Main Building of the Ural Federal University (USTU)

The main building of the former Ural State Technical University – UPI, architects G. Y. Wolfenson, A. P. Utkin, K. T. Babykin.

The Ural University was established on October 19, 1920 by Sovnarkom decree. It initially included 6 institutes (polytechnic among them) and a working faculty.

Due to shortage of teachers in 1922, the institute division was abolished, with only 3 departments left: chemistry and metallurgy, mining and medical. In 1925 chemistry and metallurgy departments were combined with mining department to create Ural Polytechnic Institute (UPI), which created a number of new departments in the following years. In 1930 during the national higher education reform UPI was divided into 10 institutions (technical colleges).

After Sverdlovsk State University was restored as independent university in 1931, 7 out of 10 UPI’s colleges formed Ural Industrial Institute, which was named after S. M. Kirov in 1934.

Thus since the mid-1930s there have been two major independent higher education institutions in Sverdlovsk. In 1945 Sverdlovsk State University was renamed Ural State University. In turn, Ural Industrial Institute was returned its original name of Ural Polytechnic Institute named after Kirov.

In 1992 UPI was transformed into Ural State Technical University, which since April 23, 2008 carried the name of its famous alumnus – Boris Yeltsin.

In the end, the university that was established in 1920 as a single institution designed to provide comprehensive training to its graduates, has regained its original status – Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin was established in Ekaterinburg in 2009 uniting Ural State Technical University and Ural State University named after Gorky. The integrated university currently enrolls about 57 thousand students and employs over 3.5 thousand teachers, over 30 of those are national academics.


One of the university’s most famous alumni is the first President of independent Russia Boris Yeltsin, who graduated from UPI with a degree in industrial and civilian construction. Yeltsin was a bright student and active in sports: he played for the volleyball masters team, trained the institute’s women’s volleyball team. It was here in UPI that Boris Yeltsin met his future wife Naina Girina.

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