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.

The ranking of high citation researchers itself has undergone significant transformations recently. For instance, in contrast to 2019, this year publications of large collaborations (e.g. ALICE etc.) are not going to count.

2. Admission to St Petersburg University

By now, Admission Resolutions for comprehensive education programmes (Academic Gymnasium named after Dmitry Faddeev at St Petersburg University) have been issued. This year 197 applicants were admitted to the Gymnasium.

On 15 August 2020 application of documents to comprehensive vocational education programmes (the University Medical College, and the University College of Physical Training  and Sports,  Economics and Technology) was closed. The last admission exam for these programmes is scheduled for 18 August. 2020 shows a 36% increase in the number of applicants to these programmes compared with 2019. In 2019 vocational education programmes attracted 1020 applicants in contrast to 1601 in 2020. Meanwhile, the total increase in the number of applicants to comprehensive vocational education programmes in Russia stood at 6.3 % last year (the Russian Federal State Statistics Service reported).

Applicants are still submitting their Unified State Exam results for admission to bachelor’s and specialist’s  programmes. Universities of St Petersburg and the Leningrad region have experienced a 40% reduction in the number of bachelor’s and specialist’s applicants compared with 2019. St Petersburg University, in contrast, has seen a 30 % increase in the number of such applicants this year (16,909 applications were submitted in 2019 compared with 23,924 in 2020). Documents and applications are received until 18 August for government-funded quotas or 26 August for fee-paying quotas respectively.

Admission exams for Aspirantura  programmes have finished; on 17 August applicants ranking lists were published.

Applications to Clinical Residency programmes were accepted until 11 August. The number of applicants has increased by 12 % compared with 2019 (1,270 applicants in 2019 – 1,443 in 2020).

On 17 August 2020 Admission Resolutions  for full-time master’s programmes were issued. This year over 6,000 undergraduates applied to master’s programmes at St Petersburg University, which is 20% more than in 2019 (5,296 in 2019 – 6,248 in 2020). Meanwhile, the total number of undergraduates to master’s programmes in Russia dropped by 7% last year (the Russian Federal State Statistics Service reported).

Such a significant increase in the number of master’s applicants is explained by the high popularity of St Petersburg University academic programmes. Admission exams format is a criterion that matters to applicants: admission exams 2020 were held entirely online. Applicants were able to take admission exams without having to travel to St Petersburg. Notably, admission exams to most master’s programmes at St Petersburg University are organised as a portfolio competition based on supporting documents.

Almost 60 % of admitted applicants are graduates of other universities; in 2019 those accounted for 52 % of all admissions. The annual increase in the number of applicants from other universities is supported by an open and transparent admission procedure at St Petersburg University (Admission is transparent), as well as the demand for university education.

Remarkably, master’s programmes have seen over 400 fee-paying admissions, which is 15 % more than in 2019.

3. Operation at St Petersburg University on follow-up to the Resolution of the Government of St Petersburg

On 14 August the Government of St Petersburg published Resolution No 616 'Amendments to Resolution of the Government of St Petersburg No 121 dated 13 March 2020’. It eliminated a number of constraints imposed on organisations operating in St Petersburg. Greater relaxation of restrictions was also provided to establishments of higher education. In the follow-up to the new regulation, St Petersburg University issued Resolution No 7270/1 dated 15 August 2020 to incorporate the Amendments into the University operation. Provided that measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic are observed, the back-office, administration, and maintenance staff are returning back to offline work. Heads of subdivisions are requested to provide offline work resumption schedules. Follow-up regulations will be issued based on these provisions.

The next 15 days until 1 September are going to see intensive efforts to prepare for the start of the academic year amid COVID-19 spread prevention measures.

4. Preparations for the new academic year

In the run-up for the new academic year Elena Chernova, Senior Vice-Rector, and Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities  and Teaching Methods, held a meeting with the Board of the Student Council of St Petersburg University and representatives of the International Students Club. At the meeting students were informed about the set-up of the academic process in autumn semester 2020/21 considering all the measures to counter the pandemic. The students were told that wearing masks is strictly mandatory on St Petersburg University premises. Moreover, representatives of the Student Council were asked to assist in distributing masks among all students. Currently, the University is procuring personal protective equipment, including non-disposable masks to be handed out to all students. In the event of not wearing a mask, classes in a particular room may be stopped.

It is worth noting that ‘Resolution No 6991/1 – Implementation of recommendations for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention in higher educational establishments – dated 3 August 2020’ was issued to comply with the requirements put forward by the Chief Sanitary Doctor of Russia. Considering the requirements stipulated in the regulation, and the discussions held at the Rector’s meeting on 3 August 2020, directors and deans were tasked to submit proposals regarding the organisation of the academic process in the autumn semester 2020/21. Over 400 programmes across all levels of education were to be considered. The most relevant proposals are as follows:

  • lectures delivered by teachers aged over 65 or those with chronic conditions shall be delivered in remote mode;
  • all classes that are not held in lecture theatres (i.e. do not bring together more than one academic group of students) shall take place in regular classrooms;
  • every academic group of students shall be assigned a particular classroom, except classes in laboratories where specific equipment is required;
  • lectures in lecture theatres, as well as other classes bringing together different academic groups of students (including electives) shall be delivered in remote mode;
  • for individual academic programmes where classes are attended by one single group of students, age or health condition constraints are not applicable to teachers (e.g. bachelor’s in astronomy, education in art and performance etc.); lectures and classes shall be delivered in regular classrooms;
  • classes in foreign languages, including Russian as a foreign language for international students, shall be delivered in remote mode;
  • weather permitting, physical training shall be held mostly outdoors; later such classes shall be held at University facilities that comply with the COVID-19 prevention requirements issued by the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor);
  • to enhance social distancing among University students in classroom door areas and in lounges and corridors during breaks, as well as at snack points, a revised academic timetable with shifted start times for classes and longer breaks is suggested;
  • the academic timetable is still pending; it will include the so-called days in-office for classes held in traditional offline format, as well as days allocated for online classes only.

Other suggestions will be considered for every particular academic programme.

International students who will be unable to travel back to the Russian Federation by the beginning of the academic semester shall attend classes remotely.

5. Ensuring academic mobility in the autumn semester 2020/21

Recently, a few dozen enquiries have been received from students who have successfully passed the spring competition for an extra degree abroad at partner universities of St Petersburg University. In total, some 200 students of St Petersburg University have won the competition with partner universities located in various countries and amid different epidemiological situation. Despite the Resolution of the Russian Federation Government dated 6 June 2020 permitting educational travel abroad, it is nevertheless unclear whether this regulation covers double degrees. The enquiries have been formulated and submitted to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and Rospotrebnadzor authorities. The main question is whether St Petersburg University students are permitted to travel abroad to participate in double degree programmes provided that the partner universities give consent to accept such students. At present, the University is submitting enquiries with partner universities to clarify their acceptance conditions for St Petersburg University students amid COVID-19 constraints.

6. Digital labour records

In the light of amended labour regulations, labour records in hard copy are no longer the most valid source of information on occupational employment. As an employer, since 1 January 2020 St Petersburg University shall record and store labour history records in digital format to be transmitted to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation via secured communication lines.

Until 31 December 2020 employees can file standard requests with the Human Resources Office to either maintain their labour records in hard copy or transfer this data into digital format. The latter implies that the hard copy is completed and handed out to the employee. If an employee fails to submit such a request for some or other reason, labour records will be maintained both in traditional (on paper) and digital format. Meanwhile, as of 1 January 2021, recruited employees without a labour record history will have their records maintained in digital format only.

7. St Petersburg University is included in the list of medical organisations that are entitled to perform clinical and (or) clinical and laboratory trials (research) of medical devices in compliance with the rules, enforced under the decision of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission dated 12 February 2016

On 10 July 2020 the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare included St Petersburg University in the list of medical organisations that are entitled to perform clinical and (or) clinical and laboratory trials (research) of medical devices in compliance with the rules, enforced under the decision of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission dated 12 February 2016. St Petersburg University is now among the 11 organisations of Russia that have been granted such permission and the second one in St Petersburg (the other one entitled to perform research under the new rules is the Almazov National Medical Research Centre). This has empowered St Petersburg University scientists specialising in various disciplines with cutting edge opportunities for the long term. It has also opened up prospects to participate in international collaborations.

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 12 April 2021

  1. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  2. Round-table discussion ’Problems of formation and fixation of student electronic portfolio of individual achievements’
  3. The procedure for the entry of international students into the Russian Federation for study purposes has been established
  4. Competition for the position of Deputy Head of the Auditing Department
  5. Merging of the University’s Palaeontology Museum and Palaeontological and Stratigraphic Museum
  6. Separate waste collection at the University
  7. ’Vestnik of St Petersburg University. Law’ registered with the Scopus Science Metrix database
  8. Damage done by students to the University property
  9. Dissemination of information on the activities of the University scientists in the media
  Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 11 May 2021

  1. Aleksandr Zagoskin, Associate Professor at St Petersburg University, is the winner of the Nika Film Award
  2. Meeting of the St Petersburg University Board of Trustees
  3. Cooperation Agreement between St Petersburg University and Sberbank
  4. St Petersburg University Strategic Plan until 2030 Approved
  5. Current issues related to the organisation of the teaching and learning process
  6. St Petersburg University online school
  7. Personnel competition to accompany a world-class international centre
  8. Accessibility of the St Petersburg University portal for people with special health needs
Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 22 March 2021

  1. Current issues of organising the teaching and learning process
  2. Format of the teaching and learning process from1 April 2021
  3. List of the planned indicators of the internal assessment of the academic programmes
  4. Organising work with the online courses
  5. Applying for scholarships
  6. Strategy for the digital transformation of the University: drafting the event programme
  7. New duties of the University Academic Board
  8. Classroom-based studies delivered by academic staff who are 65 or older
  9. Enquiries submitted to be discussed by the working group formed in relation to the reorganisation of the University
  10. Vaccination of international citizens
Read more ...

A brief report of the Rector’s Meeting dated 15 March

1. Current issues related to organisation of the teaching and learning process

Last week, the Virtual Reception received 21 enquiries from students and teachers addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. These included 7 enquires on teaching and methodology. 11 enquiries were sent to the email of the Vice-Rector. They exclude the enquiries on the University reorganisation (see paragraph 2 below). The most urgent issues were addressed in detail. They will be published in the full report of the Rector’s Meeting.

Read more ...

A brief report of the Rector’s Meeting dated 10 March 2021

The participants of the meeting observed a moment of silence in memory of the University Professor Emeritus Evgeny Veremey.

1. Current issues related to organisation of the teaching and learning process

Last week, the Virtual Reception received 45 enquiries from students and teachers addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. Nine enquiries were sent to the e-mail of the Vice-Rector. The most urgent issues were addressed in detail. They will be published in the full report of the Rector’s Meeting.

Read more ...

A brief report of the Rector’s Meeting dated 20 February 2021

1. The format of training sessions from 1 March 2021

The Rector’s meeting addressed the proposals of the heads of academic and research departments on the format of training sessions from 1 March 2021. The following decisions were made taking into account the experience of organising the teaching and learning process with the use of information and communication technologies and the need to comply with the Recommendations for the prevention of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in educational institutions of higher education, approved by the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation on 29 July 2020.

Read more ...

A brief report of the Rector’s Meeting dated 22 January 2021

1. Current issues with organising the academic process

Last week, the Virtual Reception received 35 enquiries from students and teachers including 23 enquiries on academic issues addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. Seven enquiries were sent to the e-mail of the Vice-Rector. The most urgent issues were addressed in detail. They will be published in the full report of the Rector’s Meeting (The quality of the heating system in hall of residence No 18;St Petersburg University branch in Tashkent;Competition for funding to cover participation in student olympiads, intellectual contests, conferences and other scientific events in 2021;  Imposing disciplinary liability).

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 14 December 2020

1. St Petersburg University is a co-founder and the sole Russian representative in the Global Alliance of Massive Open Online Courses

The Global MOOC Alliance is a non-commercial partnership of higher educational institutions, online educational platforms and international non-profit organisations initiated by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technology in Education (UNESCO IITE) and Tsinghua University (PRC). Its creation was officially announced in Beijing at the global online conference ‘Learning Revolution and Higher Education Transformation’, which took place on 9-11 December 2020. St Petersburg University’s participation in the founding of the Global MOOC Alliance is a great honour and gives us worldwide recognition in the field of online education.

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 7 December 2020

As proposed by the Rector, the meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of Professor Igor Froyanov.

1. About a meeting with Dmitry Chernyshenko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

On 2 December, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko met with the heads of the following organisations, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government: Moscow State University, St Petersburg University, Kurchatov Institute, the Higher School of Economics, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and the University of Economics. St Petersburg University Rector Nikolay Kropachev and Vice-Rector for Research Sergey Mikushev participated in the meeting, during which the work of the Situation Centre of the Government of the Russian Federation and new approaches to contemporary digital management were demonstrated. Two lines of development were highlighted in the work of the Centre: teams of professionals, ad hoc groups of experts and government officials, who are engaged in dealing with particular tasks, and an approach to work predicated on the principle of co-working.

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 30 November 2020

1. The Second International Congress of the Russian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science

On 27-29 November, the Second International Congress of the Russian Society for History and Philosophy of Science was held at St Petersburg University. The main areas of history and the philosophy of science that are presented in Russia were considered, as were new, emerging areas of research that are just beginning to develop in our country. Emphasis was placed on a discussion of issues involving the interplay between philosophical, academic and technological research and society from both contemporary and historical perspectives. These included the relationship between the goals of academic activity and significant public objectives, the place of scholarly expertise in relevant public discussions and the ability of scholarship to meet the fundamental challenges of our time. More than 400 Russian and over 50 foreign scholars (from such countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Germany) took part in 14 panel discussions and 9 roundtables.

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 23 November 2020

1. Events held in the memory of Lyudmila Verbitskaya

St Petersburg University held the International Philological Conference in Memory of Professor Lyudmila Verbitskaya from 26 to 24 November 2020 (St Petersburg University opened a free open access to a book Let’s talk correctly! by Lyudmila Verbitskaya). The conference brought together over 1,100 scholars and researchers. This is twice more than last year as the conference was held in a distance mode.

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 16 November 2020

1. Organisation of teaching and learning

Last week, 73 enquiries from teachers as well as students and their parents, including 31 enquiries on academic issues, were sent to the Virtual Reception. 21 enquiries were sent to the email of Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, including 19 enquiries on academic issues. The enquiries included requests for certificates and document copies, and questions on student residence and information systems’ work.

Read more ...

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.  

Read more ...

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.  

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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).

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...

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.

Read more ...