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 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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