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).

The new Academic Council consists of 144 members. The previous one was elected in September 2015 and consisted of 131 members. Now there are 13 more members because, over the past five years, new academic subdivisions have been created at the University. These are the Faculty of Foreign Languages, the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science, the Institute of Pedagogy, and the Institute for Cognitive Studies. The teams of these new subdivisions now have their representatives in the University Academic Council.

The composition of the Academic Council has been renewed by more than a third. It has 51 new members (35%). 127 people were elected by the conference. 17 members were included by virtue of office (the Rector, seven Vice-Rectors, and nine directors of institutes). Among the members of the Academic Council there are 103 men (72%) and 41 women (28%). The Academic Council includes 13 academicians, corresponding members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Academy of Education, and two professors of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The rest of the members are: 86 professors; 32 associate professors; six representatives of the University Student Council; and representatives of the University Council of Young Scientists, primary trade union organisation of University employees, trade union organisation of students and postgraduate students of St Petersburg University (one representative from each organisation).

Currently, the formation of standing committees of the Academic Council (scientific, teaching methodology and legal committees) is underway.

2. Mandatory psychiatric examination of University employees

In response to questions sent to the Virtual Reception, it was reported at the meeting that the State Labour Inspectorate regularly checked higher education institutions for compliance with labour laws. For example, a few years ago, the State Labour Inspectorate checked St Petersburg Electrotechnical University 'LETI', and, based on the results of the inspection, issued an order to conduct a mandatory psychiatric examination of all teachers. The administration of this university not only established this process, but also included a certificate of passing a psychiatric examination in the documentation required to participate in the competition for academic positions.

In November 2019, the State Labour Inspectorate also carried out an inspection at St Petersburg University. It was also ordered to conduct a mandatory psychiatric examination of all teachers at the University. The prescription is based on Decree No 377 of the Council of Ministers – the Government of the Russian Federation dated 28 April 1993. It sets forth that teaching work is a type of professional activity associated with the influence of adverse production factors. Mandatory psychiatric examination should be carried out at least once every five years.

In the context of epidemiological restrictions, the solution of procedural issues of organising such examination was only partially suspended or extended, but not cancelled. This made it possible to select on a competitive basis a provider of psychiatric examination services by the end of September 2020, sign a contract with them, issue an appropriate order, and develop a schedule.

The current 'coronavirus' situation and the need to comply with the relevant recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor in terms of preventing the spread of infection imply minimisation of contacts between people and minimisation of their movement, but not stopping work processes and mobility in St Petersburg. In this case, psychiatric examination for the University employees is organised in the safest way: a separate room, a schedule of individual visits, with the examination time lasting 5–7 minutes.

If a University employee included in the current schedule of psychiatric examination cannot visit a specialist at the specified time for objective reasons, the University Labour Protection Department should be informed about that on an individual basis, in order to change the schedule of the visit without cancelling the examination.

Other questions, such as, for example, the need to obtain a printed copy of the referral or the possibility of providing information about a psychiatric examination previously conducted on an initiative basis or by referral from another employer, should also be addressed to University Labour Protection Department specialists. They will try to find the best solution for each University employee.

The meeting participants touched upon the need for additional psychiatric examination for those University employees who had already passed it to obtain, for example, a driver's licence. The Rector instructed the employees in charge to find out if there was such an opportunity.

3. Regulations for admission to postgraduate studies

Pursuant to Procedures for Admission to Postgraduate Programmes for Training Research and Teaching Staff approved by the Decree of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation No 13 as of 12 January 2017, the Regulations for Admission to St Petersburg University Postgraduate Programmes in 2021 have been approved. Within the framework of the competition for the distribution of admission quotas, the Russian Ministry of Education and Science allocated 432 government-funded places for admission to the University's postgraduate programmes. For all programmes, the competitive selection of documents is held in the form of a portfolio (except for the programmes 'Advanced Mathematics' and 'Economics and Management'). For the admissions test in foreign languages, the list of international language certificates accepted by the University has been expanded (Procedure for crediting the results of international foreign language tests).

The meeting participants discussed various proposals on amendments to the said regulations for admission, such as the ratio of the share of the influence of the results of the admission test in the speciality and the foreign language test. The directors and the deans were instructed to send their proposals related to admissions syllabi improvement.

4. Organisation of the teaching and learning process

Over the past week, the Virtual Reception received 63 appeals from teachers, students and their parents. 10 of them were related to various teaching and learning issues.13 appeals were sent to the e-mail of the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. Among other things, there were questions about non-degree programmes and online courses at St Petersburg University. The 'Chinese for Beginners' course is extremely popular. For example, parents of third and seventh grade school students ask if their children who are taking this online course can get a certificate. They were told that schoolchildren may also take tests (regardless of their age). Upon identification, prior to the proctoring procedure, they must present their birth certificate instead of a passport.

All directors and deans continue to regularly interact with the student councils and send regular weekly reports on academic work and work with the student councils. The meeting participants also considered questions addressed to Elena Chernova and Marina Lavrikova by Alla Shaboltas, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, Irina Novikova, Dean of the School of International Relations and Sergei Dudnik, Director of the Institute of Philosophy.

There was a discussion about online anatomy classes being organised for an additional group of international students enrolled in the 'Clinical Psychology' programme. The lecturer is now being looked for by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. Bachelor students of the School of International Relations said the current length of their lunch break was not enough for them. Therefore, a change in their schedule is being discussed. Students of philosophy had problems with classroom equipment for organising combined classes. They were successfully solved. The analysis has also shown that the proposals of the participants of the previous Rector's meeting to unite students into one group for classes in elective disciplines (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 05 October 2020) have already been implemented at nine academic subdivisions of the University.

In response to questions in the Virtual Reception asked by students about the difficulties with the use of MS Teams, it was reported that the website of the University Centre of E-Learning Development contains information about how to use this system. In addition, there is a separate section dedicated to the MS Teams service. There are detailed guidelines and instructions (Into the new academic year with MS Teams). In addition, all University students and staff have the opportunity to ask any question about working with Microsoft Teams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Some students also complain about the unstable work of the Internet at the University halls of residence. It happened due to students' using the services of third-party providers. Wire access to the Internet served by University specialists is available there, which works reliably and smoothly.

For the organisation of combined classes and additional equipment of classrooms, additional funds have been allocated. Laptops as part of mobile classrooms for academic staff are being purchased, as well as wide angle webcams for rooms where classes are organised using hybrid technology. After installing them, students learning online (earlier they could not always see the board with the teacher's explanations) will be able to fully participate in the class, just like students in the classroom. The purchase will be made before the end of the calendar year.

5. The 'greenest' university in Russia

Various environmental practices and resource-saving technologies are being steadily introduced at the University, which is a member of the Association of Green Universities of Russia (SPbU entered Association of Green Universities in Russia). The following is implemented at the University:

  • the Green Campus model is used – the concept of creating an eco-oriented environment
  • regular environmental projects and programmes aimed at reducing the 'ecological footprint' of the University and protecting the environment
  • with the active participation of University students, a separate waste collection system has been created on the territory of the University; new eco-points are constantly being opened (an interactive map of eco-points)
  • students participate in waste paper collection campaigns, hold bio fairs and volunteer clean-ups in the Botanical Garden of the University
  • the University trains highly qualified specialists in the field of ecology and nature management

In 2019–2020, the University took part in the environmental programme 'School of Recycling: Electronics’. It was attended by the 18 largest universities in Russia. They handed over 182 tons of e-waste for processing. St Petersburg University was the winner, with 96 tons of electronic waste, i.e. more than all the other universities! (St Petersburg University recognised as undisputed leader in separate collection of e-waste). The second place was shared by Moscow State University of Civil Engineering and Ivanovo State University; the third by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. On 7 September 2020, Moscow hosted an awards ceremony for the winners of the environmental programme organised by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia and the non-profit organisation 'Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Foundation'. As the winner, St Petersburg University received a diploma and a gift from Samsung Electronics – an interactive flipchart. According to the developer, this is not just an 'office easel', it is an interactive display that stimulates the productivity and efficiency of teamwork. With it, meetings can be held anywhere and any time.

It was noted at the meeting that, within the framework of the programme for the disposal of various types of waste, the University annually transfers the following electronic waste for recycling: monitors, computers, office equipment, telephones and other equipment that lost their consumer properties and have been decommissioned. In 2019, the University spent 350,000 roubles on such events. In the summer of 2020, a gratuitous contract for the disposal of e-waste was signed with the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Foundation. The contract was signed within the framework of the open-ended campaign 'School of Recycling: Electronics', which had been in effect since 2016 at schools and since 2020 had reached the level of Russian universities. In 2020, recycling events at the University were held free of charge.

University students and staff willing to dispose of old office, household, scientific and medical equipment, power tools, telephones and other gadgets can take part in the separate e-waste collection programme. To do this, you must submit an application to Alla Koshkina, Head of the University Storage Facilities Division, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

6. Preparation of proposals for supplementing the University Code of Ethics

The working group on the preparation of proposals for supplementing the University Code of Ethics with provisions governing corporate ethics continues its work (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 23 December 2019 and 25 May 2020). The chairperson of the working group Professor Alla Shaboltas, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology, spoke about the results of the group's activities. She noted that the current University Code of Conduct defines all the basic foundations of ethical relationships at the University. At the same time, the Code requires a more detailed specification for a clearer understanding of the ethical norms of life of our University by its students and staff. In particular, there was a proposal to identify and prescribe the inadmissibility of certain specific unethical forms of behaviour.

In addition to the draft of the University Code of Ethics, the working group developed two more drafts that are important for the implementation of the provisions of the Code: 'Draft procedure for informing about conflicts of interest in the performance of professional duties' and 'Draft procedure for contacting the Ethics Committee of St Petersburg University'. Discussion of all three documents will continue at the next Rector's meeting. And, as always, everyone will be able to send their proposals and comments to the chairperson of the working group to the corporate e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

7. University videos

With the onset of the pandemic, University students and staff started requesting a video postcard about St Petersburg and the University. Applicants and students from other cities and countries would then be able to see how the University was living, and they could feel the atmosphere of the Northern Capital and the oldest university in Russia.

The meeting participants were shown a video postcard about St Petersburg University, as well as the video 'Medicine at St Petersburg University: Science and Education'. All videos are available on the official YouTube channel of the University.

The directors and the deans were instructed to send proposals on the topics and possible content of other videos about the University for example: 'St Petersburg University as a pedagogical university' and 'St Petersburg University as a sports university'.

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
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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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