January 25, St Tatiana’s Day, President Vladimir Putin has visited Kazan Federal University and had teleconference with the leading universities in Russia. The event was also participated by SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev and students who shared their views and opinions. The head of the state told that he was happy for his Alma Mater.

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The teleconference, which was held at the Students’ Day, focused on academic mobility, graduate employment, and other current issues of the higher education in Russia. Vladimir Putin congratulated everyone with the Tatiana’s Day and told: “All our endeavours in education, to support talented people and their initiatives, aim to help young people realize their capacities, succeed in life, and be committed to our country. Today I would like to talk about positive experience of the federal universities and those approaches that we should adopt in our education”.

The teleconference was participated by the nine leading Russian universities: Lomonosov Moscow State University, St Petersburg University, Kazan federal University, Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, and others.

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The Rectors and students told the President about academic mobility, graduate portfolios, internships, field works, and practical trainings. St Petersburg University was represented by the Rector, students, post-graduate students, those who won the Russian competitions, grants, participated in the exchange programmes, young scientists, and volunteers.

On behalf of the University, Denis Mikheev who is a master’s student in Sociology shared his views on how the graduation theses are defended to the commission that wholly consists of the employers and told us through about a unique SPbU diploma.

“In 2016, I completed my bachelor’s studies and got a diploma that has information on the academic staff that delivered the classes, a place where I had internship, members of the examination commission, an employer who approved the topic of my graduation thesis and so on. The diploma also has a QR-code that helps an employer get access to the personal information about a graduate at the SPbU web-site: a portfolio, e-version of the diploma, a graduation thesis, a review by the scientific supervisor and reviewers, learning outcomes abroad, grants and scholarships, letters of recognition”, — said Denis Mikheev.

Since 2014, St Petersburg University can automatically accept the learning outcomes in a situation when a student studied abroad in the top 300 universities.  

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The President praised the University for its achievements in education in terms of incorporating state-of-the-art technologies in education and commitment to maintaining strong relationships with employers.

I am happy for my University. You are on the right track. If an employer can gain all information about graduates, it will definitely benefit graduates in being employed.

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

“I think that we should ask the universities to provide information about the employers to the students. It will help them in choosing in what field to specialize and making contacts with the potential employers”, — sad Vladimir Putin.

 To maintain strong relationships with the employers the University created the councils of the educational programmes, said SPbU Rector Nikolay Kropachev: “The councils consist of the representatives of the employers, they work out the entrance and teaching requirements and define the content of the educational programme. It makes them thoroughly engaged in education”. All in all, the University has now 100 councils of the educational programmes with 600 representatives from the employers. The University collaborates with more than 2,500 companies.

The University takes a students’ initiative to include information about the on-line courses the students listened to, said Denis Mikheev. Such diploma is necessary to introduce in all universities in Russia as it provides ample of opportunities to graduates, said Denis Mikheev.

The Russian universities should adopt SPbU’s experience in how the University makes its diploma, with QR-code and students’ portfolios at the web-site.

SPbU master’s students Denis Mikheev

Active engagement of students and academic staff in management of the University’s life is legally approved: each order or decree has a line “Please send your suggestions on how we can improve the present Order at the e-mail of the author of the present Order”.

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At the end of the teleconference, the President expressed his gratitude and once again congratulated everyone with the Tatiana’s Day. “Today we have talked with nearly all federal universities in Russia. Yet other institutions, both of higher or secondary education, are never to be destined to be at the periphery. We should cover all the system. Only by doing so can we achieve what we are trying to achieve: advances in science and educating high-calibre specialists for our country”, — said Vladimir Putin.