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.

In order to resolve this issue, the University administration consulted the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. The rector informed the participants of the meeting about the results of his conversation with the State Secretary/Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, General N.A. Pankov. As soon as the decision is formally documented and is received by SPbU, the University students will be immediately informed.

2. SPbU Professor A.V. Kavokin is the first Russian scientist to receive the Quantum Devices Award

Professor A.V. Kavokin, the Head of the SPbU Spin Optics Laboratory, has become the first Russian scientist to receive the Quantum Devices Award. The Organising Committee stated that the prize was awarded to Alexey Kavokin for predicting Bose-Einstein exciton and excitonic polaron condensation at room temperature, which led to the development of polariton lasers. These lasers can be used to create qubits, the basic units of quantum computers of the future.

Because of the global pandemic, the awards ceremony will take place next year, during the Compound Semiconductor Week 2021 in Sweden.

The Quantum Devices Award was initiated in 2000 by Fujitsu Quantum Devices Ltd., affiliated with Fujitsu, a major Japanese electronics manufacturer and IT company. Today the award is supported by the ISCS Japanese Committee - the Japanese section of the Steering Committee of the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors - along with two other prestigious scientific awards, namely the Welker Award and the Young Scientist Award. (The SPbU physicist Alexey Kavokin has become the first Russian scientist to receive the ISCS 2020 Quantum Devices Award.)

3. On the possibility of taking final state examinations next year

The Virtual Reception Office received a request from a student of Asian studies, who believes that due to the cancellation of final state exams, the graduates of the “Asian and African Studies” programme will be unable to prove their knowledge of rare oriental languages. It was explained at the meeting that there are several ways to address this issue. As you know, since 2010 SPbU has been issuing its own institutional diplomas to its graduates. During these years, the format of the diploma has been improved several times. For example, starting with 2016, all diplomas have a QR code that allows potential employers to obtain full information about the graduate. By following the link to the personal page of the University graduate on the SPbU portal, the employer can also read the text of his diploma paper/project.

The right of SPbU to issue its own diplomas provides for a lot of opportunities. At the meeting, it was decided to allow students graduating in 2020, if they so wish, to take the state exam next year, together with the students graduating in 2021. The document confirming successful passing of the exam will be issued as a supplement to the 2020 diploma. This opportunity will be given to students of all educational programmes. As for a foreign language exam, it can also be taken at the SPbU Language Testing Centre.

4. On the results of proctoring system testing

The participants of the meeting were informed about the results of proctoring system testing. From May 12 to May 25 (as of the day of the publication of the report), 2078 students took part in the testing and left their feedback. 1784 of the students reported that they had no problems or questions about the procedure. The students who contacted technical support received a pertinent answer. Besides, additional sessions are being organized for those students who could not participate in the testing in due time.

The Head of the Information Technology Service S.Yu. Sevryukov reminded the meeting participants that technical support can be contacted not only when students are faced with a problem, but also when they have questions regarding the testing procedure. If students were unable to take part in the testing at the time assigned for them or encountered any difficulties, they can leave a request for retesting. Requests should be submitted to the head of the educational department of their main field of studies.

5. Graduation project defence organization and academic leaves of absence

The Virtual Reception Office received a request from a student who said that for two months after the introduction of the quarantine measures “he had not had access to some part of the equipment necessary to complete his graduation project”. He admitted that he had the option of simulating all the systems on a computer, but he failed to configure the necessary software. At the same time, he did not contact the University to ask for help. The student stated that he no longer had enough time to complete his work on the graduation project and also could not submit any documents to support his claim of the problems he had encountered; however, he asked to be granted academic leave in this situation. The meeting participants paid attention to the fact that the request under consideration clearly conveyed the psychological state of the student. The student will be granted the academic leave he has asked for.

At the meeting of the SPbU Student Council held on May 15 in the video conference format, students were informed again of the possibility for students to obtain their individual assessment schedule, their individual study schedule or an academic leave (Proceedings of the Rector’s Meeting held on 6 May 2020).

6. Organization of online teaching

The traditional issue concerning the problems in organizing distance learning did not take much time. Directors of the institutes and deans of the faculties reported that they had not received any complaints from students or teachers with regard to the educational process. The First Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Methodological Support M.Yu. Lavrikova reported that the Virtual Reception Office had received just a few questions related to conducting classes in the remote format, and all of them were quickly resolved. The participants of the meeting stressed that the main thing for resolving any emerging issues was efficient feedback: if requests from students and teachers are received, they, of course, are resolved. The participants emphasized the effectiveness of dealing with requests through the Virtual Reception Office.

7. On volunteering

During the pandemic, SPbU student volunteers (the Volunteer Centre) launched the SPbU Superheroes Project to help older people, including the teachers and other staff members of the University, by delivering foodstuffs, medicines, and the living essentials as well as taking out garbage and walking the pets.

80 volunteers were registered to participate in the project. Starting from March 25, more than a hundred University staff members received help from the volunteers. Some of them now receive regular visits from the volunteers. Many university staff members when applying for assistance ask for a particular volunteer, trusting them and describing them as highly responsible and well organized individuals.

Besides, in order to support SPbU students during self-isolation, a student call centre was launched: student volunteers provide advice and consultation on various issues, including the use of online services and information resources. During the period since the call centre started its work (on March 27), 10 volunteers have provided consultation services to more than a hundred people.

Before the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in World War II, the volunteers delivered gifts to veterans, survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, home front workers, and war children. In three days, more than 300 people received gifts from the University, delivered by the volunteers.

The Vice Rector for Formative Education and Admissions A.V. Babich said that, in connection with volunteering, University students can contact the responsible curator for this line of work, Deputy Head of the Youth Office O.P. Noskova.  

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 6 November 2020

1. The conference of the work groups on ‘Politics and International Relations’ and ‘Economics, Trade and Resources’ of the KRD Forum

On 5 November 2020, a strategic conference of the work groups on ‘Politics and International Relations’ and ‘Economics, Trade and Resources’ of the Korea–Russia Dialogue Forum took place at St Petersburg University. The conference was dedicated to the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Russia. The event was held online.  

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 2 November 2020

1. Organisation of the learning process

Last week, 35 enquiries from teachers as well as students and their parents including 7 enquiries on academic issues were sent to the Virtual Reception. 16 enquiries were sent to the e-mail of Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods including 13 enquiries on academic issues. The enquiries included requests for certificates and other documents, questions on the procedures of transfer and reinstatement, financial aid requests, etc.  

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 26 October 2020

1. The commission for discussing the suggestions offered by Dr Yury Fedotov

Dr Yury Fedotov, Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care and Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies at St Petersburg University, applied to the University's Rector to open a department of postgraduate medical education and to set up an academic council of the Pirogov Clinic. The aim is to improve the quality and efficiency of education and research carried out in the Clinic. The Clinic has 16 Doctors of Sciences and 70 Candidates of Sciences (Medicine). These suggestions were discussed by the Academic Council of the Faculty of Medicine and the Academic Council of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 19 October 2020

1. The University has five winners of the RSF - DFG joint competition for grants

The results of the fifth joint competition for grants from the Russian Science Foundation and German Research Foundation (DFG) have been announced. The competition was held within the priority field of research 'Fundamental Research and Exploratory Research by International Research Collaboration Teams'. Among the competition winners are 18 projects, including 5 projects proposed by scientists and scholars from the University. Three scientists work in the natural sciences and two in the humanities: A. Timoshkin, M. Vinarski, A. Saraev, L. Moskovkin, A. Filyushkin. The amount of each grant is six million roubles to be allocated annually. The implementation period of the research project is within 2021–2023 (The Russian Science Foundation will support 18 joint Russian–German projects). Our University has the best results among all research and educational institutions across Russia. No other institution has won more than one grant.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 12 October 2020

1. New members of the University Academic Council elected

On 21 September 2020, at a conference of research and teaching staff, a new University Academic Council was elected for a five-year period along with representatives of other categories of workers and students (Conference on the election of a new Academic Council of St Petersburg University).

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 5 October 2020

1. Measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Taking into account the revised version of the Resolution of the Government of St Petersburg No 121 'On Measures to Counteract the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in St Petersburg' dated 13 March 2020, additional measures the University should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were discussed at this Rector's meeting. All University employees working under civil law contracts and not participating in the technological processes necessary for the life of the University are transferred to the online mode of work. The same mode is maintained for academic staff aged 65+ and employees with chronic diseases.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 30 September 2020

1. A representative office of St Petersburg University at the University for Foreigners of Siena

A week ago, a representative office of St Petersburg University was opened in Siena, Italy. The office is housed at the University for Foreigners of Siena, a partner of St Petersburg University. This is the sixth foreign representative office of St Petersburg University and the second in Europe. The University uses its representative offices to organise various events, such as lectures, seminars, conferences, roundtable discussions, exhibitions of students' creative works, and joint competitions. The efficiency of the representative offices is reflected in the positions occupied by the University in the rankings, especially in such an indicator as internationalisation. Therefore, it is very important to organise the activities of the representative offices by filling their work with particular content. In this regard, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, asked the meeting participants to submit proposals on the activities that could be organised at the new representative office in Italy.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 14 September 2020

1. Influenza vaccination campaign

This year earlier than ever St Petersburg University has started the seasonal influenza mass vaccination. Influenza vaccination is the responsibility of territorial healthcare authorities. The University Rector addressed enquiries to concerned vice-governors to deploy mobile vaccination points on University campuses in Vasileostrovsky and Petrodvortsovy districts, so that students and staff could benefit from getting a vaccine near their homes, work or study place. The enquiry is still to be considered. Without further ado, the University approved the student vaccination schedule with Outpatient Clinic No 3 and its administration; vaccination points will be set up inside University buildings at 16/18 7th Line, Vasilyevsky Island. The vaccination schedule for another point at 35 Universitetsky prospect is pending approval with St Nikolas Hospital administration. Vaccination schedules will be tailored to the academic timetable and posted on the University website.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 7 September 2020

1. The results of the meeting of the Council for Governmental Support of the Creation and Development of World-Class Research Centres carrying out research and development in the priority areas of science and technology – the world-class research centre 'Agrotechnologies of the Future'

On 28 August, a meeting was held of the Council for Governmental Support of the Creation and Development of World-Class Research Centres carrying out research and development in the priority areas of science and technology. It was chaired by Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. The meeting summed up the results of the competitive selection. Valery Falkov announced that 60 applications had been received in 2020 (St Petersburg University was presented in four applications). 11 out of 60 applications were selected for face-to-face consideration featuring presentation of charts.

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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 24 August 2020

1. Preparation for the new academic year

This year the academic timetable is the most crucial challenge of all the preparation efforts, considering that it must comply with all the COVID-19 spread prevention measures and requirements. Currently, the timetable for the 2020/2021 academic year is 70% ready and reflects the proposals submitted by deans and directors.

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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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