A meeting with a Finnish delegation took place at St Petersburg University. The parties signed a framework cooperation agreement and discussed the issue of technologies' influence on present-day education.
As Sergey Andryushin, SPbU Deputy Rector for International Activity, noted, great work had been done since the previous meeting: for example, the University had developed a draft project for cooperation the Helsinki Education Department. 'Various mobility programmes for the students of both SPbU and Academic Gymnasium are currently implemented at our University,' Sergey Andryushin said. 'SPbU is engaged into various activities with a wide range of its international partners. Their list is not limited to higher education institutions only, but also includes schools, gymnasiums and lyceums. We are certainly interested in developing cooperation with Finland, our nearest neighbour.' He reminded the audience that the 2017 international admissions campaign had been launched on 1 February. Detailed information on the regulations for admission to SPbU educational programmes was sent to foreign embassies in Russia and foreign missions of the Russian Federation. Upon request of the Finnish colleagues, SPbU will also send the said information to the Helsinki Education Department.
Some of SPbU's educational programmes are primarily aimed at international students. For instance, Finnish applicants may get interested in "Polar and Marine Sciences", a double-degree programme jointly implemented with major European universities. All the information about the programmes and their operation can be found in the Admission section of the SPbU website. Oxana Mustonen, a lecturer at the IB World School, suggested that an SPbU Open Day be organised in Helsinki, to inform as much prospective applicants as possible on the SPbU educational programmes. During such an event meetings between SPbU representatives and Finnish applicants can also be organised, where the latter could be given answers to questions of their current interest. Ms Mustonen said that medicine and law had become the most demanded fields of study among Finnish young people.
Using state-of-the-art technologies in the educational process was another issue discussed during the meeting. Liisa Pohjolainen, Director of the Helsinki Education Department, noted that digitalisation had developed into a sunrise industry modifying the structure of training, and Finland was seriously working in that field. Now Finnish school students take almost all final examinations in the electronic form. Marina Lavrikova, SPbU Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Methodological Support, noted that it would be quite advantageous to exchange best practices and discuss new technologies currently applied in education. 'St Petersburg University has a large-scale Research Park and 60 research centres specialising in various fields of natural science,' Marina Lavrikova added. 'A new experimental venue has recently been launched at SPbU for school students of our region. This is a place where they can carry out laboratory research and acquire scientific knowledge using state-of-the-art equipment.'
At the end of the meeting, Ari Huovinen, Principal of Ressu Upper Secondary School and IB World School 1419, Liisa Pohjolainen and Sergey Andryushin signed a framework cooperation agreement and discussed prospects of further cooperation.