Our History

The Terek Institute for National Education opened on 21 August 1920. The first director of the institute was Georgii Kesayev. The institute started with two faculties, Society and History as well as Physics and Mathematics, consisting of four departments. First and second level pilot schools opened with a Society and History; Caucasus Studies; Physics, Nature and Geography as well as a Labor Processes section. The second director of the institute was a linguist and one of the first North Caucasian professors, Boris Alborov.

In 1921 Terek Oblast was renamed the Highland Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and consequently, the institute’s name changed to the Highland Pedagogical Institute. Later, before the 1922/1923 academic year, it was renamed again to the Highland Practical Institute of Regional Education. New sections were initiated, namely, pedology and education; chemistry and machinery; physics and technology as well as humanities and literature with Russian, Ossetian, Kabardino-Cherkessian and Karachai-Balkar subdivisions. The institute started offering specialization degrees and according to records from 15 September 1932 seventy-five students were already enrolled for these degrees at the time.

The government merged the North Caucasus and Ossetia Education Institute in August 1938 and named the new organization North Ossetia State Education Institute. It became the third tertiary institution of its kind in the Soviet Union specializing in education studies.

A year later Kosta Khetagurov, the founder of Ossetian literature, was added to the name of the institute.

Altogether six hundred people – including students, lecturers, workers and personnel – were recruited to leave the institute and join the Red Army to participate in the Great Patriotic War, better known as World War II in the West. More than a hundred of them did not return.

The building of the Princess Olga Gymnasium for Girls was allocated to the institute after the 1917 revolution and today it houses the university’s School of Physics and Technology.

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, Aleksei Kosygin, signed a decree on 2 November 1969 establishing the North Ossetia State University on the premises of the North Ossetia State Institute in Ordzhonikidze (presently Valdikavkaz). The All-Union Law Institute, the Ministry of Tertiary and Secondary Specialist Education of the Soviet Union, the Distance Education Institute of Soviet Trade and the Ministry of Trade of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in Ordzhonikidze endorsed the university with training and consultation functions and facilities. The first Rector was Professor Christopher Chibirov. NOSU was the 40th university founded in the Soviet Union.