Another formal ceremony of awarding certificates of international and professional-public accreditation was held at St Petertsburg University. The seven SPbU programmes have won the recognition of experts who are representatives of potential employers and international specialists.
The Agency for Quality Control of Education and Career Development (AQCECD) has completed the work on organizing and conducting an external expertise of the quality of SPbU programmes in four areas ("Cartography and Geoinformatics", "Tourism", "Programming and Information Technologies" and "Applied Mathematics and Physics"). This work took more than six months. The full-time accreditation stage took place at the end of March 2018. Members of professional and public and international expert commissions noted the high level of education at the University. They also made a number of commentaries and recommendations for the further development of accredited programmes, which is especially important. At the award ceremony, Marina Lavrikova, the Vice-rector for educational and methodical work of St Petersburg University, said that the recommendations received will help to determine in many respects the vector of the future development of the country's first university.
Marina Lavrikova also said: "For us, the accreditation procedure is not just a formality. The quality control of the educational process by international experts and representatives of professional communities helps us to make sure that SPbU does not stay in the same place and is constantly developing. Despite the fact that healthy conservatism gives the University stability, it is important to focus on what happens outside."
Erika Soboleva, the general director of AQCECD added: "The task of the university is not just to pass accreditation, but to constantly confirm the quality of its education. Now, the most effective tools for this are audit procedures, during which external independent experts assess if the programme corresponds to what it claims, as well as the current trends in the global educational space".
Marina Lavrikova added that today the Russian higher education system is moving towards a competitive environment. In this regard, she noted that every recognition from real customers-employers is very important. "Today, the procedure of state accreditation is more like a revision of documents, which is often far from real verification of the quality of education. However, now there is an intention to reform the existing system. So, it is planned to take into account the already existing documents confirming University quality during the quality assessment period. This raises simultaneously the importance of certificates that we receive today. Marina Lavrikova said: “Read more about the work that is currently being carried out in the Ministry of Education to improve the verification procedures in the materials of the Rector's meeting of May 14, 2018”.
At the formal ceremony of awarding certificates confirming the high level of the quality of education at the University accreditations were received for the maximum duration. It was attended by: the heads of educational programmes, who are participants of accreditation; representatives of scientific and pedagogical workers of SPSU participating in the implementation of accredited programmes; and the members of Educational Programmes Office, which organized accreditation procedures.
The Bachelor's degree programme "Technology and organisation of tour operators and travel agencies services" and its successor - a new educational programme "Tourism" - are accredited until May 2022 by the Association of Managers of Russia and the International Accreditation Council of AQCECD. The Bachelor's degree programme "Cartography and Geoinformatics" and the Master's degree programme "Geoinformation mapping" have been recognized by the international experts of AQCECD for the period up to 2022, and by the Association of Geological Organisations (AGO) until 2022 and 2021 respectively. The Bachelor’s and Master's degree programmes "Applied Physics and Mathematics" and the Bachelor's degree program "Programming and Information Technologies" have received the international accreditation for four years.