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 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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