Professor, Doctor of Philosophy in teacher training science, in 2008 to obtain a degree of Doctor of Science. Professor Nikolaenko graduated from the Agricultural Academy of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic becoming a mechanical engineer (1978) and engineer-educator (1980).
Acting Rector of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. Leader of United Left and Peasants. Head of Public Council of Educators and Researches of Ukraine.
Participant of protests against Kuchma, Orange Revolution, and Euromaidan.
In 1991 he received a degree from the Odessa Institute of Political Science and Sociology. Later he served as the principal of the Krasnoperekopsky vocational school.
1991-2006 - Member of Parliament, four times was elected to Verkhovna Rada (Parliament). 2005-2007 - Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine.
2009 - leader of Justice party (SPRAVEDLIVOST).
2009 - leader of United Left and Peasants. In 2007 SPU lost the parliamentarian elections. In 2008 a group of SPU members including Nikolaenko and Aleksander Baranivskiy founded the "Union for Renewal of Socialist Party of Ukraine" and proposed 10 steps to return into "big policy" stated in the program "A Just Ukraine" to SPU leader Oleksander Moroz.
But the conservative entourage of O. Moroz persuade him to refuse the "road map" for self-protection.
A few months later Nikolaenko was expelled from SPU. On April, 2009 Nikolaenko was elected as a leader of the Justice party. In December 2011 Nikolaenko was elected as a leader of United Left and Peasants.
Nikolaenko participated in 2012 parliamentarian elections and got the third place in electoral district 185 with 16.18% (14 808 popular votes) and thus no seat in the Verkhovna Rada. In 2008 Nikolaenko obtained a Doctorate Degree in Teacher Education.
Since 2009 he has been working as Professor at Higher Education and Law Department of the University of Education Management under the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine.
In June 2014 Nikolaenko was appointed Acting Rector of the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine. Former rector Dmytro Melnychyk disagreed with the appointment of Nikolaenko and sought support at Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food (Ukraine).
Justice Party, Communist Party of the Soviet Union.