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 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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