St Petersburg University, in partnership with VTB Bank, is launching the Research and Educational Centre for Digital Technologies. It will develop innovative educational products using virtual reality, artificial intelligence, big data and other cutting-edge technologies.

The Centre starts working as part of the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg University (GSOM SPbU).  Its activities will focus on research and development of innovative learning formats in a digital environment using virtual and augmented reality (VR / AR), artificial intelligence (AI), gamification, and big data analysis. VTB's investments will make it possible to implement an integrated approach to the adoption of digital technologies in education, based on the results of applied scientific research.

St Petersburg University strives to consolidate the best expertise of our time to create the knowledge needed today by an expert, manager and leader. Partnership with big business makes it possible for us to share best practices. It can also attract high-calibre experts to develop such promising joint projects as a research and educational centre for digital technologies.

Sergey Mikushev, Vice-Rector for Research of St Petersburg University

‘For example, we are planning to teach soft skills in VR format, and for fast and effective learning, to make micromodular courses in the mobile only format – that is, using only a mobile phone,’ Sergei Lukashkin, Director of the Research and Educational Centre for Digital

Technologies, shares their plans. ‘Information in engaging formats of text, video, audio podcasts and infographics will enable students to gain the most important basic knowledge in minutes.’

One of the objectives of the centre will be the formation of the concept of a student's digital profile. Collecting and analysing the digital footprint will make it possible for students and trainees to more effectively assess their current skill level for planning further individual trajectories of learning and career development. Such a tool will be in demand both for managing the teaching and learning process and in the corporate environment.

‘Education today is an investment in one's own life; further training is a confirmation of the intention to achieve the highest results. Our task is to create a technological environment where students will be able to obtain the most up-to-date knowledge in the most efficient format, which will be in demand on the labour market in a few years,’ said Olga Dergunova, Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board and Director of the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg University.