1. Operation of the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy in 2020
  2. Professor Detlef Bahnemann is elected to the European Academy of Sciences
  3. How laboratory data sheets work
  4. Dmitri Mendeleev and St Petersburg University
  5. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  6. Questions about the reorganisation of St Petersburg University
  7. Arbitration Court sustains St Petersburg University’s claim against the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance
   

1. Operation of the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy in 2020

Clinical forms of teaching are consistently being introduced into the educational process at St Petersburg University, which at present boasts more than ten fully functional clinics: the Legal Clinic, the Psychological Clinic, the Social Clinic, the Social Translation Centre, the Centre for Financial Literacy, the IT Clinic, the Sociological Clinic, the Environmental Clinic, the Media Centre, the Pedagogical Clinic, the Mediation Centre, the Archive Centre, the Museum and Architectural Clinic, and others (Practical training in the clinical model at St Petersburg University). In 2017, the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Financial Literacy Strategy for the years 2017-2023. Prior to that, in 2015, the Centre for Financial Literacy had been established on the initiative of the University administration. This unique centre was part of an overall expansion in the activities of the University clinics, which are designed to give students practical training. The participants in the meeting took a critical look at the operation of the Centre in 2020 and analysed the role that it has played in raising the level of financial literacy among Russian citizens.

On the one hand, Russians’ level of financial literacy ensures their personal financial security and the material well-being of their household. On the other hand, by determining to a large extent the volume and the distribution of the demand for financial services and products, it is instrumental in the development of the Russian financial market and, consequently, the national economic system.

The need to boost financial literacy is also driven by the rapid development of present-day financial technologies, which began comparatively recently but is now in high gear. Russian citizens need basic knowledge about traditional and emerging financial products and services, about the ways that they can be delivered and about the prospects for the development of the financial market. Of particular importance are applied aspects related to the need to become familiar with current technologies across the financial landscape and to acquire the skills of an independent comparative analysis of contemporary financial products.

St Petersburg University is fully engaged in the process of raising the level of financial literacy in the Russian Federation.

In 2017, the Government of the Russian Federation adopted the Financial Literacy Strategy for the years 2017-2023. The government’s priorities, aims and objectives in relation to an improvement in Russians’ financial literacy, in the system of financial education and in the system of informing those who consume financial services in the Russian Federation are laid out in the following documents: Executive Order No 2039-r of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 25 September 2017 ‘On approval of the Strategy to increase financial literacy in the Russian Federation for the years 2017-2023’; Resolution No 92 of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 1 February 2018 ‘On the interdepartmental coordination commission for the implementation of the Financial Literacy Strategy in the Russian Federation for the years 2017-2023’; and letter No MN-3/1000 of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia dated 22 April 2020 ‘On the formation of universal competence’, indicating the need to introduce universal competence in the education of financial literacy.

In 2017, a decision was taken that St Petersburg University would participate in carrying out the government’s Strategy to increase financial literacy in the Russian Federation. A working group of experts/teachers was formed and a road map for the University’s participation in this process was developed. The working group, in concert with the Centre for Financial Literacy (CFL), addresses the challenges of raising the country’s level of financial literacy. They have set up cooperation with, among other organisations, the St Petersburg City Palace of Youth Creativity (the Anichkov Lyceum), the Petrovsky College and the Finance Committee of the St Petersburg city administration. They have also established partnerships with the Higher School of Banking in St Petersburg and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. This working group has made a sustained effort to introduce the competencies of financial literacy into the academic programmes of St Petersburg University and other educational organisations.

In 2017, St Petersburg University and the Faculty of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow State University signed an agreement to work together to boost financial literacy in Russia. As part of this agreement, and with the active participation of St Petersburg University, more than a hundred members of the research and teaching staffs of more than ten higher educational institutions in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region underwent advanced in-service training in ‘The development and implementation of work programmes in subjects (modules) on financial literacy for students at institutions of higher education’ (a programme developed by the Faculty of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow State University).

In 2015, under instructions from the Rector and as part of an expansion in the activities of the University clinics, which are designed to give students practical training, the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy (Financial Clinic) was established by Professor Sergei Belozerov.

The Centre for Financial Literacy is a unique project of St Petersburg University, and there is absolutely nothing of the kind at any other Russian universities. It is geared towards organising and conducting a clinical form of practical training for students at the University. This format makes it possible to create conditions in which a student can make an informed choice of their future profession and develop a feel for it. Consultations at the Financial Clinic are free of charge and accessible to all who wish to receive them. Anyone, be they a schoolchild or a pensioner, can apply for a consultation or practical advice through the website. And thanks to the well-structured work of the Centre for Financial Literacy, no request goes unanswered.

The clinical format of the Centre for Financial Literacy motivates students and orients them towards creative and professional self-fulfilment by becoming involved in professional activities that are socially useful. Practical training according to the Financial Clinic model is reflected in the work-placement programmes: Pre-Graduation Practice, Practical Training, Academic Research Practicum, and Internship.

The mission of the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy is to solve public problems, through financial consulting, and to meet educational challenges, by involving students (at all levels of education) and academic staff in its activities. Work placements at the Financial Clinic are hands-on and predicated in particular on professional interaction between the student and teacher, the student and other university students, and the student and vocational school students. The interactive methods include brainstorming sessions, focused discussions, business and role-play games, skills training workshops, simulated professional consultations, and forms of special interaction with the teacher on specific financial issues (consultations and workshops with supervisors). The use of simulation and gaming models creates the full context of professional activity and conveys the content of financial consulting.

The activities of the Centre for Financial Literacy promote the following:

      • improvement in the quality and the practical orientation of the instruction
      • the ability to solve practical problems and to accrue social capital
      • the creation of new positions in a student’s portfolio, leading to better employment opportunities
      • enhancement of St Petersburg University’s reputation in the business community and among prospective students
      • contribution to social capital, an increase in external contacts, the attraction of additional resources, and opportunities for participation in federal projects

In 2019, the following events were organised at the Centre for Financial Literacy: a financial dictation, business simulation games, Financial Rap, a stand-up show, and retreats with secondary school students, vocational school students and students from other universities centred around the topic of financial literacy. The Centre also coordinated the project Financial Literacy Week at St Petersburg University, which was successfully held as part of the 5th All-Russian Week of Financial Literacy for Children and Youth. In all, during the course of the year, the Financial Clinic carried out 29 events aimed at promoting financial literacy.

In 2020, students underwent their pre-graduation practice through the Centre for Financial Literacy. The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) brought about adjustments in the teaching and learning process, but it had no effect on the practical training, which was carried out in full. Student interns at the University Financial Clinic prepared presentations on current topics in financial literacy; gave a series of public lectures; conducted both online and offline consultations, under the supervision of their teachers and mentors at the Centre for Financial Literacy; and participated in scholarly discussions, for example during the 4th Labour Forum, when the roundtable Financial Literacy in the Workplace, organised jointly with the Faculty of Economics at Moscow State University, was held.

Cooperation between the teachers and the student interns at the Centre for Financial Literacy was organised with the use of state-of-the-art technologies, including an online group of the Financial Clinic, which was created in one of the social networks. The ‘online question — online answer’ format was actively used. Questions came in from residents of St Petersburg and the regions of the Russian Federation, and also from St Petersburg University students.

In 2020, more than 60 individual and group face-to-face consultations were conducted by student interns as part of their traineeship. Two correspondence consultations were also conducted (the Republic of Bashkortostan and the Republic of Karelia), for which they received citations. Under the guidance of the Centre staff, students prepared 16 answers to questions that had been received by email, and they have been published on the official page of the Centre for Financial Literacy on the St Petersburg University site and also in VKontakte.

In the summer of 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic and remote learning, the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy continued to be active. Under the supervision of their teachers at the Centre, undergraduate and master’s students conducted online consultations, presentations and lessons in financial literacy as part of the ‘My Institution of Higher Education — My Employer’ programme. More than 45 events were held with a total audience of about 400 participants.

In 2021, undergraduate and master’s students have been undergoing their pregraduation practice at the Centre for Financial Literacy, the undergraduate and master’s students in the Economics programme and the master’s students in three programmes: Risk Management and Insurance, The International Trade System, and Russian and CIS Business in the Global Economy. Remote interaction with the student interns and information support of this practical training is carried out through the group in the VKontakte social network and also through the Zoom and MS Teams online platforms. Under the guidance of their teachers, students prepare responses to questions and reports.

The ‘RESO project’ has also been launched this year. It is a joint project between the Centre for Financial Literacy and the RESO Insurance Company. It allows students to receive additional qualification and practical skills by working in a leading insurance company. Three forms of study are available: online, extramural and ‘crash course’ (upon passing an exam in the first two, a certificate of professional training is awarded).

Student interns are gearing up for participation in the fourth inter-university competition of projects Fundamentals of Financial Literacy for Children, Youth and Adults. This competition is part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. Student interns from the Centre for Financial Literacy are also going to participate in the 5th International Labour Forum.

The Centre for Financial Literacy has organised group and individual classes with student interns. The work of the Financial Clinic is carried out by full-time teachers from the St Petersburg University Faculty of Economics.

In 2019, some St Petersburg University academic staff who were members of a working group under Professor Sergei Belozerov devised an online course, Financial Literacy, which has no equivalents in Russia. It comprises three online courses at different levels: The Fundamentals of Financial Literacy (an undergraduate course), Financial Literacy (a master’s course) and The Fundamentals of Financial Culture (a doctoral course). The Financial Literacy online course is available on the Open Education platform and was one of the top five courses of 2019. During the first half of 2020, 11,935 people signed up for the course on the Open Education platform. During the second half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, around 5,000 people are signed up for it. It is now available on the international Coursera platform as well, and as of today there are more than 600 registered students at all levels.

In 2020, the designers of the Financial Literacy course won the University’s award ‘For Educational and Methodological Work’. In the same year, the work of developing Financial Literacy as an area of concentration was brought to a close.

2. Professor Detlef Bahnemann is elected to the European Academy of Sciences

The participants in the meeting congratulated Professor Bahnemann on his election to the European Academy of Sciences (EURASC), an independent, nongovernmental organisation composed of distinguished European researchers who carry out investigations at the highest level in their fields and spearhead new technological developments.

Since 2014, Professor Bahnemann has run the Laboratory of Photoactive Nanocomposite Materials, which was opened at St Petersburg University with the support of a mega-grant from the Government of the Russian Federation. During this time, he has published 184 papers with affiliation to St Petersburg University (as of 27 March 2021, his overall number of citations in Scopus comes to 3,606). According to SciVal (Scopus), between 2015 and 2020, Professor Bahnemann had 237 scholarly publications, his h-index was equal to 76, and the number of citations was 5,006.

A benchmark survey published last year by Stanford University shows that our colleague and head of the University’s Laboratory of Photoactive Nanocomposite Materials Detlef Werner Bahnemann is now among the top 20 physical chemists in the world. The list includes 678 scientists from different universities around the world (the database was provided by the Stanford study).

This latest among Professor Bahnemann’s stellar achievements has once again demonstrated his high level of activity and the effectiveness of his research. Under his guidance, methods have been developed at the laboratory for synthesising homogeneous and heterostructural photoactive materials of various functionalities: photocatalysts for converting solar energy into ‘solar fuel’ (hydrogen and methanol), self-cleaning and antimicrobial coatings, and materials for optoelectronics and photonics; new low-dimensional perovskite materials have been created; and new, advanced perovskite-like structures for photonics, photovoltaics and optoelectronics have been proposed.

Professor Bahnemann’s research over the past decade has paved the way for a new use of solar energy combining solar photocatalytic fuel synthesis (in the form of molecular hydrogen and/or gaseous hydrocarbons) with polluted water treatment, using the latest method of photocatalytic oxidation, resulting in the total elimination of all organic pollutants.

3. How laboratory data sheets work

So that the University’s resources will be used more effectively, laboratory data sheets have been introduced for all research teams, including those that are not separate structural units of the University. Accordingly, the template ‘laboratory data sheet’ has been developed, and such data sheets have been issued to 43 laboratories and research teams.

A laboratory data sheet is a set of tables that provide information about a laboratory in a systematic way. The practice of keeping them has been in use for many years in the Russian Federation and is essential for organisational accounting and an understanding of the minimum requirements for the functioning of a laboratory (including engineering systems and the need for refrigerants, and likewise the need for periodic validation), but it was abandoned at St Petersburg University at the end of the 1990s.

Beginning with this year, any time a new research laboratory is formed, it will be necessary to maintain a data sheet as one of the basic documents to ensure the functioning of the laboratory.

In order to have updated information on how effectively the scientific equipment housed in the University’s laboratories is being used, the Research IMS Lite module will be employed as part of Research IMS. It is a system that manages the research infrastructure and the processes that provide research services. It was successfully piloted late last year at the Uraltsev Spin Optics Laboratory.

4. Dmitri Mendeleev and St Petersburg University

8 February was the 187th anniversary of the birth of the great scientist Dmitri Mendeleev. In December of this year, the Dmitri Mendeleev Museum and Archives will celebrate its 110th anniversary. The museum’s activities in 2020 were summarised at the meeting.

On 21 December 1911, the Dmitri Mendeleev Cabinet (as the Archive Museum was originally called) was opened and consecrated in what had been service housing in the University’s Twelve Collegia Building and where the scientist had lived with his family from 1866 to 1890. This is where he formulated the Periodic Law, wrote Principles of Chemistry and completed his works on the physics of gases and the development of the economy and industry in Russia.

Every year, the museum is visited by around 5,000 people. Since 2017, there has been a systematic upward trend in the number of visitors and an increase in requests for guided tours, which are an intrinsic part of the programme of public events at St Petersburg University. Tours are available in Russian and in English.

Since July of last year, tours have been provided on a fee-paying basis. Last autumn, the staff at the Marketing Division and the University Publishing House, along with the staff of the Department for Youth Affairs, initiated a competition to develop souvenirs, which were then designed and produced for the museum.

Over the past four years, the museum has conducted surveys of visitors on a regular basis. Last year, 98% of the respondents were satisfied with the services provided.

During the pandemic, the University’s museum staffs have branched out in a new direction aimed at increasing the presence of museums on the Internet: they set up a page for the St Petersburg University museums on the izi.Travel online platform. This page was cited by platform creators at the Intermuseum-2020 forum. The Mendeleev Museum was featured twice as the ‘editor’s choice’.

The museum’s exhibitions have been transferred to an electronic format, and 14 of them have been presented on CAMIS.Online and izi.Travel. The geography of these online exhibitions shows a wide international audience, and as of 31 December, 2020, total attendance was 4,450.

In May of last year, the University’s Mendeleev Lecture Course was revived. In response to the audience’s demand, eight lectures were presented online, on the museum’s social networking platforms, and they received more than 800 views. The topics of the lectures are varied and relevant, and they are presented by the University’s professors and other teaching staff.

The museum has expanded its activities on the social media. As of the end of last year, the total number of subscribers stood at 2,309. This expansion in its activities is not, however, confined to the social networks; it has also become active in professional portals, such as Культура.РФ.

Supported by the St Petersburg University Language Testing Centre, along with the University’s Media Centre and the MOST Studio, six video plots have been produced about the University’s museums, including one about the Mendeleev Museum and Archives, as part of the ‘Planet-University’ cycle of programmes dedicated to the tri-centennial of St Petersburg University. The video about the museum has received more than 400 views. More video plots are in the works for this year.

The principle function of any museum is to preserve our historical and cultural legacy, to provide conditions for the safekeeping of objects and to keep track of them. In 2018, for the first time in the history of the museum, a stocktaking of all the items in the collections was carried out. In 2019, the museum was registered in the State Catalogue of the Russian Federation Museum Collections. The digital collections of the museum are now available on the public website of the State Catalogue.

The museum staff have developed new tour products, family activities, themed tours and a series of museum lessons for secondary school children. This was made possible by the joint work of the research and teaching staff of the Institute of Pedagogy, headed by Elena Kazakova, and the staff of the Department of Exhibitions and Collections.

In 2019, on the initiative of the Rector, the decision was taken at the University to re-exhibit the museum’s permanent collections. Ivan Uralov, Professor of the St Petersburg University Faculty of Arts and an Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, drew up the concept for a new exposition. An interdisciplinary working group was set up (composed of museum staff and specialists from the Faculty of Arts), and they worked up a thematic plan for the exposition and an artistic conception of the design. This year, plans call for the development of a design project that will make it possible to preserve the aesthetics and historical essence of the memorial apartment and, at the same time, make the museum more contemporary (the presentation ‘Mendeleev’).

The primary objectives of the museum, dictated by museum statutes and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, are to post information about exhibits on the museum register and in the State Catalogue of the Russian Federation Museum Collections. The plans for this year include the following: the placing of objects on the museum register and the centralised register of the State Catalogue of the Museum Collections of the Russian Federation; preservation work with the Mendeleev archives; a stocktaking of the objects in the main and auxiliary research collections; digitisation; and systematic support of the expert collectionprocurement committee.

The following are planned:

  • development of tourist and tour activities, involvement of tourist companies and other legal entities in cooperation, work on creation of new tour products
  • support for continuous running of the Mendeleev Lecture Course
  • establishment of a new permanent exhibition (re-exhibition) and creation of a design project approved by the Committee for the State Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments to carry it out
  • creation of the Mendeleev Chemical Theatre, a mobile exhibition
  • development of online projects, expansion of the museum’s presence in social networks, and participation in promotions, flashmobs and competitions
  • participation in museum and city events
  • collaboration with the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library on digitisation of the unique Mendeleev Library collection

5. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

In the past week, the Virtual Reception has received 27 enquiries from students and teachers (including eight questions about teaching and methodology), all of them addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, who has also received another nine enquiries by email. Requests were made on various topics: on the possibility of obtaining a study visa; on the management of University property; on refusal to grant an increased academic scholarship; on admissions; on compliance with the St Petersburg University Student Code of Conduct; on the teaching format; on a tuition-fee waiver; on the resitting of an exam; on job evaluation; on the receipt of status certificates; on the receipt of documents from personal files; and on proposals for the establishment of scholarships.

Most of the heads of the academic and research divisions report that classes are being held as usual, according to the timetable — with the use of information and communication technologies and in a mixed format. Any problems that arise are being dealt with according to established procedures.

At a meeting of Dean of the School of International Relations Irina Novikova with the heads of the departments, it was decided, starting 1 April, to increase the number of consultations with students to discuss their term papers and graduation projects. The dean has also received two enquiries from students — the first one from Anastasiia Darovskaia, the chairperson of the faculty’s Student Council, and the second from Dinara Amurzakova, a third-year undergraduate student and a citizen of Kazakhstan. They both concerned one and the same issue — the procedure by which foreign students can enter the Russian Federation in light of the expansion in the number of countries whose citizens are able to do so (according to Government Resolution No 639-r dated 16 March 2021). Foreign students continue to enquire about what they should do in order to return to their studies at St Petersburg University.

It has been clarified that a letter had been received from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation on the application of this resolution, and that a meeting of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education on this issue had been held on 25 March 2021. Operating procedures are being developed at St Petersburg University to comply with the said resolution, and all the essential information on this issue will be sent to those who enquire about it and will be posted on the St Petersburg University site.

The Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics was approached by a group of Economics students who were of the opinion that the Strategic Management course had been improperly taught. This situation is being investigated. Another appeal was received from the monitor of Group BO3-e about problems students had taking in the material in two online courses: Linear Algebra and Microeconomics (the specific complaint being that the teacher’s materials were poorly visible). An investigation has been launched in this matter as well.

The directors and the deans presented reports on meetings they had held with representatives of the student community. Some of the directors of the academic and research divisions did not hold meetings with their student councils during the past week (because there were no issues to discuss), or postponed them to a later date.

At a meeting between the Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences Kirill Chistiakov and representatives of the Student Council, two issues were discussed: the results of a survey conducted by students and students’ practical training. The students presented a report of the survey findings and asked that it be taken into account when evaluating the quality of their instruction. The Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences noted that conducting surveys of students on the quality of the instruction they receive required a professional approach to the questionnaires and to the way that the surveys are conducted. They should be set up by the academic division and conducted through the students’ personal accounts. The presentation made by the chairperson of the institute’s student council was based on the responses of 64 students (just over 5% of all students in the institute), and it is not known what sampling method was used nor how representative it was. The resulting evaluations cannot be taken into account. Professor Chistiakov expressed the hope that the members of the student council would explain to the students that they need to participate in official surveys organised by their academic division, which will be valuable as a true assessment of the work being done by specific teachers and an indication of ‘weak spots’ in the academic process.

The monitors of several groups claimed that, in their view, there was a lack of awareness about how practical training would be conducted in their respective fields during this academic year. The students were informed that this issue is to be taken up in April and they will be advised of any decisions that are made. There was also an enquiry about the possibility of installing a microwave oven and a water cooler (outside the dining hall) for students studying in the building at 33-35 10th Line, Vasilyevsky Island. This matter is being considered by designated officials at the University, and the students will be informed about the decision. It was explained that when you install a microwave oven or a cooler, and also when you use them, there are health and safety regulations that you must comply with. They used to be enforced by a company providing catering services in the building (but there is no such company at the moment). The responsible person will be identified.

Meetings were held with representatives of the student councils at the Institutes of History and Philosophy and likewise at the Faculties of Economics, Biology and Sociology, and they discussed the organisation of the teaching and learning process and the format of classes in April.

6. Questions about the reorganisation of St Petersburg University

Letters have been received from scholars who are taking part in the Cognitive Studies master’s programme at St Petersburg University (Sergei Stafeev, Professor of Physics at ITMO University; Maxim Kireev, Head of the Neuroimaging Laboratory and Chairman of the Research Council at the Bekhtereva Institute of the Human Brain of the Russian Academy of Sciences; and Maria Voeikova, Professor in the Department of the Russian Language at the St Petersburg University Faculty of Philology). Each of them reported that they have decided to continue working at St Petersburg University.

Current issues related to the reorganisation of St Petersburg University were also discussed at the meeting. Since Professor Tatiana Chernigovskaya had temporarily lost her voice, she posed a question to the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the chat. Information is being disseminated in the mass media, she wrote, that the Cognitive Studies master’s programme will supposedly be offered not only at St Petersburg University, as was decided at a meeting of the St Petersburg University Academic Council on 1 March (Proceedings of the St Petersburg University Academic Council meeting held on 1 March 2021) but also at the new university. In the meantime, hadn’t the administration of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences pledged that they would not duplicate courses that are offered by the University? Danila Raskov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, reassured her that this master’s programme would not be offered at the new university. Instead, a specialisation in cognitive studies will be offered only at the undergraduate level as part of the Liberal Arts and Sciences programme.

Professor Raskov also noted that out of the 130 teachers who are involved in the academic programmes at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, only 64 of them are full-time, another 28 have part-time positions, 13 are working under civil law contracts and 25 are members of the University staff, whose contracts are in the form of supplementary agreements, transferred teaching loads, etc. Senior Vice-Rector Elena Chernova emphasised that the University uses three forms of employment: labour contracts (full-time and part-time), civil law contracts and supplementary agreements to labour contracts.

She also reminded everybody that the University is prepared to wait: the deadline for students to decide which university they will attend is in July, after summer exams. Teachers involved in the academic programmes in the Liberal Arts and Sciences will also have until then to decide where they want to continue working: at St Petersburg University or at the new university.

7. Arbitration Court sustains St Petersburg University’s claim against the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance

In April 2020, among other things, in 59 cases involving medical care rendered at St Petersburg University clinics and included in the basic compulsory health insurance programme for citizens of the Russian Federation, claims were submitted to the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg, but payment was refused.

St Petersburg University was once again charged with requesting that medical assistance cases be placed on the register when there was no referral in patients’ medical records of a doctor providing primary medical care in outpatient conditions of a medical organisation chosen by a citizen to receive primary health care, or no referral issued by the executive authority of a constituent entity of the Russian Federation in the field of health care. The Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg once again considered that referrals by attending physicians at the St Petersburg University Clinic, which were presented in patients’ medical documents, did not constitute a legal basis for insured persons to receive primary health care, but rather the attending physician of the medical organisation to which the patient is not registered but to which they have independently applied for primary specialised health care, is not entitled to issue (even if there are indications) referrals for specialised medical care.

Following the refusal to honour the invoices that had been submitted to the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg, a claim was filed, but it was also rejected.

In October 2020, St Petersburg University filed a lawsuit against the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg in the amount of 5,615,376.64 roubles (plus the cost of fees paid — 51,077 roubles) in these 59 cases of specialised medical care included in the basic compulsory health insurance programme for citizens of the Russian Federation who are insured both outside St Petersburg and within the territory of St Petersburg.

Following the filing of the lawsuit, the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg voluntarily paid for the services rendered to five patients (in the amount of 1,667,276.22 roubles, thus partially paying the debt that had been submitted for recovery). The amount of the claim was reduced to 3,948 100.42 roubles. On 13 January 2021, the Arbitration Court of St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast rendered its decision: the claims should be satisfied in full.

An appeal was lodged against the decision of the Arbitration Court of St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast of 13 January 2021 by the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg. It was heard on 25 March 2021, and the Court’s decision was upheld and the appeal by the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance of St Petersburg was dismissed.

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 2 August 2021

  1. Admissions processes
  2. Amending the Rules and regulations for defending dissertations to gain a degree of candidate of sciences and doctor of sciences approved by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Russia
  3. Measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID19) at St Petersburg University
  4. Inspection by the Prosecutor's Office upon revealing educational documents and other materials from Bard College in St Petersburg University
  5. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  6. Admission of the Alumni Association's members to St Petersburg University
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 5 Jule 2021

  1. Changes introduced into the Federal Law ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University’
  2. Decisions on Human Resources
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. On accommodating students in the halls of residence
  5. St Petersburg University visited by the winners and laureates of the all-Russia Olympiads among school students seeking to be enrolled into the bachelor’s programmes in mathematics and computer science
  6. The number of the University projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation
  7. Digital profiles of research and teaching staff
  8. Preliminary results of the assessment
  9. The results of work dedicated to the perpetuation of the memory of Lyudmila Verbitskaya
  10. Organising medical check-ups for students
  11. The response of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation to the enquiry from St Petersburg University
  12. Observing the face mask mandate by the students
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 15 June 2021

  1. Valerii Zapasskii, a scientist of St Petersburg University – laureate of the Russian Federation National Award
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Using the results of The Three University Missions ranking
  4. Taking into account the data of the World University Ranking (U.S. News Best Global Universities)
  5. A series of webinars for teachers of the Leningrad region
  6. Medals of the Russian Academy of Sciences – for young scientists of St Petersburg University
  7. Compensation of expenses for the publication of scientific articles
  8. Violations committed by students of St Petersburg University
  9. Tuition fees at St Petersburg University
  10. Termination of the contract between St Petersburg University and the Alumni Association
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 8 June 2021

  1. St Petersburg University scientists received Golitsyn Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Events on the margins of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum
  4. St Petersburg University is the best university in Russia in terms of financial management quality
  5. Strategic session devoted to the creation of world-class campuses
  6. The issues related to the University’s Strategic Plan have been clarified
  7. The cooperation between St Petersburg University and Lomonosov Moscow State University in the field of distance learning
  8. Who will receive the scholarships of the Russian Federation Government?
  9. The achievements of St Petersburg University students in the field of sport
  10. The St Petersburg University Collegium of Honorary Professors discussed the activity of the Alumni Association
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 31 May 2021

  1. Professor Petr Iablonskii is awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of St Petersburg
  2. The award named after Professor Vataniar Yagya is established
  3. St Petersburg University staff receiving the Prizes of the Government of St Petersburg
  4. St Petersburg University scientists in ‘The New Knowledge’ marathon
  5. ‘The Architecture of the Siege’ – the best documentary
  6. The use of digital portfolio in the system of general education
  7. The events within the framework of the Korea–Russia Dialogue
  8. St Petersburg University Agreement with Iranian partners
  9. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  10. The enquiry from a student of St Petersburg University
  11. The hybrid format of the graduation ceremonies
  12. The ‘Priority-2030’ programme
  13. Applications of the competition participants seeking academic and teaching staff positions
  14. The disappearance of a student
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 17 May 2021

  1. A session of Petersburger Dialogue Coordinating Committees
  2. St Petersburg University Strategic Plan indicators
  3. Monument to COVID-19 victims
  4. The Office of RF Prosecutor General and Bard College (USA)
  5. Restructuring the St Petersburg University Research Support Service
  6. Organisation of theses defences
  7. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
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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 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 5 April 2021

  1. Kirill Chistiakov has been awarded the title of ‘Honoured Geographer of the Russian Federation’
  2. The Government of St Petersburg Official Award named after Gennady Leonov
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. Participation of students in the project on Monitoring Law Enforcement
  5. Organising access to the resources of the Research Park
  6. ‘St Petersburg University Journal of Economic Studies’ (SUJES) has been included into Scopus database
  7. The Prize of Elsevier company
  8. The results of the joint competition of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) and the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF)
  9. Interaction of the University with Iranian partners
  10. The installation of a memorial plate to Vladimir Mavrodin
  11. The status of the reorganisation of St Petersburg University
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 29 March 2021

  1. Operation of the St Petersburg University Centre for Financial Literacy in 2020
  2. Professor Detlef Bahnemann is elected to the European Academy of Sciences
  3. How laboratory data sheets work
  4. Dmitri Mendeleev and St Petersburg University
  5. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  6. Questions about the reorganisation of St Petersburg University
  7. Arbitration Court sustains St Petersburg University’s claim against the Territorial Fund for Compulsory Medical Insurance
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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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