-in-Chief, Marshal of the Soviet Union G.K.Zhukov were associated with the name of the University of that period. It was the time when L.A.Artsymovich, P.U.Brovka, K.K.Krapiva studied and worked at the University. These outstanding people made a valuable contribution to the development of both national and world science and culture.

 

 Students-biologist in the dormitory, 1927

  

Afterwar ruins

 1941 was the year of the most severe ordeal in the history of the University.   June 21, 1941 a jubilee exhibition was arranged at the University presenting the achievements of the staff consisting at the time of 17 professors, 41 associate professors, 90 teachers and assistants, 60 post-graduates and 1337 students. The day following the celebration, June 22, 1941 became a tragic landmark in our history. All the post-war generations of teachers, post-graduates and students of the University have always remembered and will remember their colleagues who left the classrooms and scientific laboratories to sacrifice their lives for the glory and independence of their Motherland. The evidence of this is the obelisk erected in 1970s at the University campus in honor of those who perished in the battle against fascism.

 

The war did great damage to the University. The University campus was destroyed almost completely. University archives, library funds, laboratories and study-rooms were plundered. Despite the ravages of the war regular classes at its six faculties began at the station of Skhodnya near Moscow right in October, 1943. After the liberation of the Belarusian capital in August 1944 the University reopened in Minsk. The same year Faculty of Journalism was opened at the University.

The pre-war education and material base of the University had been restored by the end of 1950.  A new period in the history of the Belarusian State University began, the period of its rapid development, creative teaching and scientific research. The teaching staff of 17 lecturers and tutors (among them 14 professors and 60 associate professors) delivered education  to more than 1700 students through thirty-five departments of seven faculties.

The 1950-1980s were characterized by an expansion in the scope of University activities. Its material base and teaching facilities were improved by the Government’s decisions. The contents, forms and methods of academic process and scientific research changed radically. New buildings of faculties were erected and new faculties were opened: the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Radio Physics and Electronics, Philosophy and Economics. Research activity was led by the scientific research institutions organized within the University structure in 1971 (applied physics), 1976 (physics and chemistry), 1986 (nuclear physics).

The Belarusian State University deservedly occupied an honorable place among the leading universities of the Soviet Union. Its international prestige considerably increased, scientists and professors actively participated in international symposia and conferences, sessions of the UN General Assembly and UNESCO. The Order of the Red Banner of Labor awarded to the University on January 7, 1967 became the evidence of its achievements in the development of science, education and culture, as well as and training highly qualified specialists for all branches of economy.

 

In 1990s the Belarusian State University was the largest scientific and educational center not only with impressive achievements and traditions, but also with a number of problems caused by serious contradiction in the development of society. June 27, 1991 the Supreme Soviet adopted the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Belarus and the Belarusian people faced the vital task of the development of a sovereign state.

Being the oldest and largest University of our country, the Belarusian State University contributed to the programs of strengthening the Belarusian statehood, the development of economic and social reforms in our republic. In 1995 the Faculty of International Relations; in 1999 two new faculties – the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Science and the Faculty of Economics were formed on the basis of former Philosophy and Economics Faculty.

The Military and Humanities faculties, as well as several educational bodies of unitary status  added to the university structure.

The efforts of university scholars  have always been focused on fundamental science. A number of centers of national importance were created within university to research problems of physics (1993), ozone sphere monitoring (1997), applied mathematics and computer science (2000), etc

Glorious university traditions set by first Rectors were continued by their  successors – N. M. Bladyko (1937), V.S. Bobrovnitsky (1938), P.P. Savitsky (1938 - 1946), V.A. Tomashevich (1946 - 1949), I.S. Chimburg (1949 - 1952), K.I. Lukhashov (1952 - 1957), A.N. Sevchenko (1957 - 1972), V.M. Sikorsky (1972 - 1978), V.A. Bely (1978 - 1983), L.I. Kiselevsky (1983 - 1990), F.N. Kaputsky (1990 - 1995), A.V. Kozulin (1996 - 2003), V.I.Strazhev (2003 - 2008).

On November 31, 2008 the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has appointed Sergey V. Ablameyko to the position of Rector of the Belarusian State University. Previously Sergey V. Ablameyko was holding the position of Director General of the State Scientific Organization "United Institute of Informatics Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus".