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. 

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

1.  Management of the end-of-semester assessment

The University’s end-of-semester assessment is coming to a close.  In the past week, the Virtual Reception has received 78 appeals from students and teachers, and Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Teaching Methods, has received another 25 through her corporate email.  A third of them concerned the management of the assessment itself, including questions connected with the scheduling of exams for certain groups and the process of evaluating students’ knowledge during pass/fail tests and exams.  All of them were expeditiously resolved either by the directors and deans, or by the Academic Affairs Department.

Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, spoke about an appeal from one young woman who is an exchange student at Korea University.  She reported through the Virtual Reception that, due to the pandemic, her internship was going to end before she would be able to fly back to St Petersburg.  Mr Andryushin took this up with the administration of Korea University, requesting that they extend her stay in a University dormitory until she is able to return to Russia.  When, however, Korea University refused to let her stay in one of its dormitories after the exchange programme ended, the Representative Office of St Petersburg University in Seoul was brought into play, and the problem was resolved immediately:  she will be housed in one of the dormitories at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

2.  Management of the State Final Certification

Over the past week, 1,956 graduate qualification defences have been held, and they were carried out by 252 State Examination Boards.  As a result, 1, 381 students received a mark of ‘excellent’; 470, a mark of ‘good’; 96, a mark of ‘satisfactory’; and 9, a mark of ‘unsatisfactory’ (five of them neither presented a graduation project nor showed up at the defence).

The state examinations have finished for the first graduating class in the programme Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Chinese Language and Legal System).  Four years ago, 56 students enrolled in this programme, and 44 of them passed the state exam (21 with a mark of ‘excellent’, 21 with a mark of ‘good’; and 2 with a mark of ‘satisfactory’).

The meeting also discussed the technical failure that forced forty law students to rewrite the third part of their state examination.  The blame for this problem can be laid at the feet of the software provider (cloud services from Yandex).  The directors and the deans noted that, during the whole time that the University has been in the distance learning mode, this is only the second global malfunction.  The first was also caused by third parties, when, due to network faults in the Rostelekom system, there were glitches in the University’s network (https://spbu.ru/news-events/novosti/ob-avarii-na-setyah-rostelekom-i-posleduyushchem-pereboe-v-rabote-seti-spbgu).  This testifies to the reliability of the services used during the end-of-semester assessment.

During this past week, 19 appeals have been filed.  Two of them were upheld, and the students were granted a second defenсe.  Examples of two appeals to the Virtual Reception were given:  one student demanded that her mark be raised since both her research supervisor and the reviewer commended her work, and the other claimed that her graduation project had been underrated because her research supervisor was prejudiced against her.  The directors and the deans stressed that students need to understand an important consideration:  review and assessment of graduation projects are carried out by State Examination Boards, and the opinions of a student’s research supervisor, the reviewer and others (for example, colleagues in the department) may not coincide with the opinion of the board. 

During the current exam period, 5,124 students have defended their graduation projects, and only 372 (less than 5 percent) have yet to do so.  With this in mind, the participants in the meeting recalled all of the worries, fears and doubts that had been expressed by students and teachers at the beginning of exams and the State Final Examination.  The directors and the deans were instructed to analyse the management of this end-of-semester assessment and then discuss the results with Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Teaching Methods.   

3.  The issuance of diplomas

A procedure has been drawn up for the issuance of diplomas at the University that will comply with the necessary anti-epidemic measures.  A timetable has been established to issue diplomas to those graduates who are in St Petersburg and to deliver (send) the original documents to those who are outside the city limits (Executive Order No 5452/1 ‘Approval of the timetable and order…’dated 15 June 2020).  Graduates will be sent instructions on how to obtain their diplomas this year.

4.  Medicine and interdisciplinary research at St Petersburg University

On 22 June, a board meeting of the Russian Union of Rectors was held, and the focus was on the organisation of medical education in Russia.  At this meeting, Petr Iablonskii, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, gave a presentation on interdisciplinary research in the field of medicine and human health at St Petersburg University.  (PRESENTATION)

The participants in the meeting wished a Happy Health Worker’s Day to the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Petr Iablonskii, the Dean of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies Iurii Shcherbuk, the Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies of St Petersburg University Yury Fedotov and all of the University’s medical students.

5.  From one hall of residence to another?

One student inquired through the Virtual Reception about the possibility of students moving from one hall of residence to another (REFER TO THE VIRTUAL RECEPTION FOR THE MATERIAL).  The directors and the deans pointed out that this is not a relevant issue at the moment because of the anti-epidemic restrictions that have been imposed.  They also noted that some out-of-town students are now in regions where there are unfavourable epidemiological situations, and any resettlement of students within the dormitory system might lead to the spread of disease. 

6.  Military training exercises

At the moment, there are 130 St Petersburg students who are in training at the military camp in Luga.  Before leaving, they all underwent testing for the coronavirus and received negative results.  Upon arrival at the camp, they were retested, and five of them came up positive.  None of them, however, showed any symptoms.

The command of the military base decided to send the five students to the Luzhsky Military Hospital (Branch No 11 of Federal Military Clinical Hospital No 442 of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence).  All of them feel fine.  After 14 days in hospital, they will be given another test for coronavirus.  The other students, who had had contact with them, are being quarantined in the military compound.

The participants in the meeting noted that as far back as in May there had been widespread appeals to the University administration from students and their parents to allow those students who were not prepared to undergo military training in June to postpone it until next year.  The Rector had made such a request to the field-oriented leadership of the Ministry of Defence, as had those at the helm of some other universities.  The requests, however, were all turned down.   At this point, the Rector of St Petersburg University went all the way up to the top of the Ministry of Defence and submitted another request.  After some negotiations, he received consent:  the Ministry agreed to allow all St Petersburg University students who are supposed to go through military training this year to do so next year.  All students have now been informed about such an option (https://guestbook.spbu.ru/vse-obrashcheniya/401-prorektory-spbgu/admission-education/15580-o-prokhozhdenii-voennykh-sborov-v-2020-godu.html), but so far, not one student has taken advantage of this opportunity.

7.  A legal dispute with a former staff member

A court of third instance (cassation) has already rejected the appeal of former University employee Svetlana Uvarova against the decision of the Vasileostrovsky District Court of St Petersburg.  In her claims, Ms Uvarova had initially asked to have her contract with the University extended, had tried to challenge the University’s right to announce a competition for an academic’s position, linking the position with the person of the holder of that position, and had challenged St Petersburg University’s right to introduce its own requirements and criteria on those who are vying for that position.  In 2018, when her contract ran out, Ms Uvarova was dismissed, after which she took legal action.  The participants in the meeting noted that the University’s competitive procedures for selecting research and teaching staff could not be more transparent, and the criteria are always known to all participants well in advance, which ensures equal terms for both current employees and outside candidates. 

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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