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).

2. Preparing halls of residence for the new academic year

As in previous years, the University has to prepare halls of residence for the new academic year. This task is becoming a greater challenge: 85% of residential stock needs renovation of a different complexity (from revamping to capital repair). St Petersburg University halls of residence (total 21) are located in three city districts: Vasileostrovsky, Petrodvortsovy and Nevsky. Additionally, 13,156 square metres of residential area (over 17%) has been decommissioned as unacceptable for residential purposes. During the last two years 1,030 beds (student places) have been decommissioned. The main reasons are inappropriate waterproofing of shower cabins, leaks, inappropriate wiring etc. Another 1,431 beds have to be decommissioned in the next two year, with yet another 4,500 beds being decommissioned in the following four years. The University may face a dramatic shortage of accommodation. Meanwhile, the amount of allocated public funds cannot cover the costs of large-scale repair works.

Regrettably, until 2008 most halls of residence were not subject to routine maintenance, for example halls of residence No 1, 2, 3 on 20 Korablestroiteley str. and halls of residence No 14, 15, 16 on Botanicheskaia str. (A Fresh Start). During the last five years St Petersburg University commissioned two halls of residence (960 and 1,000 beds) and another hall of residence for 650 beds (on Solidarnosty prospect). Hall of residence No 18 on the 8th Line, Vasilyevsky Island, underwent capital repair (after the outpatient clinic had moved out), now offering 65 comfortable beds. Capital repair documentation for halls of residence No 1, 2, 3 on 20 Korablestroiteley str. is ready; funds have been requested.

Annually, the University allocates roughly 8 to 12 million roubles obtained from non-budget sources to carry out the routine maintenance of halls of residence (some 120 to 150 beds are renovated annually). These financial resources, however, are insufficient. Currently, halls of residence need a 950 million rouble investment for emergency repairs only. The underlying cause is the poor condition of the residential stock resulting from wear and tear. Wear and tear affects 62% for residential stock and over 80% of utility systems. Moreover, some 70% of St Petersburg University buildings cannot be reconstructed as they are part of the historical and cultural heritage.

The meeting participants noted that in 1998 the University deans of three dedicated faculties (law, economics, and psychology) had addressed an official memo to the Rector. It warned that if public funds allocated to maintain University buildings were consistently shrinking, by 2006 buildings (including halls of residence) would have started to deteriorate. This is what we are facing. It was mentioned that the St Petersburg University development programme includes foreign student numbers as an important indicator (meanwhile, the quality of the halls of residence constrains its growth).

3. Admission to degree programmes at St Petersburg University

17July 2020 was the last day to submit documents and applications to degree programmes. Some 1,000 applications were received (equal to 2019) (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 20 July 2020).

20 July 2020 was the last day to submit documents and applications to master’s programmes. 6,300 applicants submitted 13,000 applications outperforming last year’s results (some 5,000 applicants).

Digital applications to master’s programmes have been accepted since 2 March. From March to June, however, on average three to four applications were received per week; most applications were received in July, with the largest number being received during the last two hours on 20 July. From 4pm to 6pm, over 2,000 master’s applicants downloaded their documents via Personal Accounts. Applicants are admitted to most University master’s programmes based on submitted documents (portfolio competition). For that reason, many applicants needed to download a basic set of documents (scanned copy of application, ID, and a diploma of education), as well as other bulky files of their portfolio to their Personal Account (e.g. audio- and video recordings, different PDF-files etc.). Therefore, the Applicant’s Personal Account system did not operate smoothly all the time. The Information Technology Service managed to restore normal operation promptly. Applicants who were downloading necessary documents within the admission deadline, but failed to do so due to system faults, were allowed to participate in the competition. The meeting attendees noted that at annual presentations of academic programmes, as well as during Doors Open Days applicants are urged not to delay the download of documents until the last day; year after year, however, most applicants would procrastinate until the last day, despite all kinds of risks.

Admission to bachelor’s and specialist’s programmes is still open (until 18 August for government funded quotas). The last day to submit documents and applications is 31 July for Aspirantura  programmes, 11 August for clinical residency programmes, and 15 August for comprehensive vocational training. Currently, the number of submitted application is similar to last year.

The meeting participants considered the case of an applicant who had submitted falsified documents to apply to a master’s programme in journalism at St Petersburg University.

A representative of a cross regional public military patriotic youth organisation submitted a claim to the Virtual Reception that a university undergraduate could submit falsified documents to apply to a master’s programme at St Petersburg University. The claimant reported that the lady was assigned for practical training with the public organisation and, therefore, had access to corporate mail and some documents, including facsimile signatures of the Board and facsimile seal of the organisation. Meanwhile, the organisation was informed that a former trainee spoke about her plan to falsify documents to apply to master’s degree at St Petersburg University.

The inspection showed that the applicant had indeed submitted documents, signed by the President of the Board, to confirm her labour record with the said cross regional public military patriotic youth organisation, as well as a certificate, sealed and signed by the head of the organisation, to confirm her authorship of papers published in mass media. The organisation provided the following official response to the official enquiry addressed by St Petersburg University: no documents or certificates have ever been issued to the lady. This is proved by the outgoing document register. The applicant ended up with the poorest score (0 points). Moreover, the University passed the case to law enforcement authorities for legal investigation.

4. Organising cooperation with the University Student Council

The meeting participants highlighted the need to ensure regular remote meetings and ongoing cooperation with the University Student Council, as well as student councils of academic subdivisions. Direct outreach to representatives of student community and efficient consideration of long-standing issues will be continued in the new academic year. Faculty deans and directors of institutes will uphold traditional regular meetings with the student councils of academic subdivisions.

5. St Petersburg University identified areas of activity for its Advanced Research and Development Engineering Centre (a research engineering valley)

To streamline proposals (applications) to establish the Advanced Research and Development Engineering Centre (a research engineering valley), St Petersburg University produced a list of eight promising areas in research engineering. This list is based on enquiries submitted by prospective parties wishing to become project participants, as well as competencies of St Petersburg University research teams (Order No 2568 dated 17 July 2020)

The meeting attendees noted that the research engineering valley project is in its drafting stage and will be later modified. In case other partners wish to participate in the project to establish the St Petersburg University Advanced Research and Development Engineering Centre, they can submit their proposals to the Vice-Rector for Research.

6. Mendeleev Academic Cluster and its agenda

The University cooperates with a large number of partner organisations to perform its academic activities. A specific procedure was developed to streamline cooperation and identify the University’s goals and targets. A benchmark scale is introduced to analyse efficiency of agreements with partner organisations. One of such protocols is the recently approved certificate of the St Petersburg University Mendeleev Academic Cluster project (Order No 6870/1 ‘Project certificate approval…’ dated 23 July 2020). The project neither specifies all the partnership formats, nor eliminates existing formats of collaboration under effective agreements. Rather, the project is a package offer to consider at negotiations with potential partners.

For the forthcoming meetings, directors and deans should discuss the project certificate in order to be able to analyse the feasibility of the project in terms of the industry specific targets of University research teams. The task is to report whether the certificate is comprehensive enough to be used as benchmark for negotiations with partners to sign agreements or whether it needs revision.

7. Academic events 2021 in St Petersburg University (stage one)

For the fourth year the University hosts a competition of academic events (twice a year) financed from the University’s own resources. A ranking list of recommended academic events to be organised in 2021 was approved based on stage one results of St Petersburg University academic events contest (Resolution No 6840/1 ‘Approval of the ranking list…’ dated 22 July 2020).

The list of 53 academic events included a set of events scheduled to take place last year (but postponed until later). Such events were included without any preselection procedures. Additionally, the list included events without specified dates (the University can postpone these events for various reasons).

Directors and deans should submit proposals regarding viable online formats for large-scale academic events where they used to represent organisers. They also should propose existing best practices for mainstreaming. It is also recommended to put forward ideas regarding quality assessment of online events.

8. Contests of research projects and relevant procedures

Since 2010 resources have been allocated to University research projects exclusively on a competitive basis, judging by the results of expert assessment (Order No 2266/1 ‘Composition of the St Petersburg University Expert Commission’ dated 29 September 2010). Applications have been assessed by the most prominent researchers of St Petersburg University and other academic institutions, including research centres of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 09 April 2012). Additionally, a year ago preliminary expert assessment by the Russian Academy of Sciences was introduced on mandatory basis for all academic events organised by Russian universities and research centres.

Therefore, the Rector’s meeting discussed measures to prevent the conflict of interests, as well as the distribution of academic and administrative powers among the University staff. Members of St Petersburg University academic and teaching staff who participate in any other competition cannot be members of the Expert Commission of the academic events contest or assess projects submitted by contestants. In case such member of the University staff is appointed member of the Expert Commission, they must disclose the conflict of interests and resign from the Commission (Outcomes of the meeting of the St Petersburg University Academic Council dated 23 December 2019).

9. The Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg University shares its results for academic year 2019–2020

Traditionally, heads of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, produce the outcomes at the end of every academic year and present a report at a meeting of its Advisory Board. Konstantin Krotov,  Head of the Graduate School of Management, shared the academic year 2019–2020 results (Presentation):

  • the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, has confirmed its title as an international business school of high level: its position in the world’s top rankings has improved. Now the School is running up for the final stage of AACSB accreditation (once accredited with AACSB, the Graduate School of Management will hold a ‘triple crown’ accreditation, which is held by less than 1% of the world’s top business schools);
  • sustainable increase in the number of papers published with top ranking journals during the first quartile demonstrates the high level of research produced by the academics of the St Petersburg University business school;
  • in emergency conditions the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, was among Russia’s leaders to transfer its operation online in a fast and most efficient way;
  • advisors and partners of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, have demonstrated proactive engagement in the School’s daily life;
  • the current academic year has brought up new opportunities: now that the brand of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, has acquired stronger positions, the School is increasingly attractive for applicants to bachelor’s and master’s programmes, including foreign nationals.

Members of the meeting noted that the staff of the Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, proactively cooperate with potential employers and are engaged in various aspects of the School’s academic and teaching activity. The efforts of the business school staff to develop the School strategy were recognised as exceptional. The St Petersburg University Development Programme until 2030 undergoes regular revision.

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.

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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

Read more ...

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:

Read more ...

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

Read more ...

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. 

Read more ...

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:

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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

1. State final certification in distance format

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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

Read more ...