For a European university, 125 years may not seem like a significant age. But, firstly, there are not so many universities in Ukraine that have crossed the century mark, and secondly, the events and personalities that have left a mark in its past and in the history of science, technology and culture of our country and the whole world would be enough for several higher education institutions in other countries.
And this is not an exaggeration. Indeed, throughout its history, the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" has operated in three different countries without changing its location! To be precise, in the conditions of three state systems and political systems, but this does not change anything in essence. And not just worked, but provided training for specialists. And what kind of specialists! The names of many of his students and staff are now known throughout the world - it would not take a newspaper space to list them all, and is it worth it - the names of some of them are engraved on the granite slabs of the Alley of Stars in front of the historic main building of the university, others are immortalized in monuments erected on campus and on plaques in academic buildings - and that's just the most famous ones!
Moreover, despite the most difficult trials of different years, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute never stopped researching and working on the creation of new technology, so hundreds, if not thousands, of inventions and new technologies were born within its walls, which are now widely used in various industries. They are still being created today, as the university is constantly evolving to meet the conditions and challenges of a rapidly changing time. It is always at the forefront of progress and is one of the leaders in introducing educational and scientific innovations, which are later picked up by other national universities. It is not without reason that 12 other Ukrainian universities, which successfully operate in different cities of Ukraine, industrial enterprises and a number of research institutions were created on the basis of KPI faculties and departments.
Today, the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" is one of the most famous and largest technical universities in Europe. Almost 25,000 students study here. It consists of 16 faculties, 11 educational and research institutes, several research institutes and scientific and engineering centers, including design bureaus (including student ones), engineering centers, etc. The university's academic staff includes more than 2,500 highly qualified teachers, including corresponding members and academicians of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The university does not stop scientific research, the results of which are used in its innovative activities, and students are actively involved in them from the first year of study. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute has actually become one of Ukraine's largest educational, research, innovation and methodological centers, and in a number of high-tech areas it has become a real engine for the development and implementation of breakthrough technologies. But first and foremost, of course, it is a forge for training a new generation of professionals and a center for educating true patriots of Ukraine.
The evidence of the correctness of the directions and ways of further development of the university chosen by the staff is its many years of top positions in national rankings of higher education institutions and the steady growth of its positions in international rankings.
It would seem that nothing can slow down the process of KPI joining the family of the world's best universities and further integration of its scientific schools into the international scientific community. But in 2014, Ukraine faced trials and challenges that had long been thought to remain in the last millennium: for the first time in more than 70 years, war broke out in its south and east. And on the night of February 24, 2022, the flames of this war spread to the entire strip of the eastern and southern border of independent Ukraine: russia began an open full-scale and unprovoked invasion of its territory.
The experience of the last two centuries of European history shows that instigators of wars have never achieved the results they hoped for. So, instead of "Kyiv in three days," the russian aggressors received a tough and decisive rebuff from the citizens of Ukraine. Kyiv Polytechnic students of all ages - from young students to experienced teachers and researchers, as well as thousands of KPI graduates - joined the ranks of the country's defenders. Unfortunately, many of them will not return from the war. We will learn about some of our heroes who laid down their lives for Ukraine only after our Victory, and only then will we be able to immortalize their names...
A full-scale war has changed the lives of our entire nation. Therefore, in the rather conventional rear in the first months of the war, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute staff and students intensified their work on defense projects, and its institutes and faculties began training personnel in military-industrial areas. The number of volunteers who help soldiers at the front in one way or another and do not shy away from any work in the rear has also increased significantly. The university has opened a Charitable Foundation to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic", to which hundreds of employees transfer quite significant funds every month, which are then spent on the purchase of weapons, special equipment, battlefield protection equipment, equipment, clothing, etc. necessary for Ukrainian soldiers and other needs that have arisen because of the war. At the same time, the educational process was practically not interrupted, and even in the first year of war, the university graduated a whole cohort of young specialists in various specialties that the country needed. And Kyiv Polytechnics also planted a new park, which was called the "Park of the Unconquered"...
Despite the war, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute remains a leader in the preferences of applicants: like last year, this year the university became the first among Ukrainian universities in terms of the number of enrollments for state-funded education, and the number of those who will study on a contract basis has also increased significantly.
Thus, the 125th anniversary of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute fell on extremely difficult times for Ukraine. But the war in no way diminishes the importance of this date for the current students and staff of the university, for its veterans and graduates of different years, for the entire national higher education system. It only slightly changes the format of the celebration and makes all its events, perhaps less pompous, but at the same time warmer and, so to speak, almost family-like. And nothing will prevent us, Kyiv Polytechnics, from being proud of our university, which has lived, lives and will live forever! Glory to KPI! Glory to Ukraine!