The ninth graduation ceremony of the students of ‘POMOR’ Master's programme takes place at St Petersburg University

The graduates of the Russian-German master's programme for Polar and Marine Sciences (POMOR) have received their degree certificates at an award ceremony held at St Petersburg University and Universität Hamburg.

The ceremony was conducted by Georgii Cherkashev, Professor in the Department of Mineral Deposits, St Petersburg University, Doctor of Geology and Mineralogy and Academic Supervisor of the POMOR programme from the Russian side. A total of 20 students graduated this year. Some of them attended the ceremony in person and some online. Georgii Cherkashev said that degree certificates will be sent by post to all graduates who were unable to come to St Petersburg due to coronavirus restrictions.

Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities of St Petersburg University, gave a welcoming speech. ‘The POMOR programme of St Petersburg University and Universität Hamburg is unique in many ways. Firstly, within this programme we have a close and fruitful cooperation with our colleagues from Hamburg. Secondly, this cooperation enables us to train future polar researchers who will be experts in various problems of the Arctic. Everything about Arctic research is of particular importance to the University,’ said Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities of St Petersburg University.

St Petersburg and St Petersburg University are the organising centre of Arctic-related work in Russia. I would like to wish the graduates to have a successful research career and the teachers to be proud of their students.

Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities of St Petersburg University

For his part, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs of St Petersburg University, noted that the University is the most international university in Russia. ‘St Petersburg University has more than 5,000 partners all over the world that include both universities and companies. We already have several representative offices abroad. Another will have opened in Berlin by the end of this year. And it is the master's programme "POMOR" that is one of the most international at the University. Not only students from Russia and Germany, but also from many other countries around the world study in this programme. This programme has become a great contribution into the development of international contacts of St Petersburg University, and its graduates are highly demanded specialists,’ stressed Sergey Andryushin.

According to Kirill Chistiakov, Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences, the difficulties caused by the pandemic have not prevented POMOR students from successfully mastering the programme and defending their master's theses.

‘We have the best teachers and scientists at the University. And today you receive degree certificates that confirm your readiness to become the next generation of the best polar researchers. You now have the opportunity to form successful research teams on your own. We wish you success and new expeditions and discoveries. We will be glad to see you again within the walls of the University’, said Kirill Chistiakov

The graduates of the programme were also congratulated by: Dr Susanne Fretzdorff from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the programme supervisor from the German side; and Professor Christian Beer from the University of Hamburg. Professor Christian Beer said that POMOR is an international and interdisciplinary programme. ‘In the programme, graduates work together with researchers and scientists from different countries and different fields. This enables young scientists to pursue a “polar track” in science. The graduates also have very good opportunities to develop in other fields related to polar research,’ specified Christian Beer.

Dr Heidemarie Kassens, Head of the POMOR Programme Coordination Office at GEOMAR, reminded us that this is the ninth graduation of the POMOR master’s programme. ‘On the one hand, I am sad to say goodbye to our students. On the other hand, I am very happy that we have taught qualified polar researchers with a broad outlook. Society and science need such specialists’, concluded Heidemarie Kassens.

The Russian-German master's programme for Polar and Marine Sciences (POMOR) is an academic-oriented two-year programme delivered entirely in English. During the first and second semester, training takes place at St Petersburg University with the participation of professors from Russia and Germany. The third semester is spent in Germany at one of the partner universities (Universität Hamburg, the University of Bremen, Kiel University or the University of Potsdam). Between the second and third semester, students do field practice. This includes participation in international expeditions to the Arctic. Both Russian and German professors teach and supervise internships and master's theses. Students receive two degree certificates after their final examinations: the Master's degree of St Petersburg University and the Master's degree in Natural Sciences of Universität Hamburg .