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Bologna University The oldest university in Europe

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Bologna University - The oldest university in Europe

Honor Mercy Glory

In the middle of XX century Bologna University was called Mater Studiorum that is translated from Latin as “the mater of study, sciences”. In fact it became “the mother” of European higher education. It was there where the concept “universitas” appeared – it meant the free community of teachers and students that aimed to spread the education in all spheres of the then-knowledge.

All other universities in the Old World were later established pursuant to the pattern of Bologna University. During XII-XIV centuries Bologna University was the leading all-European educational center. Torquato Tasso and Carlo Goldoni, Paracelsus, Erasmus Roterodamus, Ulrich von Gutten and Albrecht Durer – this, not complete list of genius brains, associated with the university, allows assessing the contribution, which the higher school has made into development of European civilization. It is enough to add that it was during study at Bologna when Mykola Copernicus had “the heretical idea” that the Earth turned around the Sun. The famous anatomists, Vesalius and Malpigi, were among the teachers at Bologna University. Luigi Galvani made his famous discovery here. And one of the rectors of the university was Ukrainian-Rusyn by origin Yuriy Drogobych.

The fact that first European university appeared namely in Bologna is not surprising. After crash of Roman Empire the city became the free commune and transformed into the powerful trading and industrial center under patronage of the Holy See. And the prosperity of trade and handicrafts, as it is known, for certain assists to development of sciences and arts.

In Bologna there was the school of free arts that enjoyed the popularity already in X century, where the pupils studied the Roman law during extra classes on rhetoric course. It became the most popular at the end of XI century when Irnerius was teaching there, who in 1088 opened the public lectures on law. Namely this year is considered to be the date fro foundation of the university.

Irnerius had many pupils, and very soon Bologna’s professors in law enjoyed European popularity. They managed to achieve this thanks to the teaching methods, which were progressive at that time, and patronage by German Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa, who was very interested in involving into the classes on Roman law.

After the Seym in Ronkal in 1158, at which Bologna’s professors were present and where the mutual legal relations between the Emperor and Italian cities were settled, Friedrich I officially agreed to grant certain privileges to the persons, who came to Bologna to study law: without obstacles to travel in all countries, using the protection on his behalf, to be amenable in Bologna only to the court of professors and the bishop. All those provisions were composed in the form of the special charter, which became the first university charter in the Old World.

The high reputation of Bologna law school, advantageous location of the city, climatic conditions, economical situation, atmosphere for love of freedom started since XIII century gathering the students from all Italy at the temple of great wisdom, including the children of crowned persons (already at that time the university had more than 10 thousands graduates). It became the first in the world international educational establishment but Italians and foreign citizens studied at different departments. It is surprising but women were also admitted to the higher school, thereby not only to lectures but since XIV-XV centuries as teachers (lecturers).

Since its foundation Bologna University had two peculiarities. Firstly, it was the union of students (universitas scholarium), who on their won chose the managers that report to the professor. The local and foreign students at individual meetings every year appointed the rector and counselor from different nationalities that managed together with him and realized the university jurisdiction. The students appointed professors (doctore s legentes), who received the remuneration from students and were obliged not to teach nowhere, except Bologna, for certain period of time.

The second peculiarity of Bologna University was that it was the law one (universitas legum), unlike Paris University that specialized in theology. Studying Roman law, which gave rise to foundation of the university itself, remained of top-priority. The medicine and free arts were also taught by most famous professors but the students still were future lawyers. As a result from only legal character of Bologna University, it did not report to the supreme management by Popes as the permission to teach Roman law was not required from Vatican. However in 1253 the Holy See approved its privileged status and got the permission that Bologna archbishop was the controller at the examinations and at presentation of diploma on behalf of Rome.

The best students were engaged into admission to the university. The lectures were divided into compulsory and not compulsory. After the 5th year of study the students could themselves teach. The only obligation for the graduate from the university was to work for the glory of the city, not leaving the region for certain time.

The examinations were taken on liberal basis, ant at junior courses the control was absent at all. Only at higher level, receiving the degree Licentiate, the candidate was obliged to pass through exam and receiving the degree Doctorate – to pass through public test in the presence of the examination commission (сonventus). Taking into consideration that the posts were bought almost officially at that time, the students did not try to study very much.

The level of education had dropped due to the abovementioned reason, thus, in 1219 Vatican prohibited to grant the title of doctor without consent from archbishop. It was a shame to study and not to get the diploma. After 70 years the university again became one of the best educational establishments, and in 1292 Mykola IV established that the graduate from Bologna University with diploma of doctor, signed by church, possessed the highest scientific title in Italy.

The traditional subjects (jurisprudence, rhetoric and grammar) were added with philosophy, mathematics, physics, medicine and other sciences. Sometimes the faculties isolated and moved to other cities, where they established the universities. The higher school in Padua, Moden, Pisa and Neapol were established in such way.

In 1859 Bologna University again became the international one. Since that time the students from the whole world go to Bologna. The university still is one of the first in Italy. Besides, the higher school has long academic contacts with other educational establishments in all continents, as well as takes part in European programs of students’ and scientists’ exchanges (Socrates, Leonardo, Tempus).


No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001 7

O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University

^ Honor Mercy Glory

To 170th anniversary of the University:


^ 8 No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001


- His Emperor Highness Mykola I signed the Highest Rescript about opening the medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University (29.04 in the old style).


- Council of St. Volodymyr University approved the decision about opening the 1st medical faculty in September 1841. First admission – 29 students. On 23 (9), September, professor M.I. Kozlov read the first lecture on anatomy, and on 26 (12), September, professor V.O. Karavayev – first lecture on encyclopedia and methodology of medicine.


- started the activity of medical faculty due to the new charter as of 1842. According to it, the teaching of extra subjects was organizationally executed, the department of state medicine studies was established

^ 1843

- Professor V.O. Karavayev became the first dean at medical faculty.


- Opening of anatomical theater at medical faculty


- The student’s scientific society “Clinical society of students-doctors” was organized. The organizer of the society was A. Kysil, who later became a famous pediatrist and public leader.

^ 1885

- the surgical and therapeutic clinics were constructed


—- the obstetric clinic was constructed;


- Kyiv Institute of Health Care, which united the medical faculty of St. Volodymyr University, Women’s Medical Institute, medical faculty of Ukrainian state university, was established. The odontologic university, later transformed into the faculty with the same name, was included into it in October 1920.

^ 1921

- Kyiv Institute of Health Care was renamed into Kyiv State Medical Academy, which later became Kyiv medical institute


- the newspaper “Red doctors, which in 1936 was renamed into “Medical cadres”, was established


- when the Great Patriotic War started the institute was evacuated to c. Kharkiv and later to Chelyabinsk, where the regular classes at the institute started

^ 1943

- KMI renewed the classes in Kyiv.


- The Medical Institute was given with the name of the President of Academy of Sciences of UkrSSR O.O. Bogomolets.


- The historical museum of medicine, which later received the national status (since 1982 – National museum of medicine of Ukraine) was organized on the basis of the institute.

^ 1992

- The institute was reorganized into Ukrainian O.O. Bogomolets state medical university.


- By the Decree from the President of Ukraine the university received the status of O.O. Bogomolets National medical university.


- O.O. Bogomolets National medical university celebrated 165th anniversary since its foundations, 125th birthday of academician O.O. Bogomolets, 125th anniversary since establishment of the O.O. Kysil students’ scientific society, 115th birthday of the graduate from the establishment M.O. Bulgakov.


  • according to the state rating of Ministry of health care of Ukraine – first place among higher schools of III-IV accreditation levels (health care);

  • Golden medal at International exhibition “Modern education in Ukraine” in nomination “Integration of science and education in higher school”;

  • International exhibition “Education and career” – winner in nomination “Implementation of innovative pedagogical technologies into educational process”;

  • The only in the sate the faculty for training of doctors in the sphere of physical culture and sport at O.O. Bogomolets National university and National university of physical education and sport of Ukraine;


- Medal at International exhibition “Modern education in Ukraine” in nomination “Innovative studies in higher education”;

- Honorary title “Leader in modern education”;

1st place in rating from Ministry of health care of Ukraine among higher schools of III-IV accreditation levels due to direction “Health care”;

- 3rd place in the state rating from Ministry of health care of Ukraine “TOP-200 Ukraine”


  • the President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko took part in Initiation celebration of the first-year students at O.O. Bogomolets NMU into studentship;

  • famous lecture by laureate of Nobel Prize, academician Yevgen Chazov;

  • Golden medal at International exhibition “Modern education in Ukraine” in nomination “Integration of science and education – prerequisite to improve the quality in training of specialists at higher schools”;

  • Honorary title “Leader in creation of modern learning aids”;

  • Golden medal at exhibition “Education and career” in nomination “International cooperation in the sphere of education and science”;


  • Honorary title “Leader in modern education” for innovative pedagogical activity on modernization of education in Ukraine during many years;

  • Golden medal in nomination “Step to the future – post-graduate education;

  • Grand Prix and Golden medal at international exhibition-presentation “Modern educational establishments” in nomination “Competent approach to educational activity in higher school”;

  • The memorial plaque, bar-relief and renewed lecture hall No 3 in the morphological building, devoted to the graduate of 1903 from medical faculty of St. Volodymyr university professor V.F. Voyno-Yasenetskyy (Hierarch Luka), were opened;

  • For the first time the contingent of students at the University exceeded 10 thousands;

  • V.F. Moskalenko, academician of NAMS and corresponding member of NAPS of Ukraine, honorary doctor of Ukraine, honorary worker of science and technology of Ukraine, was elected to the post of the rector unanimously for the second time by the conference of representatives for labor collective of the University


  • Medal at international exhibition of educational establishments “Modern education in Ukraine” in nomination “Spiritual development of youth and physical improvements as the necessary component for upbringing and education”;

  • The University took the 4th place among higher schools of Ukraine and the 1st place among higher medical schools of Ukraine due to the results from state rating for higher schools UNESCO “TOP-200 Ukraine” in 2010

  • Perspective complex plan for development of University for 2011-2017 was developed and approved by Scientific Council

  • The University was acknowledged as the Leader of modern education-2011, awarded with the Grand Prix and Golden medal at the international exhibition “Modern educational institutions-2011”

  • The University joined to the association of the Great Charter for leading universities in the world (Magna Charta Universitatum), c. Bologna, Italy.


Honor Mercy Glory

MYKOLA PYROGOV – surgeon, anatomist, initiator for establishment of medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University.

VOLODYMYR KARAVAYEV – first dean at medical faculty of St. Volodymyr University, famous surgeon and ophthalmologist

OLEKSANDER WALTER – anatomist, physiologist, initiator and first director of Anatomical Theater at University

OLEKSANDER MATVEYEV – dean at medical faculty (1862-1865), rector at Kyiv St. Volodymyr University (1865-1872 and 1875-1878)

VOLODYMYR BETS – doctor-clinician, head at department of anatomy at St. Volodymyr University.

Archbishop LUKA (V.F. Voyno-Yasenetskyy) – graduate from medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University in 1903, famous surgeon and church leader

MYKHAYLO BULGAKOV - graduate from medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University in 1916, doctor, famous writer and play-writer

MYKOLA STRAZHESKO – academician, one from founders of Kyiv therapeutic school

OLEKSANDER BOGOMOLETS – academician, founder of school for pathophysiologists, president of Academy of Sciences of UkrSSR

LEVKO GROMASHEVSKYY – academician, founder of fundamental epidemiology

ANDRIY ROMODANOV – academician, founder of scientific school for neurosurgery

MYKOLA AMOSOV – academician, director at the Institute of cardiovascular surgery

O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University

^ No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001 9

Honor Mercy Glory

Rector of O.O. Bogomolets NMU academician V.F. Moskalenko with laureate of Nobel Prize, ex-Minister of health care in USSR, graduates from Kyiv medical institute in 1953, Ye.I. Chazov

10 No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001


- The chief higher medical educational establishment among higher medical schools in Ukraine on academic and methodical work; basis higher medical school on implementation of Bologna declaration’s principles into the reforming system of medical education in Ukraine;

- 12 faculties, 7 institutes and centers, among them – Ukrainian training center of family medicine, 78 departments, 30 divisions and laboratories, 10 specialized Scientific Councils;

- 1,200 scientists and teachers, among which: approximately 200 professors and doctors of sciences, 800 assistant professors and candidates of sciences;

- over 200 academicians and corresponding members of NAS, AMS, APS of Ukraine, laureates of State Prize of Ukraine, honorary workers of science and technology, workers of education, doctors of Ukraine;

- approximately 13,000 students, interns, masters, residents, post-graduates and persons, working for doctor's degree, among which 1,200 foreign citizens – representatives from 54 states in the world;

- 56% of students study at our University due to the state order, 44% - on contractual basis, among them the representatives from all regions of Ukraine;

- the graduates from the University work in each fourth country in the world;

- English speaking department, Ukrainian medical lyceum, system of pre-University training with the working experience for over forty years, post-graduateship on 43 specialties;

- 30 scientific magazines, over 60 scientific forums per year, over 70 Agreements with the international organizations and institutions, 62 scientific projects and grants;

- scientific library with the stock of over 1 mln. volumes, 26 internet classes, the provision of students with computers in academic process is 1 per 9-10 persons;

- stomatological medical center – one of the most powerful in Europe, designed for 300 chairs with capacity of 1.4 ths. visits per day;

- 137 clinical bases, where 250,000 patients are treated every year, 8 academic buildings, 7 hostels. 12 students’ canteens and cafeterias, sport complex, sanatorium-preventorium and recreation center in Konch-Zaspa;

- 22 amateur talent groups, among which two have the status of People’s ones;

- the construction of the new twenty storey academic laboratorial building and hostel started in 2007;

- in 2008 for the first time the lecture “Health care system in Ukraine” was read at Oxford University (Great Britain) and Caroline University (Sweden);

- the rector of the University was elected as the representative of Europe to the Committee on policy and coordination for Special program of scientific researches, developments and training of scientific staff in the sphere of population reproduction at the 58th session of European regional committee at WHO;

- famous sportsmen, champions of Europe and World, winners of all-Ukrainian and International Olympiads and contests study at the University;

- the combined team of the University took the 1st place among teams at the 2nd all-Ukrainian Spartakiada among students at higher schools of Ministry of health care of Ukraine;

- the students’ self-government and students’ scientific society, named after O.A. Kysil, which celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2011, effectively works at all levels;

- due to the results from the Second all-Ukrainian competition “Higher school”, the University’s newspaper “Medical cadres” received the award in nomination “Higher school’s newspaper with large circulation”;

- according to the state rating from Ministry of education and science of Ukraine, the University takes the first place among higher medical schools of III-IV accreditation levels for some years in a row;

- according to the results from activity and pursuant to UNESCO rating “TOP-200 Ukraine” for 2009 it takes the 4th place among higher schools in Ukraine and the 1st place among higher medical (specialized) schools in Ukraine;

- the establishment is the partner in consortium of European universities: in September, 2011 it joined to Magna Charta Universitatum.

O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University

^ Honor Mercy Glory

Rating of 200 top higher schools in Ukraine

The project was prepared by the independent international organization UNESCO in May, 2011

Published in newspaper “Mirror of the week”, No 2003, 03-10, June, 2011

9 (23, September, 1841 – Alma mater’s birthday

St. Volodymyr University was opened in Kyiv in 1834. Although only after seven years (1841) it established the medical faculty, which included ten departments.

The then-rector of the university M.O. Maksymovych and famous surgeon M.I. Pyrogov insisted on establishment of the medical faculty for some years. During organization of the medical faculty it received the part of the equipment, educational aids and library from Vilno medical surgical academy, subject to be closed.

The first professor and the first dean, who was re-elected to that post for some times, was the follower of M.I. Pyrogov, famous surgeon V.O. Karavayev, who made a lot for development of the faculty. Among first professors there were M.I. Kozlov and therapeutist F.S. Tsytsurin.

29 students, among which 16 studied at the expense of the state and 13 – at their own expense, studied at the medical faculty due to the final list of students and attendants of the university in 1841-42 academic years.

The majority of the persons, enrolled to the faculty, were the children of noblemen, little less the representatives of priesthood, lower middle class citizens and children of officers. The students were taught in Kyiv gymnasiums – 8 persons, Prince Bezborodko’s lyceum in Nizhyn – 1, other in gymnasiums and theological seminaries in western provinces. Due to the religious belief (which was compulsorily mentioned at that time) most students were Catholics.

The study period at medical faculty was 5 years, at other faculties – 4 years.

^ No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001 11

Honor Mercy Glory

Devoted to the pupils of O.O. Bogomolets National medical university – former, present and future, to those ones, who protect the Honor, makes the Mercy and multiplies the Glory of Alma mater

^ Jubilee editions of the University

The unique editions under general editorship of the Rector of the University, academician of NAMS of Ukraine, Professor Vitaliy Fedorovych Moskalenko was prepared and published for the first time to 170th anniversary of O.O. Bogomolets National medical university. All books were published thanks to the charitable contributions from many employees of the University.

Deep bow and sincere gratitude to authors and writers, all, who supported this publishing project, devoted to the historical heritage of Alma Mater – the largest publication for the whole history of the University.

The edition presents the works and milestones of difficult life of the graduate from medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University hierarch Luka (Professor Valentyn Feliksovych Voyno-Yasentskyy), scientist-surgeon and real pastor at the same time.

The main milestones of life, scientific, pedagogical and public activity of Volodymyr Afanasyevych Karavayev, famous surgeon, founder and the first dean at medical faculty of Kyiv St. Volodymyr University are described.

The monograph is devoted to the parallels of medicine in life and creativity of famous writer-doctor M.A. Bulgakov. His medical biography is recreated. The illustrative series of the work on the basis of previous and new sources significantly enlarges the view about the character of the book.

15 biographical essays about activity of the deans at medical faculty of St. Volodymyr University that falls mainly to the second half of XIX century until accepted chronological limit at the end of 1919.

^ 12 No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001

The dictionary is the forth, updated, complete edition in 2 books; acquaints the readers with the biographical essays about scientific and pedagogical activity of the scientists from medical faculty at St. Volodymyr University up to O.O. Bogomolets National medical university (1841-2011): Book 1 (1841-1919) – 92 essays, 74 photos, approximately 600 researches of scientists, 127 literature sources, and Book 2 (1921-2011) 428 essays, 375 photos, the biography is added with bibliography, which includes approximately 2,200 researches of scientists, over 300 literature sources about them.

^ Honor Mercy Glory

Head of editorial board:

Rector of O.O. Bogomolets NMU, academician of NAMS of Ukraine V. MOSKALENKO

Editor: ass. prof. O.REDKINA

Typing, makeup: Ya. Kupinska

Correspondents: O. Lipovno, O.Novyk

Photo: L. Naumova, V. Nekrebetskyy, A. Yakimov

Registration certificate KI No 67, dd. 31.05.94

Phone of editorial office: (044) 235-73-65

01601, Ukraine, c. Kyiv, Shevchenko boulevard, 13

Address in internet:


The newspaper is published twice a month

Offset paper. Offset printing

Circulation: 1500. No 145-11

©O.O. Bogomolets National medical university, 2011

16 No 15-16 (2578-2579), 23, September, 2001


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