Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) was founded in 1916 as People’s University of Russia. On January 30 (January 17 in the old calendar) we celebrate our Foundation Day.

Our university was the first higher education institution in Nizhny Novgorod. After the merger with Polytechnic Institute evacuated from Warsaw, the University was given a status of ‘State University’. Thus UNN became the first university established in the Soviet state.

The first university of Nizhny Novgorod laid the foundations for the development of the system of higher education institutions in the city. In 1930, six institutes resulted from the transformation of some faculties of State University of Nizhny Novgorod. They were Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Institute, Teachers Training Institute (‘Pedagogical Institute’), Agricultural Institute, Construction Institute and Medical Institute. In 1932, UNN comprised faculties of Physics, Mechanics, Zoology, Botany, Chemistry and Mathematics.

By mid - 20th century, Lobachevsky State University was a research and educational hub, consisting of world-renowned scientific schools of the Theory of Oscillations, Crystallography, Radio physics, Metal-Organic Chemistry, Chemistry of High-Purity Substances, Theory of Functions, Theory of Dynamic Systems, and Population Genetics. The laboratories of UNN served as the initial basis for the foundation of Nizhny Novgorod Institutes of Russian Academy of Sciences.

By that time, there had been significant achievements in the humanities – UNN philologists were actively engaged in researching into language styles and styles of speech as well as folklore and the literary works of famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, which were created during his stay in Nizhny Novgorod region.

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod has always been one of the largest russian universities. It is recognized for having conducted research to meet the needs of the society and state.

It is a UNN tradition to give priority to innovation and pioneer research. In 1945, it set up the Faculty of Radio physics, the first one in the USSR. In 1963, UNN was also the first in the country to establish the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics. Thus the university was used as a base for electronic and information technology industries.

UNN established large research institutes: Research Institute for Physics and Technology, Research Institute for Chemistry, Research Institute for Radiophysics, Research Institute for Mechanics, Research Institute for Applied Mathematics and Cybernetics, Research Institute for Molecular Biology and Regional Ecology, Research Institute of Living Systems, Research Botanical Garden, and Research Institute for Strategic Studies.

Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod set up the first Faculty of Management and Business (nowadays it is transformed into the Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship) and first Department for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship in Science and Technology in Russia. The latter trains managers of small science-based enterprises.

In 1998, UNN Physics of Solid-State Nanostructures Research and Education Centre was established following scientific developments in this field. The particularity of this centre is its unique equipment located in 4 laboratories. In 2007, Nanotechnologies Research and Education Centre was created. The two centres enable new research technologies and UNN inventions to be introduced into production, thus developing innovative economy in the region.

In 1999, UNN Typhloinformation centre – the first specialized computer centre in Russia for visually impaired people – was set up.

In 2003 Vitaly L. Ginzburg received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He headed the Department of Radio Wave Propagation of the Faculty of Radiophysics from 1945 to 1961.

In 2004, UNN became the first university in Russia to introduce Wi-Fi technology for wireless access to the Internet on its campus.

In 2005, the Faculty for International Students was established. Several hundred of undergraduates and postgraduates from more than 75 countries study at this Faculty.

In 2006, UNN, together with 16 other leading Russian universities, won the competition to participate in the priority national project “Education”.

In 2009, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) was awarded the prestigious status of ‘National Research University’ by the decision of the Russian Government.

From 2010 to 2013, UNN launched 7 projects under the Russian Government’s Mega grant programme to attract prominent international scientists to Russian higher education institutions.

In 2010, UNN and its partner, Volga Steel Construction Company, started the implementation of a high-tech project “Establishment of a mobile high-tech processing plant to recycle oil refineries waste (acid tars) and produce the new generation of binders for asphalt mixtures (bitumen)”. This project won the grant of the Russian Government (Government Regulation № 208 On the state support for the establishment of high-tech industries).

In 2010, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) started its project ‘The Path to Science’ to attract gifted youth.

In 2011, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) participated in Russian Federal Programme “The Development of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry of the Russian Federation for the period up to 2020 and beyond”. UNN is creating a Growth zone for medical equipment production and biomedical high technologies. The Growth zone is expected to enhance its competence and competitiveness and preserve its market share.

During 2011-2013, UNN supported the establishment of 20 small innovative enterprises under the Federal Law № 217 aimed at improvement of commercialization of intellectual products.

UNN has been in the world's top 700 universities since 2011, according to QS World University Rankings. It is ranked 72nd in top 200 universities in 2014 QS World University Rankings: BRICS.

In 2012 Research Institute of Living Systems was opened.

In 2013 Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN), together with 14 Russian universities, was chosen by the Russian government to be a participant in 5/100 Project (5-100 Initiative) aimed at supporting the universities’ global competitiveness enhancement programmes.The aim of UNN according to this Project is to be one of the leading research and education centres in the world.

In late 2013 – early 2014, UNN Institute of International Relations and World History was established due to the merger of the Faculty of International Relations and the Faculty of History. The Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Finance and Faculty of Management and Business merged together to form the Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship.

In 2013 Valery V. Fokin, alumnus of the Faculty of Chemistry of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In 2014, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod (UNN) installed a supercomputer named Lobachevsky in its Research Institute for Applied Mathematics and Cybernetics. Lobachevsky, with peak performance of 570 Tflops, is the third most powerful supercomputer in Russia and one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world.