On May 28, 1878, Emperor Alexander II signed a decree on the establishment of the first and only higher education institution in the vast expanses from the Russian Urals to the Pacific Ocean – the Siberian Imperial University in Tomsk.
The idea of opening the first university in Siberia occurred to the best minds of Russia back in 1803, but only at the end of the 19th century did it begin to take shape.
Seven major cities in Siberia reasonably requested the honor of founding a university. Tomsk won.
On 28 (16) May, 1878, Emperor Alexander II approved the decision of the State Council of the Russian Empire on the establishment of the Imperial University in Tomsk, Siberia. This day ended the 75-year-old epic struggle for the foundation of a university in Tomsk and began the history of the building, opening and further development of Tomsk State University – the ninth in Russia and the first higher education institution in Siberia.
The first classes for the first 72 students began on September 1, 1888. Classes were given by eight professors, aided by seven assistants and laboratory technicians. Professor Nikolai Gezekhus was appointed the first rector of the University.
It is important to note that the main library, meeting rooms, museums, botanical garden with a greenhouse and herbarium had been formed at the time of construction of the university.
We would love to see our teachers and scientists inspired by love for the country, serving with equal fervor educational and research purposes, showing greater academic independence at their classes and creating their own schools. Only the combining of the educational and research activities in our university will bring it to the height of its calling, and in spite of the direct utilitarian purposes it will bring forth the fruits of higher education.
The university has been following these principles during all the stages of its development. Preparation of a research, educational and administrative elite based on the integration of the educational process and fundamental research has always been the strategic focus of Tomsk State University.
- more than a hundred and twenty thousand graduates have established their reputation and the credibility of their Alma Mater.
- about 100 members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Academy of Sciences of the CIS countries graduated from the university,
- more than 250 State Prize recipients
- two Nobel Prize laureates – N.N. Semenov and I.P. Pavlov have worked at the university.
Today, the alumni and staff of Tomsk State University lead many universities, academic institutions, research and industrial organizations in Russia, and occupy important government posts.
The Imperial, now Tomsk State University, has had a decisive influence on the formation of science, education and culture in the Asian part of Russia and is considered one of the nation’s leading universities.
Over the years, the university has produced more than 120,000 professionals, and it is hard to find a university or institution in Siberia, which has not worked with the graduates of Tomsk State University: they lead institutes and departments, laboratories and innovative companies. They become successful and extraordinary business leaders and employers offering work to future graduates of Tomsk State University.
The University actively cooperates with companies in various industries, developing training and re-training focused on the specific customer. Nowadays more than 750 companies and organizations are partners of the university, including major companies such as Gazprom Space Systems, the Siberian Chemical Factory, Gazprombank, Sberbank and others. Work-oriented education, combined with thorough preparation enables the graduates of TSU to be easily integrated into the production process, quickly adapt and offer their own engineering solutions.
- By presidential decree, Tomsk State University is included in the State list of the most valuable objects of cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation.
- 3rd place among Russian universities in the world ranking Webometrics after Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University.
- 6th place in the world ranking of Russian participants by Times Higher Education TOP-500.
- 7th place in the national ranking of Interfax and Echo of Moscow.
- In 2006, Tomsk State University became a member of the European University Association (EUA).