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.

St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov shared the plans of the St Petersburg Government to construct a new metro line. One of the stations will be located on the newly developed territory of St Petersburg University.

2. Preparations for the new academic year

Preparations for the new academic year are underway. Teachers have completed self-registration for their academic subjects (applications for classes in the academic year 2020/2021 were submitted via ‘Teaching at St Petersburg University’ platform of the ‘Learning’ information system). Self-registration results were reported by members of the academic and teaching staff, heads of departments, heads of academic programmes, directors of institutes and faculty deans. Staff of the Academic Programmes Division are now issuing mandates to teachers and drafting the timetable. They are facing a challenge to issue mandates for 120,696 positions covering all academic subjects within the 2020-2021 curricula for all academic programmes. Only 5,324 positions were left unattended by the day of the meeting (roughly 4.5% teaching mandates). The staff of the Academic Programmes Division, directors and deans are handling these positions efficiently. Many of them are already assigned to teachers.

The pace of work has almost doubled compared with last year. The University is considering outsourcing part-time workers, recruiting independent teachers under civil law agreements, or inviting teachers from other University teams. The majority of directors and deans presented suggestions regarding outsourced adjunct teachers. It was noted that entering into civil law agreements takes a longer time because such contracts must be approved by the University Contract Service. Therefore, directors and deans were tasked to present relevant information to the Human Resources Department.

The participants of the meeting emphasised that this year’s workload has doubled. The university has to follow through the two versions of the academic timetable at the same time: for online / remote and offline classes. Notably, the list of teachers working online and offline may not be the same.

3. Admission to St Petersburg University

On 17 July admission to comprehensive degree programmes (Academic Gymnasium named after Dmitry Faddeev) was concluded. Some 1,000 applications were submitted (same as in 2019). Despite challenging epidemiological conditions, the number of applicants remained at last year's level. This suggests that the University’s comprehensive degree programmes are in high demand. It is worth saying that for the first time ever this year’s admission test was a competitive selection of documents (portfolios). Last year, admission exams included Russian, mathematics, and subjects of major interest. They were held in classrooms in St Petersburg. This year, however, admission tests are being held remotely based on competitive selection of applicants’ portfolios. Once admission results are available, the efficiency of such remote admission tests for comprehensive degree programmes will be investigated.

On 20 July admission to master's programmes was concluded. Over 13,000 applications were submitted (by over 6,000 applicants). Last year the number of applicants to master’s programmes stood at some 5,000.

Admission to bachelor’s / specialist’s programmes, vocational degree programmes, aspirantura  and clinical residency programmes is still going on (deadlines were postponed by the Order of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation due to delayed Unified State Exams). 31 July is the last day to apply to aspirantura  programmes. Applications to clinical residency programmes and vocational degree programmes are accepted until 11 August and 15 August respectively.

4. Military training exercises are over

In compliance with the Order of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, from 15 June to 18 July students on military reserve duty were in training at the St Petersburg University military camp.

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 leadership of the Ministry of Defence.  After some negotiations, he received consent: the Ministry agreed to allow all St Petersburg University students who were supposed to go through military training this year to do so next year.  All students were informed about such an option (Military training exercises in 2020), but so far not one student has taken advantage of this opportunity.

It was reported earlier (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 22 June 2020), that there were 130 St Petersburg students who were in training at the Luga military camp in Leningrad region. Before leaving, they all underwent testing for coronavirus and received negative results.  Upon arrival at the camp, they were retested (first in the military doctor’s office and later in Rospotrebnadzor laboratory), and five of them came up positive.

The command of the military base decided to send the five students to the Luzhsky Military Hospital. The other students, who had had contact with them, were being quarantined in the military compound. Later nine more students came up positive for coronavirus. They were admitted to the Luzhsky Military Hospital too. After 14 days in hospital, they were given another test for coronavirus.

Now all of them feel fine. All students did well in military training exercises and passed the final exam.

5. Organisation of practical training

Arrangements for practical training opportunities in summer have been discussed intensively since March. Many directors and deans were inventive enough to either arrange practical training in remote format, or to find alternative solutions, or to postpone it until later in the academic year. Students of history, earth sciences / geography, and biology had to face exceptional challenges. For them fieldwork study visits to other regions of Russia are a regular tradition. This year, however, due to the pandemic, practical training in the summer was not an easy issue to solve.

The meeting participants addressed Directors of the Institute of History and the Institute of Earth Sciences, as well as the Dean of the Faculty of Biology to suggest formats for practical training during the summer before 23 July. Currently, the leadership has jointly decided to postpone some fieldwork study visits until later, as well as to transfer some other practical training classes into remote format. At present, due to the epidemiological setting and regulatory constraints, it is not possible to host classes for groups in the traditional format.

6. St Petersburg University launched a student survey

On 3 July a traditional student survey was launched to assess the quality of education at St Petersburg University. The survey is hosted on the platform of the University Centre for Sociological and Internet Research. The questions have been designed by University experts including sociologists, psychologists and political scientists. This year traditional questions were expanded with new questions on remote learning. Questions were sent to students’ corporate e-mails. They are also available by the link on the University website.

The results of this particular student survey will be further considered by directors of institutes, faculty deans, and staff of the Head Office for Academic Affairs and the Personnel Department.

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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