КThe chronicle of higher school in Nizhyn dates back to 1805, when Count I. Bezborodko, in reply to his request, received the tsar's permission for the construction of a Gymnasium in Nizhyn. On 25 July 1805 the Russian senate adopted a resolution on founding Prince Bezborodko's Gymnasium of Higher Learning in Nizhyn
The main building of the gymnasium was designed in the style of classical architecture by a famous 19th-century architect, Luigi Rusca. After I. Bezborodko's death in 1815 the construction of the gymnasium was continued by his grandson, O. Kushelyov-Bezborodko, who later became its honoured administrator.
Prince Bezborodko's Gymnasium of Higher Learning was opened for studies on 4 September 1820. The gymnasium focused on the Humanities and it was initially an educational establishment for the sons of the gentry. Its nine-year programme offered a classical education with instruction in Religion, Classical and Modern Languages, Geography, History,Physics and Mathematics, Political Economy, Military Science and the Arts.
The first director was Vasyl Kukolnyk, an outstanding scholar, Doctor of Law, Philosophy, Arts. He taught Chemistry, Technology and Agriculture, Physics, the Roman Law etc.
During the 200 years of the existence of the Higher School in Nizhyn it has changed its role several times: Prince Bezborodko Gymnasium of Higher Learning (1820-1832), Technical (Physics and Mathematics) Lyceum (1832-1840), Law School (1840-1875), Prince Oleksandr Bezborodko Historical-Philological Institute (1875-1921), Nizhyn Institute of People's Education (1921-1934), Nizhyn Gogol State Pedagogical University (1998-2004). On 15 October 2004 it became Nizhyn State University named after Mykola Gogol.