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.  

The first conference session covered the issues of political cooperation between our countries over the last 30 years. The second session was dedicated to economic, social and cultural cooperation.

2. The session of the State Duma of the Russian Federation dedicated to increasing the efficiency of implementing sponsored education and sponsored admission

On 9 November 2020, there will be a session of the working group of the State Duma of Russia on increasing the efficiency of implementing sponsored education and sponsored admission.

The meeting discussed the stand of the University towards the proposals of Irina Yarovaya, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of Russia, aimed at increasing the openness and effectiveness of sponsored admission to the universities of the Russian Federation. Nikolay Kropachev, the Rector of St Petersburg University, will take part in the working group session on generating proposals on the ways to improve the education system structure with regard to professional education levels, and increase the effectiveness of implementing sponsored education and sponsored admission. He will support the proposals for providing open and competitive sponsored admission, and encouraging responsibility on the part of sponsored admission customers and universities.      

3. Organisation of the teaching process

The participants of the meeting traditionally discussed the enquiries on teaching and learning issues submitted through the Virtual Reception, and compliance with the safety requirements.

On 5 November 2020, the University received an enquiry signed by St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov requesting the rectors of the universities in St Petersburg to organise teaching and learning process in the online mode for the maximum number of students and arrange for the interim examination period with the use of technologies for distance education.

In this regard Nikolay Kropachev, the Rector of St Petersburg University, reminded that the University is prepared for this solution in terms of administration and technology. The directors of institutes and the deans of faculties actively participated in the discussion of the enquiry by St Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov including the following: Anatoly Puyu, Director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Elena Kazakova, Director of the Institute of Pedagogy; Alexey Rodionov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies; Alla Shaboltas, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology; Kirill Chistyakov, Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences; Iurii Guzov, First Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics; Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies; Sergei Dudnik, Director of the Institute of Philosophy; Aleksandr Kurochkin, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science; Sergei Ivanov, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science; Iurii Asochakov, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Sociology; Svetlana Rubtsova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages; Tatiana Bogdanova, Deputy Director of the Medical College; and Sergei Belov, Dean of the Faculty of Law.

Everyone agreed that the schedule changes should apply to the remaining academic period, and that all groups of each bachelor’s programme year and all groups of each master’s programme year should have the same format of training in the schedule. The Rector instructed Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Teaching Methods Marina Lavrikova to introduce relevant changes into the academic schedule based on the proposals from the directors of institutes and the deans of faculties.

A number of other issues were raised and resolved in the course of the discussion. It was emphasised that the University facilities will be available for practical classes, laboratory sessions, and scientific research activities. The teachers are allowed to come to the University facilities to conduct online classes, including University buildings located near their homes, apart from the buildings where they have their regular work desks. The Scientific Library and its sectors will work as usual. The equipment of the Research Park will be available for research purposes including researchers (for grant-related activities) and students (to work on term papers and graduation projects). If students decide to leave their hall of residence for the period of distance learning, their rooms will be reserved for them.

Deputy Rector for Legal Affairs Yury Penov reported that the Governor of St Petersburg issued several orders related to the aggravation of the epidemiological situation including the ban on holding public events with over 70 participants.   

It was noted at the meeting that all students and teachers should follow the academic timetables as previously.

4. The format of winter examination period

Senior Vice-Rector Elena Chernova reported that the University is purchasing equipment to conduct the end-of-semester assessment in the online format. Within two weeks, the schedule should be made and the assessment format for every programme and every discipline should be defined. The schedule of transfer to the online mode should be formed for each academic discipline as soon as possible.

The directors and deans have been instructed to provide their proposals on conducting every test and every examination during the winter examination period within two weeks.

5. Resettlement of students in the halls of residence remains to be suspended

In spring, St Petersburg University issued an order on suspending the resettlement of students in the halls of residence. It was assumed that in October we would be able to resume the resettlement as in previous years. The aggravation of the sanitary-and-epidemiological situation does not allow for that currently. The resettlement of 1,000 students (an average monthly norm in previous years) will result in 4,000 additional contacts, each of them increasing the risk of infection. That is why the order on the suspension of resettlement remains in effect.

6. Internet in the halls of residence. Are you looking for improvements?

The students continue submitting enquiries to the Virtual Reception with questions about ‘poor’ Internet connection in the halls of residence. It was explained in the meeting that all halls of residence of the University have cable Internet access provided by the University. This is high-speed Internet of good quality. However, some students install Wi-Fi routers and independently share Internet with their neighbours. The quality of such signal can be different. Some students get the signal from other communication service providers. The University is not responsible for the quality of such Internet connection and cannot be held accountable for it. The solution is simple: every student can enter into an agreement with the University and connect to Internet via cable.

7. Online school of the University for Russian-speaking school students

On behalf of the Rector, already for two years University employees, teachers and representatives of various services of the Rector’s office have been running the Online School of St Petersburg University. In the school, academic staff hold online classes on the Russian language, literature and history with school students from different countries. Two years ago, this project was launched for Russian-speaking school students from Latvia and Estonia. As of today, it is also running in Spain, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kirgizia. During the first year, there were only about 150 to 200 students, whereas today over 1,000 school students from the 6th to 9th grade have applied to the Online School within one week in Latvia alone. (St Petersburg University helps fellow-countrymenHow St Petersburg University helps fellow-countrymen St Petersburg University has organised an online-school for the children of fellow-countrymenHow St Petersburg University helps fellow-countrymen).

The meeting underscored not only the University’s important mission to spread the Russian language and culture among foreign school students, but also a possibility to promote the University’s educational programmes among international applicants.

8. ‘Alma Mater – the Architectural Aspect of St Petersburg University’ album and online-tour around the Mansion of Baron Kelch

A colourful album called ‘Alma Mater – the Architectural Aspect of St Petersburg University’ has been published. This is the third book from the Collection of Knowledge series. The album presentation will be held on 4 December 2020.

St Petersburg University has launched an online-tour around the architectural monument of the 18th century – the Mansion of Baron Kelch, a University building located at 28 Chaikovskogo Street. The virtual tour is supported by brief texts and a special map that facilitate navigation around the halls of the old mansion. (St Petersburg University opens a virtual tour of the Kelch mansion).

It was noted that this is already the 9th online tour in the territory of the University. Other online tours include a tour around the Modern Sculpture Park, the Twelve Collegia BuildingUniversity’s building at No 7 on the 22nd Line, as well as the Mendeleev Museum, the Vladimir Nabokov Museum, the places of Alexander Blok at St Petersburg University and  the Bobrinsky Palace.

9. From Nature to the medical clinic

Vice-Rector for Research Sergey Mikushev reported that Professor Pavel Musienko, Head of the Laboratory of Neuroprosthetics at the Institute of Translational Biomedicine of St Petersburg University, has published an article in Nature Biomedical Engineering  journal (Scientists developed a technology for printing personalised neuroprostheses on a 3Dbioprinter). It is about his research on ‘Rapid prototyping of soft bioelectronic implants for use as neuromuscular interfaces’. He proposes now to translate the technology of neuroprosthetics into practical medicine by creating medical implants. Such a project requires setting up the whole production cycle, including the following: the development team; resource centre for the development of new materials; engineering centre on prototyping; vivarium; and last but not least, the clinic to carry out clinical trials. The final product will be the result of the joint work of the doctors at the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies of St Petersburg University together with the developers, materials specialists, engineers and other experts.

Sergey Mikushev assured the heads of subdivisions that the University is ready to put together production chains with the aim of translating research findings into practice in case of such initiatives.

10. Cooperation between St Petersburg University and Istanbul University

On the Rector’s behalf and within the framework of a trip to Istanbul, Professor Damir Mukhetdinov, Head of the Centre for Islamic Studies at St Petersburg University, met top officials of Istanbul University – Rector Professor Dr Mahmut Ak and Vice-Rector for International Cooperation İlyas Topsakal. In the course of the meeting they discussed prospects for joint work on the research projects of the Centre for Islamic Studies at St Petersburg University together with Turkish colleagues, as well as the expansion of collaboration in other areas. Over the past few years collaboration between the two universities has been rapidly developing

(St Petersburg University and Istanbul University expand collaboration).

11. Joint work of the two Institutes

Director of the Institute of Pedagogy Elena Kazakova and Director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies Tatiana Chernigovskaya addressed the Rector with a proposal for organising joint work of the two institutes. Specifically, they offered to create a joint scientific committee, a joint teaching methodology committee, and joint councils of educational programmes for the two institutes. They would also arrange for the Academic Affairs Department and Human Resources Office to provide consolidated support to the educational programmes implemented on the basis of the two institutes. The goal is to use the University resources more efficiently.

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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