It was started in 1930. The country has begun reforming higher and special higher education due to an acute shortage of highly qualified personnel. The Council of People’s Commissars of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic adopted a Resolution on the reorganization of universities and colleges and their transfer to the relevant People’s Commissariats on 12th June. The section “Agricultural sector” provided for the establishment of the Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture in Kharkiv on the basis of mechanization departments of Kharkiv and Poltava Agricultural Institutes.
Thus, Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture was one of the first agricultural universities of engineering profile, established during collectivization by the Resolution of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR of July 23, 1930, № 40/237. It began training mechanical engineers to repair and operate tractors and agricultural machinery.
The opening of the institute coincided with the beginning of large-scale projects of industrialization of the country and the creation of large-scale mechanized production in the agricultural sector. But educational reform was not provided with the necessary material and technical base and funding. All these troubles fully applied to the Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture. There was an acute shortage of training facilities, qualified teaching staff, textbooks, and laboratory equipment. Living conditions for students were also not the best.
The basis of the first year was the work faculty. These were party members sent to study (the so-called “party militiamen” and “komnezamivtsi”). Many of them did not receive a diploma of graduating from Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture, as they were prematurely recalled and sent to strengthen the army, state farms, and various government agencies. Groups of the Faculty of Agricultural Industrialization of Poltava Agricultural Academy were transferred to the second and third years.
Significant work was done to determine the profile of the institute, selection of teaching staff, organization of departments, program development, admission, and placement of the first students. Teachers from agricultural, technological, and other educational institutions of Kharkiv came to work at the institute.
The Tractor Center of the USSR adopted a new institute, the Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture, only in September 1930. The first rector of which was appointed I.L. Shaposhnikov, an economist by profession (he graduated from the Stalin Academy of Commerce and Industry), a revolutionary in the past. He worked in the banking structures of Donbas and Kharkiv in the 1920s, and in 1930 he was appointed representative of the Tractor Center in Ukraine.
The most difficult issue for the institute in the first years of its existence was the formation of its own educational facilities: educational buildings, laboratories, student dormitories, housing for teachers.
House No. 45 on Staromoskovskaya Street was transferred to KhIMEA in 1933. Today it is 45 Moskovsky Avenue, where the buildings of the Faculty of Mechanics and Technology and the Faculty of Technical Service are located. This is what made it possible to start organizing laboratories at the departments of the institute. Kharkiv machine-tractor workshops with a repair plan for 250 tractors, as well as a small state farm named after On the first of May in the Komarivka village with an area of 462 hectares, which became a research farm of the institute in December 1933.
Students of KhIMEA also lived in extremely difficult living conditions. Therefore, to improve them, a dormitory was built on Pavlovo Pole and two residential buildings were allocated in Tolkachivka in 1935.
In the first years of the institute’s establishment, famous scientists came to work there: professors OO Alov, L.P. Kramarenko, S.I. Muravlyansky, V.O. Konstantinov, A.A. Vasylenko and others. However, there was an acute shortage of teachers. In 1933, graduate school was opened at the departments: tractors and cars, complex agricultural machines, repair work. Unfortunately, the creation of the institute took place in the context of growing Stalinist repression, the so-called “social class regulation.” Their victims were the first directors of the institute I. Shaposhnikov, D. Kudrya, А. Larov and a number of lecturers, staff and students.
The expansion of postgraduate studies in the second half of the 1930s made it possible to increase the number of departments at the institute to 20 and reduce the shortage of teaching staff.
Despite the difficulties, the institute continued to grow and develop as a leading higher education institution in the industry. The first, early graduation of 28 students was carried out, which took place without the defense of diploma projects. in 1933. The first mechanical engineers were urgently sent to the machine-tractor stations, institutions and organizations of Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine. In the same year, 500 combine harvesters, 900 tractor drivers, and 300 mechanics were trained for the machine-tractor station.
In these difficult conditions, the teaching staff has carried out significant work to improve teaching and methodological work, compiling textbooks and manuals. In the last pre-war years, the scientific developments of 40 Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture employees were presented at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition. Silver medals were awarded to prof. L.P. Kramarenko, prof. M.D. Kovalev, and engineer V.S. Tsurko, many other employees of the institute received diplomas and other awards. According to the results of scientific work in the late 30’s Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture came in second place among the universities of the city, second only to Kharkiv University.
From 1931 to 1941, the institute graduated more than 1,000 mechanical engineers and 168 pedagogical engineers (the pedagogical department was opened in 1938); got ready about 2,000 mechanics, tractor drivers, and combine harvesters. The regional committee of the Council of Higher Educational and Scientific Institutions recognized Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture as one of the best universities in Kharkiv and awarded it with a Diploma in 1939.
The war ruined the plans and slowed down the development of the institute. From the autumn of 1941 to November 1943, the Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture was evacuated to Tashkent, where it became the mechanization faculty of the Tashkent Hydromelioration Institute.
After returning from evacuation to Kharkiv in 1943, the institute again began to train personnel for the state. 68 students came to the classrooms, with whom 26 teachers conducted classes. In difficult conditions it was possible to restore the material and technical base, to replenish the teaching staff with qualified teachers and scientists, to significantly expand the training of engineering personnel for the village.
The teaching staff of the institute in these years has been replenished with new candidates of sciences, such as: G.P. Dvorovenko, V.O. Shpak, M.I. Tversky, H.I. Klafas, I.Y. Ioheles, M.Yu. Zalisky. Postgraduate studies were opened at the Department of Machine Repair and the Department of Electrical Engineering. At the same time, young specialists in the field of agricultural machinery came to the institute: Y.S. Shokhin, T.I. Kuznetsova, P.O. Osetrov, V.K. Plyugachev, M.G. Sandomirsky, Y.M. Krupotkin and others.
In 1947, the Faculty of Correspondence Studies was opened in the specialty “Agricultural Mechanization”, and in 1948 the Faculty of Electrification of Agriculture was opened, where 75 freshmen began their studies.
In 1953 the special faculty for the training of mechanical engineers and an institute for the improvement of MTS executives and specialists were opened at the institute by a decision of the government. At the same time, the training of foreign specialists for foreign countries began.
In the 50s and 60s, the institute continued to grow and develop as a leading higher education institution in the industry. A computer center and a sports and recreation camp in the village of Utkivka were established as part of the institute. The training and research farm named after 1st May Day worked successfully. There were a livestock complex (500 cows), a park of agricultural machinery and equipment. New highly qualified teachers came to the institute. This made it possible not only to significantly raise the level of educational and methodological work, but also to ensure the development of new scientific areas. In the mid-1950s, the institute began regular publication of special scientific collections.
In the 60s and 80s, buildings for the Department of Agricultural Machinery, premises for vehicles, agricultural machinery and equipment, a sports complex, and premises for the Department of Military Training were built in the 1st May Day training and research farm. There were built dormitories for students and teachers of the institute.
In 1978, the educational buildings of the Kharkiv Agricultural Institute named after V.V. Dokuchaev were transferred to the institute; new student dormitories were built. This made it possible to significantly expand the teaching and laboratory base of the institute and provide accommodation in dormitories for all students.
From 1978 to 1990, the Faculty of Architecture and Agricultural Construction operated at Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture, where students studied in two specialties: “Architecture and Planning of Rural Settlements” and “Agricultural Construction” in full-time and part-time forms of study.
The staff of the institute has significantly expanded career guidance work among rural youth in these years. In the early 80’s, almost 60% of freshmen at the institute were enrolled in agriculture in Kharkiv and other regions. Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture also worked on improving the quality of education: new textbooks and manuals, end-to-end training programs, educational and methodological complexes of disciplines were developed; active forms of learning were introduced: problem-based learning, business games, learning with the use of technical means, etc. In the early 80’s from the best senior students began to form special groups for the training of organizers of agricultural production. The creative ties of the institute with the production have expanded. The school has become a powerful research center in the field of mechanization, electrification, rural construction. In the 70-80s, hundreds of agreements on creative cooperation of scientists of the institute and enterprises and organizations of Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine were concluded. An example of this is the work in the targeted comprehensive scientific and technical program “Improving the technical level of reliability and durability of the T-150 tractor”, which was carried out by scientists of the departments of tractors and cars, reliability and resistance of materials (led by prof. A.T. Lebedev, prof. V.Ya. Anilovich, assoc. prof. M.G. Sandomirsky) together with specialists of Kharkiv Tractor Plant. At the same time, the first in the former USSR, the institute initiated the introduction of a degree system of training.
Significant assistance was provided by Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture scientists in the field of technical support of new technologies that were introduced in agricultural production.
The research work of students, who were repeatedly awarded diplomas and certificates of city, republican and all-Union competitions, also developed successfully. Research and production student groups have become a new form of combining educational, scientific and practical training.
In 1980 the institute turned 50 years old. It already had almost 1,000 employees, including 380 teachers, including 9 doctors of sciences and professors, 150 candidates of sciences and associate professors, and the total number of students exceeded 5,000.
About 15 thousand graduates of the institute were sent to work in the regional departments of agriculture and formed the basis of rural engineering services. Hundreds of specialists were also trained for Bulgaria, Hungary, Mongolia, China, Poland, Cuba, Congo, Ethiopia and other countries.
Since 1996, the university has had the only Center for Rural Sociological Research in Ukraine, which has fruitful international ties with Harvard University (USA).
Since 1996, the university has the only UNESCO Department of Philosophy of Human Communication in Ukraine, which has an official international status.
Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture is the representative of Ukraine and the founder together with Russia and Belarus of the Euro-Asian Association of Agricultural Engineers in the relevant world association, which unites and coordinates the activities of the agro-engineering community since 2000.
In 2002, for the first time in Ukraine, the Institute of Innovation Management was established at the university to forecast innovation situations in the agro-industrial complex of the region.
In the same year, the German Regional Cultural and Educational Center (Deutsches Center) was launched, which promotes friendly relations between the university and the relevant educational institutions in Germany.
Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture became a member of the European Association of Agricultural Universities, a collective member of the International Academy of Higher Education, a member of the consortium of agricultural universities of the world in 2003.
On April 20, 1994, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine established Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture on the basis of Kharkiv Institute of Mechanization and Electrification of Agriculture, which became the only and leading agricultural university of engineering and technical profile of the IV level of accreditation in Ukraine. And 10 years later, on May 12, 2004, by the order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the 991st KhSTUA was named after an outstanding scientist in the field of agricultural mechanics – Academician Petro Vasylenko. In the same year the President of Ukraine took into account the national and international recognition of the results of the Kharkiv State Technical University of Agriculture named after Petro Vasylenko, its significant contribution to the development of national education and science, and he signed a decree granting him national status.