Grozny State Oil Technical University is truly considered a unique educational institution. It is not just because of the proud history of the University, which began in 1920 – today it is one of the oldest both of nation and in the world specialized oil University, which has evolved from College into University.
The educational establishment, which later was to become the main talent foundry for the national oil industry, was created not just "from scratch". In the first years of Soviet era in the aftermath of the Civil war, it was built, rather, “from remains” of the oil industry, which at the beginning of the last century in Grozny was ran mainly by foreign expats. After the revolution, most of them left the country. So, according to historical documents, out of 250 engineers and technicians who worked in the oil fields and plants of Grozny until the end of 1917, only a few dozen remained by the beginning of 1920. Out of 831 usable wells 80 were operating at that time, and none of the six refineries worked. In addition, leaving Grozny, the owners the plants destroyed and/or took away all the geological and technological documentation.
The task of founding new educational institution was laid upon the Department of Technical Courses under the Central Oil Administration (COA). The people engaged in this task were in the truest and fullest sense of the word pioneers – having no previous experience in an industry-specific educational institution, they all by themselves created this unique experience. The first seed sprouted August 1, 1920, when Grozny Oil College started its first academic year.
The new educational institution was located in the premises of the non-classical secondary school (later – Grozny School #2). In the first year, it trained 265 people, and classes were held exclusively in the evening – after a working day the workers from oil refineries and oil fields would come and sat down to the desks like in old school days.
Today's students, who enjoy spacious classrooms with linguaphone laboratory equipped with the latest technology, it is difficult to imagine that once the equipment for demonstrating chemical experiments in the classroom were taken on horseback from the toluene plant. There were no opportunities for organizing a laboratory in the premises of the Oil Technical School. As for library first books were collected by students of the first “Grozny Oil School" from the abandoned houses of former engineers who left books and precious technical literature fleeing from Soviet Russia.
However, challenges and the lack of sometimes the most basic learning means would not stop the first oil students and their teachers - the classes went on continuously. Eight secondary departments were formed in the technical school, where technicians were trained, and two higher departments for training engineers in mining, oil and petrochemical specialties. Training was closely connected with production – the best specialists of the oil plants were engaged in teaching.
According to the results of the first year, it became clear that the new school has a great future and that it would not be long for it to remain a technical school. The decision to transform the Grozny Oil College into the Oil Practical Institute was made on April 19, 1922. Thus began the history of the university, the very name of which for many years has been synonym to "guarantee of quality" of specialist training and the credibility of scientific developments.
Its key feature was the close connection between theory and practice - the university’s proximity to plants and oil wells allowed students to see and understand the future profession “from the inside”., together with the necessary knowledge, students gained invaluable experience. As a result, the graduates left the institute not just as specialists with degree, but as fully trained personnel for the oil industry. It is no coincidence that the entire first and several subsequent graduations of mining and oil refining engineers were sent to the fields and plants of Grozny, and many of the first graduates of the university almost immediately found themselves in key positions, becoming the very “brain power” which was to form the image of the young Soviet industry.
With the current diversity of the higher education system in our country, it is difficult to surprise someone with the title “university”. Universities or their branches today are considered commonplace even in small provincial cities. But at the beginning of the 20th century, the right to be called an institute, being far from the capital, was a challenge.
The very fact of existence of the higher oil educational institution in Grozny, on the periphery of scientific and cultural centers of the country, seemed too ambiguous to government in Moscow. At the same time, for the city of Grozny itself, the Oil practical Institute was a real center of scientific and technical thought. What atechnical library it had! It offered over 5 thousand titles of scientific literature! Gradually, the foundations of the university’s material base were laid: laboratories and thematic classrooms were created, new instruments and teaching aids were purchased. In 1924 funds were allocated for the construction of a 3-storey educational and laboratory building of the Institute.
Nevertheless, in 1923-1924, on the basis of the regulations on the universities of the RSFSR, the Practical Institute was reorganized – it became known as the Higher Oil College, later – the Oil College. Despite this, the college retained the right to issue engineering diplomas to its graduates.
The status of the institute was returned in 1929. From now on the Institute became a university of national importance with two faculties: mining and petrochemical. Later, Construction and Electromechanical Faculties were added to them. By the end of 1930, 2317 people were studying at the Grozny Oil Institute. In 1940 the Geological Surveying Faculty was opened, which enrolled 50 people.
However, the time of the final formation of Grozny Oil Institute as an industry-specific higher education institute coincided with the beginning of Stalin's repressions and was a great test not only for the Institute, but also for the entire oil industry. In few years the Institute was deprived of most of the core staff. Overnight they were declared "alien class element" and "enemies". All this inevitably gave rise to new problems in the industry – by the beginning of the great Patriotic war, it was actually "drained" in terms of personnel and seriously depleted by the constant increase in oil production for the sake of fulfilling unreasonably high plans for the first five-years.
Summer of 1941 began at the Oil Institute as usual: there was a session, the students were preparing to leave for practical training. Everything changed on June 22. In the first months most of the students and some teachers were called or went to the front as volunteers, mostly ladies remained at the Institute.
But even during the war years, classes at the institute carried on. The admission to the first year of all three faculties was announced. The classes were full. Some of the students enrolled came from the country's western evacuated cities occupied by the enemy. At the same time, without interrupting classes, students and teachers of the Grozny Oil Institute fulfilled the roles of brothers, husbands and sons who left for the front - they harvested crops on collective farm fields, worked at plants, looked after the wounded in hospitals, helped build defenses around the city.
This was until the autumn of 1942, when the Institute was ordered to evacuate to the Uzbek city of Kokand. In September 1942, the Pullman cars and heated freight cars moved to the East. And while the Institute was on its way, German planes bombed the city. Grozny was ablaze, the night was bright as day…
The Institute returned to Grozny in the spring of 1943. There was a hospital in the educational building, the laboratory base was almost destroyed, but life continued, people were happy about returning home and believed that the main hardships were behind. Classes resumed, the staff of the Institute worked on the restoration of its educational and technical base, while taking an active part in the restoration of the war-torn city.
After the war, the heroic act of the Grozny Oil Institute was appreciated - on November 27, 1945, the Institute was awarded a prestigious award the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
In the postwar years, rapid growth began. The Institute created its own research schools, its teachers became the authors of fundamental developments in the field of oil and gas geology and gas wells, oil refining and petrochemicals, thermal physics, and construction. The institute gained all-Union fame, and in 1960-1980, the credibility of the Grozny Oil Institute was unconditionally recognized not only in the USSR, but also abroad. By the mid of1980s, the potential of the Institute allowed training in almost all specialties of the technological cycle of oil and gas production.
In 1973, Grozny Oil University was named after its outstanding graduate - Mikhail Dmitrievich Millionshchikov, the Hero of Socialist Labor, Academician and the Vice President of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
It was believed that all trials were a history. However, the 1990s came, and war again came to the Chechen Republic. The period from 1991 to 2000 was for Grozny Oil Institute the most dramatic stage, in comparison which even the deprivation of war years would fade.
During the war in Grozny, educational buildings, research laboratories, and dormitories were destroyed. It seemed that nothing could be returned. But the leadership of the Chechen Republic took a course to restore in all directions – the goal was not only to rebuild the destroyed cities, but also to breathe into them a full spiritual, cultural and scientific life. Grozny Oil Institute had to again become one of the centers of this life, gradually regaining the title of one of the leading oil institutes of the nation.
Through the efforts of the first president of the Chechen Republic, Akhmat-Hadji Kadyrov and his successor, the current Head of the Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, with the help of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the goal of reviving Grozny Oil Institure as a center of scientific and technological thought was achieved. And, of course, a huge merit in the restoration and development of the university belongs to the whole teamThe well-deserved victory of the revived Institute was the assignment of the status of the University in February 2011 – since that time it has been called Grozny State Oil Technical University named after academician M. D. Millionshchikov.
Today GSOTU is a real modern temple of science. These are comfortable and beautiful buildings in which there is everything for conducting the educational process at the highest level. These are new technologies which students and university professors use in their work and study. These are comfortable classrooms, a beautiful Sports Palace, a variety of opportunities for organizing leisure activities for students. And yet - this is a special attitude of students and teachers to their university, respect and pride in their university: the words "our oil university" speak the way they could say "our house" ...
For the first time in the history of the universities of the Chechen Republic GSOTU has won 14 grants to conduct scientific-research works in the framework of the Federal target program "scientific and Scientific-pedagogical personnel of innovative Russia". Moreover, it became one of the three universities of the North Caucasus district, which won a large grant for the development of the innovative structure of the University.
Developments of GSOTU scientists are already in demand – the University together with one of the private companies of the Chechen Republic won the competition of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia and implemented a project to build a unique geothermal station. This is the first such project in Russia – subsequently, such stations, using Grozny experience, are planned to be built in other regions of the country.
GSOTU now is not just an industry specific university. GSOTU offers a range of degrees in that are in demand in the modern world: electric drive and automation, state municipal administration, taxes and taxation, cars and automobiles, customs, geodesy and land cadastre, the construction of unique buildings and structures, and others.
And yet, not lagging behind time and looking to the future, the university jealously keeps its main "brand" of an oil university, follows its main mission - to train personnel for one of the most important sectors of the economy and successfully cope with this task.