Taras Shevchenko University or officially the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukrainian: Київський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка), colloquially known in Ukrainian as KNU (Ukrainian: Київський національний універcитет – КНУ) is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. KNU is ranked within top 500 Universities in the world. Currently, its structure consists of fifteen faculties (academic departments)and five institutes. It was founded in 1834 as the Kiev Imperial University of Saint Vladimir. During the Soviet Union era, Taras Shevchenko University was one of the top-three universities in the USSR, along with Moscow State University and Leningrad State University. It is ranked as the best university in Ukraine in many rankings . Throughout history, the university has produced many famous alumni including Nikolay Bunge, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, Nikolai Berdyaev, Mikhail Bulgakov, Viacheslav Chornovil, Leonid Kravchuk, and many others.
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is a classic research-based university, with a vision that highlights education, research and innovation. At the contemporary heart of its mission is education, which produces experts at the highest level, extremely competitive in the labour market, a mission which applies and extends leading-edge information technology in education and science, continually driving academic research and further integration into the European Space of education, science and IT. The high status of a classical research university is underpinned by the numerous academic achievements of its staff. The staff at the University has a broad range of formal achievements recognised, in particular with the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology, Awards from the National Academy of Science of Ukraine and branches of the national academies of science, Orders of Merit, Orders of Saints Cyril and Methodius, awards of the honorary title of Honoured Educationalist of Ukraine and Honoured Lawyer of Ukraine, also Awards by the President of Ukraine for young academics and Awards by the Ukrainian Parliament to the most talented young scientists in basic and applied research, and scientific and technological development.
During the Soviet period, the Taras Shevchenko University received one Order of Lenin (1959) and one Order of the October Revolution (1984). Additionally, in 2002 the asteroid 4868 Knushevia was named in honour of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University.