Lviv University of Trade and Economics is a heir of the glorious traditions of Lviv Commercial Academy and Lviv Trade and Economic Institute. Its origins as an educational institution for trade specialists training are at specialized schools operating in Lviv in the first half of the XIX century.

The University is proud to be the oldest trade and economic institution of higher education in Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe. March 7, 1816 is its date of birth and is considered to be the day of establishing the Real School, and also the day of publication of the Royal Decree by Francis I the Emperor of Austria (Mieland, No. 78). It was emphasized there that the opening the Imperial and Royal Real School in the city of Lemberg (Lviv) was carried out in order to meet the educational needs of the local population.

The Real School was maintained with the help of the newly introduced local industrial tax. There were two training courses, teaching the curriculum subjects for six hours per day with the exception of the afternoon hours and holidays. The newly established Real School was housed in M. Darovskyi building (now it is Virmenska St., 20).

The opening of the Real School in Lviv took place on November 7, 1817. The cathedral scholiast Minasevych was appointed of its temple director.

In 1825, the three-class Real School in Lviv with its trade department was transformed into the two-class school with a general students training for commercial and technical sciences studying.

In the 1835-1836 academic years the Trade Department, organized in accordance with the project of Vienna Institute, adopted in 1821, was joined to the two-class Real School in Lviv; after the expansion to give the school the status of the Imperial-Royal Real-Trade Academy; to renew the status of teachers in calligraphy, painting and the Polish language and to increase the salary of the director and professors.

On January 24, 1843, the Emperor Ferdinand I issued the decree to open the Real-Trade Academy with a trade and technical, and, if necessary, agricultural department. The court preparatory commission, guided by the decision of the emperor, developed the structure of the future academy. It included: the two-year Real School, the two-year Technical Department and the one-year Trade Department.

In September 1844 the new educational institution received the official name – the Imperial-Royal Technical Academy with the Trade Department. The solemn opening took place on November 4, 1844.

In the 1850s the Technical Academy underwent some organizational changes. In the 1850-1851 academic years the one-year Preparatory Department for young people that wanted to study at the academy without the completion of the Real School was created. That fact, to some degree, expanded studying opportunities for people coming from the lower strata of society. However, the Department did not last long. Under the pretext that due to its mediation insufficiently trained persons penetrated to the academy, it was closed in 1857. In 1853, a biennial secondary school affiliated to the Academy began to operate – the only secondary school in Galicia of that time which trained specialists in commercial business. However, the school did not last long, because most trade specialists were trained by merchants themselves through the system of apprenticeship. Tradesmen, bookkeepers, merchants acquired professional knowledge directly at stores and wholesale shops. However, taking into account the acute need to establish at least one properly organized trade school in the region like Galicia, where the number of trade and financial institutions and industrial societies constantly increased, the Board of Professors in 1872 returned to the restoration of the trade department that existed until 1853 p.

The two-year training course (up to 30 academic hours, 15 hours a week for each course) was introduced again. At the same time, the requirements for entrants increased. Each of them had to complete at least the lower Real School or gymnasium. At the same time, teaching staff was strengthened. This proposal was approved by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Education on November 29, 1872, at the same time calling on the Board of Professors to submit, as soon as possible, detailed proposals for the transformation of the trade department into an independent educational institution. However, the process of transformation was delayed in time, despite the fact that in the same year the Board of Professors submitted proposals, thoroughly elaborated together with the representatives of the Lviv Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Ministry.

In 1875 the Board of Professors again had to improve the educational process at the trade department. It was caused by the socio-economic conditions of the region’s development, which demanded a growing number of professionals with trade and financial education. The situation was enhanced by the creation of the commercial department at the Railway Administration. During that period, the Council of the City of Lviv established the City Trade School with a two-year evening course, which was supposed to give students basic knowledge about trade. It functioned until 1899.

On September 8, 1899, Emperor Franz Josef took into consideration the information on the establishment of the State Trade School in Lviv, by the highest decision. On the basis of the statute approved by the Minister of Religious Affairs and Education by an order dated August 16, 1899, the Trade School is the first state institution of this kind in Halychyna. The same order stated that the opening of the new school would take place on November 1, 1899. In particular, it mentioned the first class of the Higher Commerce School, to which the next classes would be subsequently joined as well as the class of the supplementary trade school, which could begin the systematic training already in 1899-1900 academic year.

In 1902, the Higher School of Commerce in Lviv gained the status of the Academy of Trade and the official recognition of the main educational centre in Galicia for training of highly skilled professionals in the field of trade. In the trade circles, the Academy had a good reputation, as evidenced by the large number of people willing to enter this institution.

In 1902-1910, the Academy of Trade established itself as an educational institution that trained trade specialists of the highest qualification. Unfortunately, the number of students of autochthonous, Ukrainian nationality was insignificant in the Academy as well as in other educational institutions of Lviv. However, these were mainly patriotic young people who actively defended the national interests of Ukrainians.

In September 1918, the academic year in the educational establishment began in an orderly manner. However, the situation in the country was marked by insecurity. Anticipating the close disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire weakened by the war and national liberation movements and being influenced by the existence of the Ukrainian state in the Naddniprianshchyna (Dnipro Ukraine), Western Ukrainians began to prepare for the establishment of their own independent state. From November 1, 1918, in higher educational institutions of Lviv, education was paralyzed. For almost a year, from November 1918 to the summer of 1919, the Academy was not functioning as an educational establishment because Ukrainian students entered the Ukrainian Galician Army, while Polish students volunteered to join the Polish army

In 1919-1921, the Academy of Commerce retained the nature of the institution of education, in which mostly Poles studied. Not only teachers identified themselves as Polish, but also most students. According to official data, only two Ukrainians, two Germans and an Englishman studied in the university.

On April 3, 1922, the Presidium of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry unanimously decided to establish a higher educational institution in Lviv. The Organizing Committee prepared a charter and a curriculum, which was subsequently proposed to the Ministry of Religions and Education for approval.

Under the statute, the official name of the educational institution is the Higher School of Foreign Trade in Lviv. The task of the school was to train specialists in foreign and domestic trade. At first, only one faculty had to function in the school, but later it was planned to open other faculties.

The academic year of 1937-1938 was significant in that the Higher School of Foreign Trade received the status of an academic institution.

On November 1, 1939, on the basis of the Academy of Foreign Trade, the Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade was founded. The training of specialists was carried out in the following specialties: commodity study of industrial goods, commodity research of grocery products, economics and planning of Soviet trade, accounting in Soviet trade.

After the capture of Lviv by Hitler’s troops in June 1941, the Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade, as other educational institutions, ceased to exist.

In 1942-1943 in the western regions of Ukraine, the Nazis allowed the functioning of 34 secondary schools of trade. In fact, on the basis of the Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade, trade and professional courses operated during 1942-1944.

On July 27, 1944, the Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade restarted its work. It operated three faculties (trade and economics, accounting, economics and commodity science). At the Institute there were the Central Courses of the People's Commissariat for the Improvement of the Qualifications of Accountants and Planners, the Lviv branch of the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Soviet Trade, as well as Preparatory courses for admission to higher education institutions.

In connection with the transformation of the All-Union Committee on Higher Education into the Ministry of Higher Education of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR approved a list of 305 higher educational institutions that were transferred directly to the Ministry of Higher Education of the USSR. In this list among the economic higher educational establishments there was also the Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade.

On April 7, 1945, the transfer of the Kharkov Institute of Soviet Cooperative Trade of the Ukoopspole system from the city of Kharkiv to Lviv took place. The Ukrainian Institute of Soviet Cooperative Trade was located on the street. Parkhomenka (now it is U. Samchuka St.) 9. There were three faculties functioning at the Institute: commodity study, trade-economic, accounting and economic.

In 1947 an association of Ukrainian Institute of Soviet Cooperative Trade and Lviv Institute of Soviet Trade took place. The reorganized institute was named Lviv Trade and Economic Institute and was subordinated to the Main Department of Higher Educational Establishments of Economics of the Ministry of Higher Education of the USSR. The Institute was located in two buildings – in Chkalova Street (now it is Tuhan-Baranovskoho Str., 10), and Parkhomenka Street (now it is Samchuka Str., 9). According to the Statute, the institute had three faculties: accounting-economic, trade-economic, commodity-study – and 18 departments.

On October 12, 1953, in accordance with the decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU  “On measures for the further development of soviet trade” by the order of the Minister of Culture of the USSR from November 18, 1953,  Lviv Trade and Economic Institute was returned to the Central Union from January 1, 1954. During this period, the institute was  mainly specialized in the training of specialists for the Soviet state and partly cooperative trade in the specialties: economists of trade, accountants-economists, financiers, commodity experts of industrial and food products of higher qualification.  A significant part of graduates was sent to pedagogical work.

Since 1963, in accordance with the decree of the Board of the Central Union from July 2, 1962, scientific research fruit and vegetable laboratory and commodity research station started to function in the Institute.

The period 1964-1974 was a difficult decade both in the activitity of Lviv Trade and Economic Institute and in the socio-political life of the Ukrainian people in general. The period of “Brezhnev’s stagnation”, which replaced “Khrushchov’s thaw”, was characterized by a new onset of the totalitarian-communist system in all sections of the public-political life of Ukraine, including the sphere of education. However, the staff of the institute, focusing not on party dogma but on common sense, continued intensive work, improved and expanded its activity, developed the scientific and educational, material and technical base of the educational institution, trained qualified specialists for the national economy of the country.

Throughout 1974-1985 the Institute developed, its material and technical base was strengthened, the number of students increased, the qualitaty of teachers’ staff improved, who in their work gradually got rid of black-and-white ideological thinking and stock phrases of the Soviet educational system.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s Lviv Trade and Economic Institute was internationally recognized having lots of graduates from many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 1993 the Faculty of International Economic Relations was started. Meantime, the institution actively supported the processes of national-patriotic revival, consequently the educational process and its office work were translated into the Ukrainian language.

Until 1991, the Lviv Trade and Economic Institute was subordinated to the Central Union of the USSR, then since August 1991 – to Ukoopspilka. The leadership improved the structure of the Institute, tried to use the teaching staff more rationally, significantly improved the educational process and scientific activity.

The decision of the interdepartmental accreditation committee of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine of September 15, 1994, record No. 13 and the Order of the Ministry of Education of Ukraine of October 3, 1994, No. 278, supported the proposal of the administration and the Ukoopspilka Board to change the status of the institute for the status of the Academy. By the decision of the Board of Ukoopspilka on December 8, 1994, No. 166, on the basis of the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of November 26, 1994, the Lviv Trade and Economic Institute was transformed into Lviv Academy of Commerce.

Lviv Academy of Commerce trained specialists of the higher educational qualification of all levels including bachelors, masters and the specialists, who were awarded the scientific degrees of the candidate of economic sciences. The scientific and research activity was successfully carried out on regular basis as well as the examination of goods, providing tutorials and services. The scientific and pedagogical staff with the assignment of academic degrees like associate professors and professors was trained in the Academy of Commerce, providing an advanced training, retraining of personnel, and preparation of young people for admission to higher educational institutions. Scientific-methodical and information- cultural, educational and recreational activities were conducted in the institution as well as financial and economic work, external relations and international cooperation were successfully implemented.

During 1993-2009, the enrollment for full-time and part-time university programs was increasing within all specialties. That was explained not only by effective vocational guidance work, which is not less important but first of all by the fact that the Academy held one of the highest positions in the ranking among other economic universities.

Due to the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” in 2014, the Academy created new departments and reorganized existing ones, in particular, the faculty of correspondence education was liquidated and groups of part-time students  were transferred to the Institute and other faculties of the Academy.

On April 15, 2016, in accordance with the Central Union Resolution Consumer Societies of Ukraine № 95 dated December 24, 2015, by agreement with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine (Letter № 1 / 11-3984 dated March 25, 2016) Lviv Commercial Academy was renamed Lviv University of Trade and Economics.

In 1996 on the basis of the university the Educational and Scientific Complex “Academy” was created, which remains in operation today. The Complex includes Khmelnytskyi Cooperative Trade and Economic Institute, Vinnytsia Cooperative Institute, Mukachevo Cooperative College of Trade and Economics, Rivne Cooperative Economics Law College, Ternopil Cooperative Trade and Economic College, Chernivtsi Cooperative Economic and Law College, and Lviv Cooperative College of Economics and Law.

At the present stage, the training of specialists is carried out by structural subdivisions of the university, as follows: the Institute of Economics and Finance; the Educational Scientific Institute of Postgraduate Education; the Faculty of International Economic Relations and Information Technologies; the Faculty of Commodity, Management and Servicing; the Faculty of Law. The work in the sphere of communication and information technologies is coordinated by the Educational and Scientific Information Institute.

The university structure also includes specialized defense councils on Doctor and Ph.D. theses, Ukrainian Institute “Ukopinformproject”, Research Laboratory of Economic Assessment, Business center “Intereconomics”, Modern European Languages Center, Recruitment Agency and Publishing House. Today, the University is a modern educational and academic European institution, where all the conditions for successful training and scientific growth of the youth to the level of highly qualified specialists are created, which meets the requirements of today’s employers. Our Alma Mater always holds high positions in the rankings among higher educational institutions of Ukraine and has significant advantages over other universities that train specialists in the field of economics and trade.