History of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University traces its origins back to 1930, when in accordance with a decree of the CEC of the BSSR it was decided to open an agro-pedagogical university in Gomel. In implementing this decree, the People's Commissariat for Education of the BSSR on May 7, 1930 decided upon whether to profile Gomel Institute in three directions – socio-historical, literary-linguistic and physical-technical. Until 1933, the Institute trained teachers for two-year schools. In 1933, it was transformed into a pedagogical institute with a three-year term of study. A year later, the Institute was reorganized into a University with a four-year training programme, providing training for teachers of mathematics, physics, chemistry and natural sciences. On March 5, 1939 by the decree of The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the BSSR the Institute was named after a famous pilot V.P. Chkalov.
Over the years of its existence, the Institute has trained about 13,000 highly qualified specialists for various sectors of the national economy. Significant progress has been achieved in the realm of science. A high assessment of work of the institute became the Decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belarus and the Council of Ministers of the BSSR of March 14, 1969 № 93 on the transformation of the Gomel pedagogical institute in Gomel State University – the second largest University in Belarus of such a high rank.
Francisk Skorina Gomel State University is a leading university of Belarusian Polesye that was recognized by the national and world scientific community. The University is known for its high educational potential being one of the largest research and development, academic and cultural centers of the Republic of Belarus.
1360 employees work at Francisk Skorina Gomel State University today, including the teaching staff (without part- time employees) – 587. Among these there are 44 Doctors of sciences, 33 professors, 242 candidates of sciences, 216 docents. Of these, there are 4 correspondent members of the National Academy of Science (A.V. Rogachev, A.N. Serdyukov, G.G. Goncharenko, V.F. Baginsky).
Master’s degree programme is available for 22 specialities, post-graduate – for 46 specialities and doctorate – for 6 specialities. The university has 3 dissertation defense councils in four specialties, including the doctoral one.
The main forms of scientific activity of GSU involve implementation of fundamental, applied and contractual research works; organization and conduct of scientific conferences and seminars; training of highly qualified scientific personnel; organization and management of students’ science; exhibition and information activities on promotion of science through the media; invention and innovation; publications of scientific literature (monographs, journals, collections of articles and abstracts).
The University conducts fundamental, exploratory and applied research in 14 main areas approved on 02.03.2016 by the Ministry of education of the Republic of Belarus, corresponding to the profile of the graduates and formed on the basis of the list of priority directions of scientific and scientific-technical activities of the Republic of Belarus for 2016 – 2020, approved by the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus from 12.03.2015 No. 190 and the list of priority directions of scientific-technical activities in the Republic of Belarus for 2016 – 2020, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus from 22.04.2015 No. 166.
In 2016, the University was accredited by the State Committee on science and technology of the Republic of Belarus and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus as a scientific organization (certificate of accreditation of the scientific organization of April 20, 2016, № 7).
The University includes two research institutes: the institute of history and culture of the East Slavic peoples (since 2002) and the physico-chemical institute (since 2016). Since 2006 the Center for Collective Use on Environmental Monitoring and Study of the Composition and Properties of Matter (CCU "Isomer") has been functioning as a part of four research laboratories: "Physical chemistry and technology of micro- and nanoscale systems"; "Physics and chemistry of polymers"; "Monitoring of ecosystems" and "Mass spectrometric analysis". CCU is fitted with unique scientific equipment, employing highly qualified specialists conducting research work. The University has 14 research laboratories engaged in scientific research work in various fields of knowledge, including the international Chinese-Belarusian scientific laboratory for vacuum-plasma technologies.
In 2017, the University carried out 175 topics (127 funded and 48 not funded, i.e. performed on account of the second half of the working day of the faculty for the main position), including 77 tasks of the state enterprise, 3 tasks of the State research programs, 33 grants of the Belarusian Republican Foundation for Fundamental Research and 12 contractual topics performed by orders of enterprises and organizations of the Republic of Belarus, CIS and foreign countries. In 2017, the total amount of research work and services amounted to 1,162.60 thousand rubles (funds of the Ministry of education – 555, 25 thousand rubles; funds of the Republican budget of other customers 242,36 thousand rubles; commercial contracts – 87,70 thousand rubles; services – 277,29 thousand rubles).
The University has achieved great success in the field of international cooperation. Over the past five years, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of international activities of the University and its recognition abroad. High-tech developments of the University are used not only by domestic enterprises and by organizations, but also exported to other countries. Originality and distinction of new equipment and technologies created by the scientists of the University are proved by copyright certificates and patents, as well as medals and diplomas at respected international exhibitions. In 2017, 52 exhibits of the University were presented at 15 different exhibitions held both in Belarus and abroad.
The University has established close scientific ties in the field of research work with Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, China, Korea, Finland, Switzerland and other countries. Relations with educational and scientific centers of the world are developed. In 2017, about 24 research and development projects were carried out within the frames of international cooperation work. Among these are 12 research projects with Russia, 6 – with China, 2 – with India, as well as works with Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and Armenia.
The effectiveness of scientific research is maintained at a high level. Thus, in 2017, the University published 30 monographs, 5 textbooks with the stamp of the Ministry of education of the Republic of Belarus and Russian Federation, 36 collections of scientific works and conference materials, 2234 articles in journals and collections of scientific works, including 287 in journals included into the lists of Higher Attestation Commission of the Republic of Belarus, 398 – in foreign journals and collections and 321 – in the conference materials published abroad. 9 inventions of the University are applied in the real sector of economy, 75 – in the educational process, 10 patents were obtained.
There are 2 scientific journals published at the University: "Proceedings of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University" (6 issues per year) and "Problems of physics, mathematics and technology", ( 4 journals per year). Journals are included in the list of Higher Attestation Commission for publication of dissertation research materials, as well as in the All-Russian mathematical portal and Scientific electronic library. The journal "Problems of physics, mathematics and technology" is published in English as well. The collection of scientific works of students and postgraduates "Creativity of the youth" is published annually. In 2017, this collection was published in 4 parts.
The leading role of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University in development of scientific research is expressed in the organization and conduct of international, national and regional scientific conferences. In 2017, the University initiated and organized 33 scientific conferences, including 13 student conferences. In March – April of 2017, the University held "Days of student science". All the faculties took an active part in this event – conferences were held at the departments and faculties. According to the results of conferences the University published a collection of abstracts from the most important reports of students and undergraduates "Days of student science" in 2 parts.
The state of research work at the University is proved by the following figures: in 2017, in the course of the conferences the students read 2177 reports; 2583 scientific papers were published. The number of scientific works and show pieces of students who became winners at competitions and exhibitions of various levels in 2015 amounted to 140.
In 2016, 137 works were submitted to the National competition for the best student scientific work in natural, technical and humanitarian sciences. According to the results of the competition 3 authors were awarded the title of Laureate of the Republican contest of scientific works of students in 2016. Diplomas of the first category were awarded to 30 works, the second category – 68 works, the third category – 22 works, without category – 14 works.
In 2017, 192 works were submitted to this contest. According to the results of the competition 4 students were awarded the title of Laureate of the Republican contest of scientific works of students in 2017. Diplomas of the first category were awarded to 45 works, the second category – 79 works, the third category – 47 works, without category – 17 works.
Currently, the University has 43 student research units. Their main task is to upgrade the training of highly qualified specialists with in-depth knowledge of the latest achievements of science and technologies, a set of skills and methods of research.
International cooperation of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University is reflected in the development of contacts and contracts with foreign partners, the implementation of joint projects and programmes, participation in international conferences, organization and holding of international events with participation of specialists from foreign countries.
The University has established 129 cooperation agreements with foreign educational and scientific institutions from 25 countries, including 64 agreements with foreign countries (China, Hungary, Vietnam, India, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the USA, Japan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Mexico, Spain, Korea) and 68 agreements with universities from the near abroad (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan). All agreements are concluded on a non-currency basis and provide mutual assistance in research work and training, exchange of students and scientific information.
The room of Chinese studies, which was opened in June 2006 with the support and assistance of the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Belarus, is functioning successfully. The classes are conducted by the teachers from China who came to work with the assistance of the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Belarus within the framework of the Agreement between the Ministry of education of the Republic of Belarus and the state office of China for the international dissemination of the Chinese language.
At the Faculty of Philology there is a scientific and methodological center of Russian studies, established with the assistance of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Belarus.
Since 2006, the University has been included in the Association "Inter-Academy" which is an international organization that brings together 7 universities in Japan, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Belarus.
In September 2013, it was decided to establish at GSU the Confucius room of the Republican Institute of Chinese Studies named after Confucius, at the Belarusian State University. The room was opened in February 2016.
In December 2017 the Confucius Institute was opened in cooperation with Nanjing University of science and technologies (Nanjing, China).
The University is involved in international projects. Currently, the University is implementing three ERASMUS+ projects:
- Improvement of master-level education in the field of physical sciences in Belarusian universities” (Physics). Coordinator – Riga Technical University, Latvia;
- Fostering Competencies Development in Belarusian Higher Education. Coordinator – Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain);
- Introducing modules on law and rights in programmes of teacher training and educational sciences: A contribution to building rights-based education systems in countries in transition (ELA). Coordinator - The Free University of Brussels (Belgium).
In 2017 – 2018 Francisk Skorina Gomel State University started implementation of ERASMUS+ projects aiming at the development of the academic mobility of the lecturers and students. The inter-institutional agreements were signed with 4 European universities: the University of Valladolid (Spain), the University of Žilina (Slovakia), The University of Tübingen (Germany) and the University of Palermo (Italy).
Gomel State University participated as an associative partner in the grant programme Erasmus Mundus IANUS II «Inter-Academia Network IANUS II». The project coordinator was the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (Iași, Romania).
The University took part in 3 projects of TEMPUS programme:
- Eastern Partnership in Pedagogical Innovations in Inclusive Education (INOVEST). Coordinator – Karlsruhe Institute (Germany).
- Ecological Education for Belarus, Russia and Ukraine (EcoBRU). Coordinator - the University of Bremen (Germany).
- Centers of Excellence for young RESearchers (CERES). Coordinator - the University of Žilina (Slovakia).
The desire to study and preserve for future generations the identity and individuality of the Slavic culture, to contribute to the spiritual unity of the fraternal Slavic peoples – Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian – prompted the scientists of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University initiate a proposal to create an International Association "Institute of Slavistics" as a form of cooperation between the universities and research institutions of the neighboring countries – Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The relevance and the need to create such an Association is due to the fact that the unique material and spiritual culture of the East Slavic region has not yet been fully studied, and many ethno-cultural elements – historical monuments, items of traditional folk crafts and arts, rituals and customs, works of folklore, dialect names – gradually disappear because of the resettlement of a significant number of residents from the Chernobyl zone of Belarus Ukraine and Russia; moreover, the values of folk material culture are lost as a result of the destruction with the course of time.
The doors of Francisk Skorina Gomel State University are wide open for establishment of contacts with everyone interested in higher education at our University.