First known societies that inhibited the territory of Ukraine, dated 3rd century B. C., had developed agriculture.
First state unions were established in 1st century B. C. Tribal unions of slaves of forest-steppe area started to cultivate lands in Dniper river bed, one of the longest rivers of Eastern Europe , in the 1st century A. D. By the last quarter of the 9th century the ancient Rus state had been formed with the centre in Kyiv and under the leadership of Rurikovitch dynasty.
Between the two centuries 10-11 Kiev Rus experienced a great development of culture, arts and written languages.
At the end of the 12th century Kiev Rus was split into many small reign areas. As the result the process of the development of education and written language was impeded.
Further development of Ukrainian lands was connected with the history of other countries and made influence on their culture and education. On the other hand, European traditions in education influenced the process of establishment of the first higher school in Kyiv in 1632 Collegium and Lviv University , founded in 1661. Kyiv professors were among the most respected scholars. Many of them were invited to Moscow and Zagorsk and other scientific centres of the Russian empire.
The 19th century was marked by the establishment of several universities, that Ukrainian education took pride in. In 1805 The university in Kharkiv was founded (Eastern Ukraine), 1834 in Kyiv, 1865 in Odessa.
Rapid development of industry, agriculture and trade in Ukraine promoted the system of higher education. Technical and agricultural universities started to appear. Scientific researches were among priorities. The language of education was Russian.
Getting education in Ukrainian language became possible only in the twenties of the 20th century. The programme of liquidation of mass illiteracy that took place at the period made the education more democratic and accessible.
During the Soviet Union times Ukraine was one of the most developed countries. Its economy demanded a great number of highly qualified specialists for implementation of scientific researches results in industry. These demands were met due to the big number of universities and institutes. Ukrainian scientists were the authors of new achievements in the area of air-space technologies, welding, IT, etc.
Success in Ukrainian education drew attention of foreign students, since 1940 preparing was underway in Ukraine . Nowadays, Ukrainian graduates take leading positions in foreign companies spanning Asia, Africa and Latin America . You can see them among state officers, doctors, engineers etc.
The end of world confrontation and establishment of Ukraine as an independent state opened new perspectives for Ukrainian education and its integration into the academic world.
Nineties are characterized by deep changes in the national system of education. The changes in structure and content of education started as the result of the development of new marketing relations. Labour market demanded new skill standards. Management, marketing, law, financing and computer engineering were among priorities. At the same time with the state sector private institutions had started to be developed. Foreign languages such as English, German, French, Spanish were the main part of the curriculum, that built favourable conditions for successful preparation to International Language exams.
Ukrainian universities take an active part in the work of European educational bodies as well as European Association of International Education. Ukraine was one of the countries that signed the convention on the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in Europe ( Lisbon , 1997). In 1999 the Parliament of Ukraine ratified the convention. Bilateral cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign universities is intensively developed. Ukrainian universities are active participants of the European union Programme TEMPUS.
Nowadays, popularity of Ukranian higher education is growing.