Faculty of History and International Relations

The most memorable day in the history of higher education in Transcarpathia is July 19, 1945 when the People’s Council of Transcarpathian Ukraine together with the Secretariate of the Communist Party of Transcarpathian Ukraine adopted a resolution on the foundation of TranscarpathianUkraineStateUniversity. The issue was discussed and the decision was made on the highest state level and on October 18, 1945 the Council of People Officers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine adopted a resolution to establish a state university in Uzhhorod. Finally the dream of many generations of Transcarpathians came true.

Initially the university comprised four faculties: Philology, Chemistry and Biology, Medicine, and History with 180 students in total.   

The history of the faculty is rich and diverse. It is marked with significant achievements but also, unfortunately, with some conformism.  Initially the Faculty of History consisted of two departments: History of Peoples of the USSR (1945) and General History (1946). 25 students began their study on February 1, 1946, among them both Transcarpathians and students from other regions, including battle-front veterans. Within a year, in addition to the day-time students, extra-mural studies were established with total admission of students increasing up to 50.

At that time the most urgent problem was the provision of teaching staff. That issue was settled in two ways: by engaging domestic specialists and specialists from other regions. Among the former, one should single out M.M. Lelekach, F.M.Potushniak and A.M.Ihnat, graduates of the Faculty of Philisophy of the University of Prague.

Within the first decades of the postwar period most of the faculty were specialists directed by the Ministry of Education. By the way, they also ran the departments -- Associate Professor P.K. Smian headed the Department of History of the USSR and Associate Professor I.H.Kolomiiets was the head of the Department of General History. P.K. Smian was the first dean of the faculty. Besides, associate professors Ya.A.Tchubukov, N.P.Bazhenova, V.I.Netochaev, B.M.Volfson, L.I.Midelskyi, Ya.I.Shternberg, P.S.Shylokhvost, M.V.Arsentieva, I.H.Shulha, H.V.Marchenko, S.O.Mishchenko, senior lecturer H.O.Danylkevych, I.D.Dashkevych, N.I.Mezhberg joined the faculty and contributed to the faculty professional development. In particular, H.V.Marchenko headed the Department of General History in 1956-1961 and ran the faculty in 1960-1965.

The number of the faculty was increasing due to PhD programs first offered by UzhhorodStateUniversity in 1951 (among the graduates was V.I.Ilko). M.V.Troian and V.I.Khudanych accomplished their postgraduate study at Lviv university, E.A.Balahuri -- at the Institute of Social Sciences of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, I.H.Shulha and I.M.Hranchak – at the Institute of History of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, H.V.Marchenko – at the Academy of Social Sciences in Moscow.

The teaching staff defended their dissertations before the academic boards (later before specialized academic boards) at the Institute of History of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, at IvanFrankoLvivUniversity and sometimes at the universities of other Soviet republics.  Since 1972 the Specialized Academic Board has been managing the defense of theses at the Faculty of History of Uzhhorod University. O.S.Mazurok was the first who defended his dissertation in the walls of his domestic university. At present, the Specialized Academic Board with the right to confer scientific degrees of Doctor and Candidate of Sciences in the fields of History of Ukraine and World History is under re-registration.

The first two decades of the faculty’s history was marked by both qualitative and quantitative growth. While in the first year the teaching academic staff included only 6 faculty members (among them were 2 associate professors), in 1965 the teaching staff of the two departments had increased to 17 persons – 1 professor (Ya.A.Chubukov), 11 associate professors (M.V.Arsentiev, N.P.Bazhanova, E.A.Balahuri, I.M.Hranchak, V.I.Ilko, M.M.Lelekach, H.V.Marchenko, S.O.Mishchenko, M.V.Troian, I.H.Shulha,), 3 senior lecturers (K.I.Hurnytskyi, N.I.Mezhberg, V.V.Palko), two lecturers (V.I.Olah and H.V.Pavlenko). There were three laboratory assistants at the department (H.V.Bozhuk, I.H.Povkhan, A.H.Buchyk).

Starting from the 1960s, one should note a further growth of the faculty. In the subsequent two decades the teaching staff was renewed mostly by graduates of UzhhorodUniversity. Among them we should mention M.P.Tyvodar, T.M. Sopko, I.O.Mandryk, D.D.Danuliuk, M.P.Matyovka, V.Ye.Zadorozhny, O.S.Mazurok,  I.M.Chavarha,  H.I.Iholnykova  et al. Among the teaching staff coming from other universities one should notice Assoc. Prof. L.A.Kovalenko. Besides, L.V.Taran who worked at the university in 1965-1970, deserves mentioning.

The number of departments also increased. In 1976 the Department of Historiography and Source Criticism was established and headed by Prof. M.V.Troian. Within 5 years the department was renamed the Department of history of USSR, Historiography and Source Criticism. However, the existence of the department was not long, it was eliminated in 1988. Besides, the oldest Department of the History of the USSR was also renamed since it began to include the course of History of Ukraine with a new name the Department of the History of the USSR and the Ukrainian SSR. In 1990, an independent department of History of Ukraine was established under the guidance of Prof. V.Ye Zadorozhnyi.

Within two years, the department of History of the USSR was eliminated and the teaching staff were involved into the work of the Department of Modern and Contemporary History headed by Prof. I.M.Hranchak and the Department of Ancient and Mediaeval History and Historiography headed by Prof. H.V.Pavlenko, created in 1988 on the basis of the Department of General History. In 1993, the course of historiography was included in the curriculum of the Department of Modern and Contemporary History (it war renamed into the Department of Modern and Contemporary History and Historiography).

In 1994, the Department of Political Science headed by Assoc. Prof. V.L.Bodnar was included in the Faculty of History. In 2003 it was followed by the Department of Philosophy headed by M.I.Bletskan. On May 1, 2005 the Department of History of Hungary and European Integration was created. On September 1, 2005, there were in total 6 departments at the faculty: Department of History of Ukraine (headed by Prof. D.D.Danyliuk), Department of Ancient and Mediaeval History (headed by Assoc. Prof. I.M.Likhtey), Department of Modern and Contemporary History and Historiography (headed by Prof. I.O.Mandryk), Department of Political Science (headed by Prof. M.M.Vehesh), Department of Philosophy (headed by Prof. M.I.Bletskan), Department of History of Hungary and European Integration (headed by Prof.  S.V.Vidnianskyi).

Since March 1, 2006 the departments of Political Science and Philosophy were included into the newly-created Faculty of Social Sciences. Since September 1, 2008  the Department of History of Hungary and European Integration moved to the newly-created faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences with the Hungarian Language Teaching.

At present, three departments compose the Faculty of History: Department of History of Ukraine, Department of Ancient and Mediaeval History, and Department of Modern and Contemporary History and Historiography with the faculty of 31 members, including 9 professors, 19 associate professors, 2 senior lecturers and 1 lecturer as well as a research institute of Carpathian Studies,  two research centers of Bohemian and Slovak Studies and Historical and Religious Studies “Logos” and three museums: Archaeological Museum named after Eduard Balahuri, Museum of the History of the University and Museum of Ancient Books. The overall staff of the faculty comprises 44 persons and ranks among the 5 top faculties of History in Ukraine.

Edited by Volodymyr Fenych