1. Organising the University activities in May

The educational and other activities of the University will continue to be organised in the same distance mode. At the meeting, it was noted that the interim and final assessment of students will proceed entirely in the online format.

2. Organisation of the educational process using information and communication technologies

The monitoring results and reports of the directors of institutes and deans of faculties related to the organisation of the educational process using information and communication technologies have been analysed. Given the specifics of the educational programmes and the capabilities of the staff of the institutes / faculties, various online communication tools are used. At the same time, there were practically no disruptions of classes. The dean of one of the faculties described how difficulties with conducting seminars in a particular group of students were discovered as a result of well-established feedback with the faculty student council. That was caused by the reluctance of a particular teacher to use online platforms for conducting classes. The dean of the faculty, supported by the head of the appropriate academic department, solved the problem in a timely manner.

3. Additional competencies for students and graduates of St Petersburg University

The transition of the educational process to the distance format partially solved the problem of the University's territorial disunity. Previously, students often could not attend related classes in other fields of study, as they simply did not have enough time to get from one building of the University to another. Now, with the transition to online teaching and learning, this problem can be solved in a different way. In this regard, Marina Lavrikova suggested that the development of additional competencies be organised for students in their graduation year. Currently, these competencies are not provided for by their educational programmes. Yet, they can be developed by studying certain online courses that our students now have access to. These are courses in the following fields:

  • teaching competencies using distance learning technologies;
  • data analysis and management, including digital transformation of businesses;
  • information technology and information protection for soft skills development; and
  • learning foreign languages as an additional skill in business communication.

The second proposal: to give this year's graduates an opportunity to take online courses in July and August.

The directors and deans were instructed to: send their proposals to supplement the list of competencies that can be offered as optional courses to St Petersburg University students of various years. In addition, Marina Lavrikova suggested that all staff members should work together to work out the possibility of organising the participation of students of various programmes in the online educational process.

4. Preparing for the state final assessment

The regulations for conducting the state final assessment using only online educational technologies have been approved (Order No 3896/1 'On approval of the regulations ...' dated 06 May 2020). The development of the regulations took into account: the proposals of the heads of departments on the sequence of actions, timing and forms of materials presentation; and the participation of coordinators and their interaction with the members of the State Examination Board. The instructions for coordinators, who are employees of the Academic Division and Information Technology Division, are almost ready.

Since 12 May 2020, the University has resumed testing the connection of students to the proctoring system. The first students tested will be those of: the Institute of Earth Sciences; the Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communications; the Institute of History; and the Institute of Philosophy. All students will be informed in advance of the date and time of testing by corporate e-mail. The procedure may be postponed for those who will not be able to take part in the testing on the fixed date. During the meeting, issues raised by students, teachers and members of the State Examination Board in their appeals to the Virtual Reception were also discussed (Exams in economics; State exams; How the challenges of time are changing the final assessment procedures; Economists included in the State Examination Board are against the abolition of the state exam).

5. Participation of University students in the Employment Assistance Programme

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation has specified five pilot programmes to promote the employment of students of higher educational institutions in the Russian Federation.

To implement the programme in St Petersburg, the programme of St Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design was selected. State universities in St Petersburg select the appropriate areas of work for their students and implement relevant socially significant projects.

As part of the Employment Assistance Programme, St Petersburg University ensures the implementation of projects aimed at providing non-repayable aid to socially vulnerable groups of the population. That includes: the provision of psychological, legal, financial and other types of aid; as well as online counselling on various everyday issues and issues related to the delivery of food, medicines and primary commodities to elderly people. University students who are on self-isolation are included.

The provision of aid is organised mainly through the practical training of students at St Petersburg University in the form of clinical practices at: the University Psychological Clinic; the University Social Clinic; the University Centre for Financial Literacy; the University Sociological Clinic of Applied Research; the University Centre for IT and Engineering Competencies (IT Clinic); and the University Legal Clinic. That allows us not only to help the disadvantaged groups of citizens, but also to increase the level of our students' professional training. In addition, aid is also provided by students working at the University Volunteering Centre. One more area is advising citizens on various issues, including those related to admission to St Petersburg University.

The programme encompasses the period from 1 May to 31 August 2020. Students can participate in it either during the entire period of its implementation, or in particular months. As of 12 May 2020, the University recommended 756 students as potential participants in the programme. The recommendations were based on the proposals from the directors and the deans. More than 90 of them have already entered into employment contracts. The rest are in the process of collecting documents and formalising their labour relations.

For prospective employment within the framework of this programme, the directors and the deans were advised to send additional lists of students willing to participate in the above-mentioned projects to: Aleksandr Babich, Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Admissions.

6. The deans' interaction with student councils

The deans of the Faculty of Political Science (Aleksandr Kurochkin), the Faculty of Law (Sergei Belov), and the School of International Relations (Irina Novikova) informed their colleagues about their successful experience in interacting with the student councils. According to the speakers, all issues are resolved quickly if the directors and the deans effectively organise the work of teachers and regularly communicate with the student council members.

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 17 August 2020

1. St Petersburg University in ARWU-2020 ranking

The ARWU-2020 university ranking, that reflects statistics for 2019, has been published. St Petersburg University is the only Russian organisation recognised for in the Highly Cited Researchers criterion (Researchers from St Petersburg University are listed as the most cited scientists in the world).

In this group the University is represented by three luminary scientists: Gennady Leonov, Nikolay Kuznetsov, and Raul Gainetdinov who are registered with St Petersburg University as their primary affiliation. The University was therefore awarded an extra 12 points, which raised its ranking by dozens of positions as the common graph  shows. The University Administration is committed to seeing more high citation researchers among the University academic staff, as well as to support already employed high citation researchers.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 10 August 2020

1. Organisation of work amid measures to prevent COVID-19 spread

The University continues its operation in the existing format through 16 August 2020. Since 29 July the University Scientific Library has been open by prior registration to University visitors, teachers, research fellows, and administrative staff (Order No 6896/1 dated 24 July 2020 ‘Amendments to...’). A temporary procedure for all visitors to access the University museum collection was also approved. Now the Dmitri Mendeleev Museum and Archives and the Vladimir Nabokov Museum are operating according to a temporary timetable; the University is going to reopen access to its other collections in the near future (Museums of St Petersburg University reopen to visitors). The number of visitors inside the museum is strictly limited (5 or 10 visitors maximum depending on the museum indoor area).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 3 August 2020

1. Admissions to degree programmes

31 July was the deadline for acceptance of documents and applications for aspirantura programmes. Compared to 2019, this year the number of applicants has grown by almost 300. At the moment, the period of admissions tests for applicants to aspirantura programmes has started.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 27 July 2020

1. Measures to prevent COVID-19 spread

From 27 July to 16 August 2020 the University continues to operate in the existing mode. Since 29 July the University Scientific Library is open by prior registration to University visitors, teachers, research fellows, and administrative staff (Order No 6896/1 dated 24 July 2020 ‘Amendments to...’). The Dmitri Mendeleev Museum and the Vladimir Nabokov Museum are reopening their doors to visitors. The number of visitors inside the museum is strictly limited (5 visitors maximum).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 20 July 2020

1. Meeting of the St Petersburg University  Board of Trustees

On 15 July the St Petersburg University Board of Trustees held a meeting that was attended by President of the Board Dmitry Medvedev. The agenda was focused on the territorial development of St Petersburg University. Dmitry Medvedev noted that St Petersburg University has a fairly positive image in international university rankings. He highlighted that the University’s territorial development is bound to ensure future success of its students by establishing technical capacities for years to come. The full text of Dmitry Medvedev’s speech is available in the VKontakte official group of St Petersburg University.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 13 July 2020

The Rector's meeting was held on 13 July 2020 via video conference. It addressed the following issues:

1. Admission to the academic programmes of St Petersburg University

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 6 July 2020

The Rector's meeting was held on 6 July 2020 as a video conference. It addressed the following issues:

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 29 June 2020

The meeting was conducted as a video conference, and it addressed the following issues.

1.  Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 22 June 2020

As proposed by the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Korpachev, the meeting began with a moment of silence to mark the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow.

The participants of the meeting also held a moment of silence for Vataniar Saidovich Yagya, professor emeritus of St Petersburg University (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/pamyati-pochetnogo-professora-spbgu-vatanyara-saidovicha-yagi) and the deceased St Petersburg University student Egor Panshin. 

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 15 June 2020

The University Rector Nikolay Kropachev suggested observing a minute of silence in tribute to the death of Vladislav Golikov, a University student (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/pamyati-vladislava-golikova).

On 15 June 2020 the Rector’s meeting was held in videoconference format. The agenda was as follows:

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 8 June 2020

1. St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology laid the first stone of the joint campus

On 7 June 2020 the ceremonial laying of the first stone of the joint campus of St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology took place in Harbin (PRC). Wang Wentao, Governor of the People's Government of Heilongjiang Province, the Rector of Harbin Institute of Technology Zhou Yu, and other officials witnessed the ceremony. Nikolay Kropachev, the Rector of St Petersburg University, participated in videoconference format (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/spbgu-i-harbinskiy-politehnicheskiy-universitet-nachali-stroitelstvo-sovmestnogo).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 1 June 2020

The University Rector Nikolay Kropachev  invited all meeting participants to observe a minute of silence  in honour of Innokentiy Zinoviev, Colonel (Res.) and Chairman of the University Council of Veterans of War, Labour, and Armed Forces (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/pamyati-predsedatelya-soveta-veteranov-voyny-truda-i-voennoy-sluzhby-spbgu), and Viktor Riazanov, Chairman of the Department of Economics Theory and Honoured Professor of the University (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/ushel-iz-zhizni-vydayushchiysya-uchenyy-ekonomist-professor-viktor-timofeevich).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 426 dated 19 May 2020

1. Organization of teaching within military education programmes

The meeting started a few minutes late since N.M. Kropachev was having a talk with the State Secretary/Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, General N.A. Pankov about the organization of military training sessions for the University students during the pandemic. Earlier, the Virtual Reception Office received several requests, expressing concern about the upcoming military training sessions. Due to the shift towards distance learning, many university students went home to their native regions and, in their opinion, because of the epidemic prevention measures they might not be able to return in time for the military training sessions. Furthermore, according to the students, a long journey could increase the chances of getting sick and “bringing the virus” to the military training locations.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 427 dated 25 May 2020

1. Activities of SPbU Choir during the COVID-19 pandemic

At the beginning of the Rector’s Meeting, all the participants had a change to listen to the recording of the song “Our University” composed by L. Tikhomirov and performed by SPbU Choir (artistic director E. Krotman). 

This is not the first composition recorded by the University Choir during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Earlier, the choir already performed online the song “Coronavirus shall not pass!” composed by Sergei Pleshak.

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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting No 424 dated 12 May 2020

1. Organising the University activities in May

The educational and other activities of the University will continue to be organised in the same distance mode. At the meeting, it was noted that the interim and final assessment of students will proceed entirely in the online format.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 425 dated 15 May 2020

1. Organization of interim assessment

Interim assessment in the spring semester of the academic year 2019/2020 is organized to be held remotely, using the technologies suggested by the directors and the deans. The same tools are used that were used for teaching online classes. More than 9,000 students have already taken their tests and exams. Only a few requests connected with organizational matters were submitted by the students via the Virtual Reception service. There were also requests related to the assessment of exam results. The Virtual Reception service did not receive any requests from either students, the teacher staff or other staff members of the University in connection with the matters of technical organization of online interim assessment.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 423 dated 6 May 2020

1. State final certification in distance format

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 422 dated 02 May 2020

1. Set up of academic activities from May 1 to 11

Set up of University academic activities from May 1 to 11 was discussed (Order no. 3808/1 dated April 30, 2020 ‘On the implementation of academic programs’).

It was noted that the academic process the academic process has been running in distance format for over a month. The Virtual Reception is continuously receiving enquiries from students asking when education will return back to normal. The University is committed to follow the rules and regulations enforced in St. Petersburg as a Russian Federation constituent.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 421 dated 02 March 2020

1. SPbU Olympiad for School Students and Doors Open Days

Despite negative attitudes expressed by the majority of directors and deans at the Rector’s meeting on March 13 regarding the in-presence format of the SPbU Olympiad for School Students (Materials of the Rector’s meeting dated March 16, 2020), the University hosted the in-presence finals of the SPbU Olympiad for School Students on March 14 and 15 in six subject fields (The finals of the SPbU Olympiad for School Students are over).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting No 420 dated 16 March 2020

1. Agreement between SPbU and the Ministry of Higher and Secondary-Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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