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

1. Changes introduced into the Federal Law ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University’

Federal Law No 332-FZ dated 2 July 2021 introduced changes into Federal Law No 259-FZ ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University’ dated 10 November 2009 and into separate provisions of Federal Law No 273-FZ ‘On Education in the Russian Federation’ dated 29 December 2012.

Part 5 of Article 3 in No 259-FZ has the following wording now:  ‘On the part of the Russian Federation, Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University shall exercise the powers of a founder of the legal entities that constitute a part of the academic organisation of Lomonosov Moscow State University and the academic organisation of St Petersburg University, as well as ownership powers in relation to the federal property of such legal entities in the order defined by the Government of the Russian Federation.  The directors of the legal entities that constitute a part of the academic organisation of Lomonosov Moscow State University and the academic organisation of St Petersburg University shall be appointed by and relieved from office by the Rectors of these universities’.

Thus, St Petersburg University has been empowered to establish legal entities within the academic organisation of the University. In doing so, the legal entities included into the University structure shall have the same advantages, rights and benefits as the University including the right to: conduct educational activity following its own internal standards; issue its own state-recognised diplomas; and hold defence procedures following its own rules.

The meeting participants recalled that this issue was first raised by the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Academic Council members of the Faculty of Law in 1998. At that time, the proposal found support neither on the part of the directors of the vast majority of subdivisions, nor on the part of the University management. The Dean and the Academic Council of the Faculty of Law were accused of the desire to ‘leave the University structure’ and intentions to ‘pull the University down’.  (Did Member of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Tolstoy advocate the separation of the St Petersburg University Faculty of Law with the goal to form a separate university?, Is it true that Member of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Tolstoy was prevented from speaking up by the applause at the meeting of the University Academic Council?). Dean of the Faculty of Law Nikolay Kropachev was fired on 31 August 1999 (How Nikolay Kropachev, Dean of the Faculty of Law, was fired for fighting corruption at St Petersburg University). At the meeting of the University Academic Council it was proposed to: ‘dismiss the Academic Council of the Faculty of Law’ (paragraph 89 of the verbatim record of the University Academic Council meeting dated 1 September 1999); and ‘shut down the Faculty of Law and create a new faculty’ (paragraph 45 of the verbatim record of the University Academic Council meeting dated 1 September 1999) (Outcomes of the meeting of the St Petersburg University Academic Council). The Academic Council of the Faculty of Law called on its Dean to petition the court to order his reinstatement in office and appointed its representative in court (paragraph 7 of the address of the Academic Council of the Faculty of Law to the Rector dated 31 August 1999). Rector Lyudmila Verbitskaya held two meetings with the Academic Council of the Faculty (Minutes of the meeting of the Academic Council of the Faculty of Law dated 31 August 1999). Since the promises given at the meeting of the Academic Council were not kept, the Faculty staff started to petition the Vasileostrovsky District Court to invalidate the Rector’s order on resignation. The University management decided to appeal to the city court against the decision of the Vasileostrovsky District Court on declaring the Rector's order illegal. However, it withdrew the case a day later and the Rector revoked the order.  

In 2008, at the meeting of the candidates for rector with the University staff, Nikolay Kropachev was given instructions from the voters: getting the right to work following own educational standards (completed in 2008); achieving the adoption of law on a special status of Moscow State University and St Petersburg University (completed in 2009); introducing indefinite term employment agreements (completed in 2016); introducing research associate positions funded from the budget (decided in 2011); introducing own rules of holding candidate and doctoral dissertation defences (decided in 2013); introducing own diplomas (decided in 2010); achieving the right to hold competitive selection for the positions following own procedure (decided in 2014); achieving the acquisition of the buildings of the Military Academy of Logistics (transferred in 2011); increasing the core funding for scientific research (has increased by 16 times since 2006); introducing competitions for post-doc positions (decided in 2013); introducing own titles of Associate Professor and Professor (the issues has not been resolved yet); creating employer-rented housing for research and teaching staff (resolved in 2012); and achieving the right to create legal entities within the University’s structure (the issues has been resolved only now).           

The participants of the meeting with the candidates for the rector of St Petersburg University emphasised that the completion of the last instruction would allow for greater autonomy and responsibility for the activity of the University subdivisions. Before long, the first steps towards it were taken. A theoretical possibility of creating legal entities within the academic organisation of St Petersburg University was established in 2009 by Federal Law No 259-FZ ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University’ dated 10 November 2009.

Since 2010, the University has regularly made attempts to implement this option. To do so, it was required that the Government of the Russian Federation at least approve of the creation of such legal entities within the structure of the academic organisations of the relevant universities. Unfortunately, St Petersburg University was not actively supported by Lomonosov Moscow State University.

The next stage of the University’s actions towards the creation of legal entities within the academic structure of the University is related to the merger of the Pirogov Clinic into the University (2014–2016). For several years, St Petersburg University refused to incorporate the Clinic into the University structure in the form of an ordinary structural subdivision. However, persistent requests on the part of the University management to include the Clinic into the University structure in the status of a separate legal entity were unsuccessful (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 11 January 2021).

In September-October 2020, Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies Yury Fedotov addressed the Rector with a question about changing the status of the Clinic. This question was considered at the meetings of the standing committees of the University’s Academic Council: Standing Scientific Committee; Standing Teaching Methodology Committee; and Standing Legal Committee (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 11 January 2021).

On 21 December, the issues on the status of the Clinic were considered at the meeting of the University’s Academic Council. The Academic Council deemed necessary to provide a possibility to form the academic organisation of St Petersburg University from the subdivisions with the status of legal entities. To do so, the Academic Council addressed the Rector with a request to initiate a change in the provisions of Federal Law No 259-FZ dated 10 November 2009 in order to provide St Petersburg University with the power to establish such legal entities and have ownership of their property (Outcomes of the meeting of the St Petersburg University Academic Council dated 21 December 2020, section ‘On the St Petersburg University Clinic status’). It was yet another attempt to resolve the issue.

However, St Petersburg University had a viable chance to solve this issue only after its position was supported by Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Andrei Fursenko. Much depended on addressing the issue at the Russian Presidential Directorate for Science and Education Policy headed by Inna Bilenkina. The issues were thoroughly elaborated by one of the most influential lawyers in the field of education and science of Russia – Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Directorate for Science and Education Policy Yulia Linskaya. At the end of December 2020, the President of Russia encharged Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin with a task ‘to ensure the introduction of changes into Federal Law No 259-FZ “On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University” dated 10 November 2009 providing that the powers to establish legal entities within the structure of the academic organisation of Lomonosov Moscow State University and academic organisation of St Petersburg University, as well as ownership powers for the federal property allocated to or subject to allocation to such legal entities shall be exercised by Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University, respectively, on behalf of the Russian Federation under the statutory procedure defined by the Government of the Russian Federation’ (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 11 January 2021). On 2 July, President Vladimir Putin signed the law on introducing changes into Federal Law No 259-FZ ‘On Lomonosov Moscow State University and St Petersburg University’. 

Following the discussion of the changes introduced into the law on Moscow State University and St Petersburg University and the related possibilities and perspectives for the University staff and students, it was decided to create a working group encharged with the task of establishing a legal entity within the University structure based on the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies. This group shall include the representatives of all medical subdivisions of the University (deans of the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies, the Faculty of Medicine, Director of the Medical College), Chairpersons of the Standing Committees of St Petersburg University Academic Council. Igor Tikhonovich, Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the Academic Council of the All-Russia Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology, that has a long-standing relationship with the University, came forward with an initiative to become a part of St Petersburg University with the rights of a legal entity. This information was positively received by the meeting participants.

Moreover, Article 12 of Federal Law No 273-FZ ‘On education in the Russian Federation’ has been updated. Currently, the organisations performing educational activity based on the state-accredited degree programmes (except for the pre-school academic programmes) and academic programmes of comprehensive vocational training have been granted the right to provide for the use of a tentative curriculum and/or tentative academic timetable and/or tentative syllabus of subjects, courses, disciplines (modules), as well as a tentative tutorial programme and/or tentative timetable of tutorial work included into the relevant tentative degree programmes, when developing degree programmes. In this case, such teaching methodology documentation shall not be developed.

In this regard, the directors of the Academic Gymnasium, the College of Physical Culture and Sport, the Medical College of St Petersburg University have been tasked to provide the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods with proposals on the expediency of formalising the provisions similar to the requirements to the tentative degree programmes in the teaching methodology documentation of the degree programmes and comprehensive vocational training programmes of St Petersburg University.

2. Decisions on Human Resources

Rector Nikolay Kropachev commended Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies Yury Fedotov for dedicated work in the position of Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care. It was noted that the University Clinic has been recognised as the best in St Petersburg for a number of years based on the feedback from specialists and patients (St Petersburg University Pirogov Clinic rated as one of the best medical facilities in St PetersburgSt Petersburg University Pirogov Clinic takes the first place in the ranking of St Petersburg medical facilities).

Honorary citizen of St Petersburg Petr Iablonskii, who has been the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University for many years, was appointed Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care. Now, his duties include coordinating the work of all medical subdivisions of the University including the two faculties, the Medical College, and the Clinic. The elections of a new dean of the Faculty of Medicine will be held in autumn. An Acting Dean will be appointed in the near future for the interim period.

3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

Last week, the Virtual Reception received 51 enquiries from students and teachers including 10 enquiries on academic issues addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. 25 messages were sent to the e-mail of the Vice-Rector.

There were enquiries on various issues: eliminating the academic debt; the possibility to receive documents from the student’s personal record; receiving a certificate confirming the status of a St Petersburg University student; holding field work for University’s studentschanging the academic programme and the form of education at St Petersburg University; studying at the University in two languages; the transfer procedure; presenting an international student for expelling from the University; a disagreement with the State Assessment Committee decision; a pre-schedule issue of an academic certificate; the invigilation results; organising the studies of an international student at the University; providing an individual resitting schedule; forwarding an application request for vacations; issuing certificates; and encumbering the stipend. All enquiries are being addressed by the specialists of the relevant services of the University. All questions are answered in a timely manner.

According to the information from the majority of directors of research and academic subdivisions, interim and final assessments are held in accordance with the timetable with the use of information and communication technologies and/or in a hybrid format.

A student sent an enquiry to the Dean of the Faculty of Economics (sent to the Academic Office on 28 June 2021) on experiencing problems when trying to apply for a change in the way their education is funded. The student has been consulted by the Academic Office specialists.

The Dean of the School of International Relations has received an enquiry from a bachelor’s programme graduate with a request to provide a video recording of the appeal committee meeting with the goal to prepare a complaint on the meeting results. The student received a ‘satisfactory’ grade at the graduation project defence for the reason of plagiarism and filed a request of reconsidering the grade to the appeal committee. The latter did not find any violations in the graduation project defence procedure and left the grade unchanged. The Dean recommended that the student write a formal request. The procedure of providing the student with the video recording of the appeal committee meeting is not specified in the University By-laws regulating the State Assessment Committee. A protocol is formed based on the results of the meeting of the State Assessment Committee and the appeal committee. Enquiries from the same person have also been sent to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. The facts stated in the enquiry are being checked.

A third-year student in International Relations attended an appointment with the Dean with a request to be directed to the Committee for External Relations of St Petersburg for internship. In a telephone conversation with the head of the information and analytical department of the Committee for External Relations, the Dean found out that the department is indeed interested in accepting this student for an internship in the nearest future. A specialist of the department on organising internships and facilitating employment of the University graduates prepared a relevant recommendation.

In the course of the week, the Dean of the Faculty of Biology received enquiries from students on the format of summer practical activity. Some enquiries were completely opposite: some students ask for a transition into a distant format, others insist on the in-person practical work especially in the case of field work. The students receive explanations on an ongoing basis. Currently, based on the decision of the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, practical activity for the students of Biology is organised in Peterhof without travelling to remote field work sites.  

The directors of some academic and scientific subdivisions did not hold meetings with students during the last week. 

From 26 June to 2 July, the graduation project defences were held for 121 doctoral , bachelor's and master’s students.

No

Field

Doctoral programme

Bachelor’s programme

Master’s programme

Total

1.

Asian and African Studies

4

41

 

45

2.

History

   

1

1

3.

Medicine

4

   

4

4.

Control  Processes

4

   

4

5.

Psychology

15

   

15

6.

Philology

33

9

 

42

7.

Philosophy

10

   

10

 

Total

70

50

1

121

The meetings of 129 State Assessment Committees were held:

No

Field

State Assessment Committee for the final state examination

State Assessment Committee for the graduation project defence or final State Assessment Committee

Total

1.

Biology

 

4

4

2.

Asian Studies

1

9

10

3.

Pedagogy  

 

1

1

4.

History

 

16

16

5.

Medicine

2

16

18

6.

International Relations

 

2

2

7.

Earth Sciences

 

4

4

8.

Control  Processes

 

5

5

9.

Psychology

 

5

5

10.

Sociology

 

1

1

11.

Dental Medicine  and Medical Technologies

 

1

1

12.

Physics

 

5

5

13.

Philology

 

55

55

14.

Philosophy

 

2

2

 

Total

3

126

129

From 121 graduation project defences, 103 people (85.1 %) were graded as ‘excellent’, 11 people (9.1 %) – ‘good’, 5 people (4.1 %) – ‘satisfactory’, and two people (1.7 %) – ‘unsatisfactory’.

No

Field

Doctoral programme

Bachelor’s programme

Master’s programme

Total

Satisfactory

good

excellent

unsatisfactory

satisfactory

good

excellent

excellent

 

1.

Asian and African Studies

1

 

3

1

2

5

33

 

45

2.

History

             

1

1

3.

Medicine

   

4

         

4

4.

Control  Processes

   

4

         

4

5.

Psychology

 

3

12

         

15

6.

Philology

2

2

29

1

 

1

7

 

42

7.

Philosophy

   

10

         

10

 

Total

3

5

62

2

2

6

40

1

121

Following the results of the final state examinations, two enquiries to the appeal committees were filed by bachelor's students in the field of Asian and African Studies. Upon consideration, the appeals were not satisfied.

The final state assessment for the 2020/21 academic year shall be almost completed on 5 July.

4. On accommodating students in the halls of residence

Every year, due to deteriorating condition of the residential buildings, hundreds of places in the University halls of residents are put out of operation. This results in a reduced number of places to accommodate first-year students (Student halls of residence: past and present). Thus, as of today, 2,527 places have been put out of operation, 1,431 places are about to be put out of operation due to the probability of risks to the life and health of students. About 62% of the halls of residence require a thorough overhaul. At the same time in 2021, 252 places have been put out of operation due to the need to perform repair works. By 25 August, 207 places will be put into operation after the repair works. Thus, there is negative dynamics due to the lack of funding allocated for repair works.

At the same time, the enrolment of students including international students is increasing.   Thus, apart from conducting repair works and solving the issues with receiving additional funding, the University is looking for alternative ways of accommodating students. The University specialists have analysed the market of commercial accommodation and held talks with a number of organisations offering temporary accommodation for students. In the near future, the University portal will feature information about additional possibilities of accommodating students in commercial halls of residence and hostels of St Petersburg. Students will also be consulted on the accommodation options during the enrolment process.

The preparation for the accommodation of first-year students in the halls of residence is underway. Due to the possibility provided by the federal legislation, the terms of first-year students’ enrolment in all levels of education have been adjusted. The University systems involved in the accommodation process have been upgraded in due manner. Additional logistics for the accommodation process has been elaborated. The Order on organising the work has been issued in advance, a new version of the Provisions on the allocation of places in the halls of residence at St Petersburg University for the 2021/22 academic year has been approved.

Detail information is published at the St Petersburg University portal.

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

On 9 June, a career guidance event for the applicants seeking to get enrolled into the bachelor's programmes in mathematics and computer science was held in the University building at 29, 14th Line, Vasilyevsky Island. The event was attended by about 40 school students from St Petersburg, Moscow, the Republic of Tatarstan, the regions of Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Sverdlovsk, Samara, Tyumen. All of the attendees were the winners of the final stage of the all-Russia Olympiad in mathematics among school students, international specialised Olympiads and the Olympiads included into the list of the Russian Ministry of Education.

Research and teaching staff of St Petersburg University told the school students about: the bachelor’s programmes in Mathematics, Modern Programming, Data Science; the educational process and curriculum building; research work and Olympiad movement; possibilities of receiving scholarships; professional development; and international academic cooperation. The school students were addressed by Professor Fedor Petrov and the directors of academic programmes: Associate Professor Alexei Stepanov, Professor Alexander Kulikov, Associate Professor Alexander Avdyushenko.

The event participants were especially interested in the presentations by the representatives of the employers from the University’s partner organisations. Maxim Shafirov, CEO of JetBrains, spoke about his personal career path, company success story, company operation principles, skills and knowledge of the employees. Yandex employees Ilia Katsev and Boris Baev gave a lecture on ‘The use of game theory in Yandex metrics for web-search and web-recommendations’. The presenters answered the questions on the part of the attendees.  

Apart from the University building, the participants of the career guidance event also visited St Petersburg University Hall of Residence No 4 in 21/1 Shevchenko Street in the Vasileostrovsky District of St Petersburg. This hall of residence accommodates international students of the programmes in mathematics and computer science, and the winners and laureates of Olympiads. According to the Provisions on allocating places in the University halls of residence to non-resident winners and laureates of the all-Russia Olympiad for school students and school Olympiads included into the list of the Russian Ministry of Education who have the right to be enrolled to St Petersburg University without entrance examinations, such students are provided with places in the University halls of residence located in the Vasileostrovsky and Nevsky districts, if the timetable of students enrolled to the University without entrance examinations implies attending classes mainly in the University buildings located in the Admiralteysky, Vasileostrovsky and Tsentralny Districts of the city. 

It was also mentioned that the winners and laureates of the all-Russia Olympiad for school students and school Olympiads included into the list of the Russian Ministry of Education, enrolled in the bachelor's and specialist’s programmes have the right to apply for Presidential grants based on Presidential Order No 607 ‘On the measures of state support to the persons demonstrating outstanding abilities’ dated 7 December 2015 and Order No 744 of the Russian Federation Government ‘On Presidential grants to the persons demonstrating outstanding ability and showing high achievements in a specific field enrolled in the educational and research organisations’.    

At the Rectors meeting, this event was referred as a positive example of working with the applicants of St Petersburg University academic programmes on the part of the staff of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science.

6. The number of the University’s projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation

In 2014-2015, the Russian Science Foundation declared 66 competitions. As of today, the results have been drawn on 57 of them with 9,965 research projects in research and educational organisations of Russia receiving support. 

St Petersburg University takes the leading position in the number of projects in St Petersburg supported by the Russian Science Foundation since 2014: 422 supported projects have been completed or are being implemented on the basis of St Petersburg University. ITMO University takes the second place with 170 projects. The Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences takes the third place with 105 projects, and Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University is on the fourth place with 80 supported projects.  

No

St Petersburg Organisations

The number of supported projects since 2014

Of them for  young scientists since 2014

1

St Petersburg University

422

147

2

ITMO University

170

77

3

Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute 

105

18

4

Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University

80

28

5

Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

57

23

6

All-Russia Research Institute of Agricultural Microbiology

31

2

7

Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University ‘LETI’

28

8

8

Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences

27

6

9

Sechenov Institute of Evolutionary Physiology and Biochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences

27

5

10

Alferov University

25

9

The number of projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation since 2014 till the present moment

The majority of the supported projects at St Petersburg University are in the field of Chemistry and Materials Science (108 projects). The second place is taken by the field of ‘The Humanities and Social Sciences’ (82), the third – ‘Mathematics, Informatics and Systems Science’ (59), the fourth – ‘Biology and Life Science’ (46).  

St Petersburg University projects

Since 2016, the Russian Science Foundation has announced two specialised competitions for young scientists: a competition to receive grants from the Russian Science Foundation on ‘Conducting research by research groups directed by young scientists’ of the Presidential programme for research projects; and a competition to receive grants from the Russian Science Foundation on ‘Conducting initiative-based research by young scientists’ of the Presidential programme for research projects. The young scientists of St Petersburg University have received support from the Russian Science Foundation for 147 research projects. The second place is taken by ITMO University (77 projects) and the third – by Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University (28).

The number of projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation directed by young scientists since 2014 till the present moment

Data source: the Russian Science Foundation website.

Dean of the Faculty of Law Sergei Belov asked why the comparison of the numbers of grants from the Russian Science Foundation is given only for the universities of St Petersburg. It would be interesting to compare the achievements of St Petersburg University with other universities of Russia. The Vice Rector for Research have been tasked to prepare such information for the next Rector's meeting.

7. Digital profiles of research and teaching staff

In accordance with Order of Rospotrebnadzor No 831 dated 14 August 2020, a centralised public access to the following elements of the digital portfolio for every research and teaching staff shall be organised:

  • Last name, first name, patronymic
  • Position(s)
  • Educational level; qualification; name of the field and/or specialisation
  • Scientific degree (if available); scientific title (if available)
  • Advanced training and/or professional training (if available)
  • General period of work; period of work in the field
  • Disciplines, courses, modules of academic programmes taught

At St Petersburg University, these characteristics are the elements of the research and teaching staff digital portfolio. Following a unified approach toward building digital portfolios for research and teaching staff, the following information available in the University systems will also be located in public access:

  • Name of the subdivision
  • Information in the profile of the research and teaching staff member published in the Pure system (research output, projects, activities).

Information on the publication activity is included into the University’s Pure system by the research and teaching staff themselves. The analysis of inserted data shows that not all publications affiliated with St Petersburg University are included into the Pure information system.  For example, in 2019, from the general number of St Petersburg University affiliated publications indexed in such international bases as Web of Science and Scopus, only 75% have been listed in the University’s Pure system. Thus, the information on the publication activity included into the Pure system of the University does not fully reflect the level of St Petersburg University affiliated publication activity in general and of some research and teaching staff members in particular.

The directors of institutes and deans of faculties have been charged with the following:

  • Draw attention of the research and teaching staff to the need of providing the entire information on their publications (Order No 7725/1 dated 18 July 2017, paragraph 3.4); when conducting competition procedures and when presenting staff members for conferment of scientific titles, the information on the publications by the research and teaching staff will be taken from the Pure information system of St Petersburg University;
  • Provide their opinion on the expedience / necessity of publishing the following information within the digital portfolio: corporate e-mail and timetable of the staff member.

8. Preliminary results of the assessment

At the Rector’s meeting on 28 June, Marina Lavrikova informed the participants about the problems related to untimely return of the examination bulletins by the teachers of the Institute of Earth Sciences (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 28 June 2021). An inspection has been initiated. However, it is impeded by the fact that part of the teachers is currently at the practical work sites, while the other part is on a regular vacation. At the same time, based on the responses received, it becomes clear that the fault is not always with the teachers. Thus, it is necessary to analyse the organisation of the process from the two sides: on the side of the teachers and on the side of the academic office specialists, in order to exclude violation of the Academic Regulations in future. 

9. The results of work dedicated to the perpetuation of the memory of Lyudmila Verbitskaya

With the goal to perpetuate the memory of St Petersburg University President Lyudmila Verbitskaya, on 27 November 2019 (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 25 November 2019) the following committee was established by the Rector’s order: Chairperson – Igor Gorlinsky, Vice President of the Academic Council of St Petersburg University; Deputy Chairperson – Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods. The Committee members include the following:  Abdulla Daudov, Director of the Institute of History at St Petersburg University; Vladimir Eremeev, Vice Rector for Human Resources; Vladimir Kazakov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Philology; Svetlana Rubtsova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages; Nikolai Skvortsov, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology; Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Robert Evarestov, Honorary Professor of St Petersburg University, Head of the Department of Quantum Chemistry; Lilia Zairova, Chief Specialist.

The work of the Committee was organised in the format of in-person meetings (3 December 2019, 26 December 2019, 12 February 2020) and additional discussions in the format of e-mail exchange, mailing of the proposals received and the minutes of the committee meetings. The results of the committee work were reported at the Rector’s meetings (Minutes of the Rector's meetings dated 2 December 2019 and 9 December 2019).

In general, from 3 December 2019 to 12 February 2020, the Committee received 15 proposals from the staff members and students of St Petersburg University and persons outside the University structure. After 12 February 2020, no new proposals were received. In the result of the discussion and according to the minutes of the meetings, the following proposals were recommended for implementation: 

  1. On assigning the status of ‘memorial’ and on installing a memorial board dedicated to Lyudmila Verbitskaya in one of the classrooms at 11 Universitetskaya Embankment

Completed: classroom No 184, a relevant table has been installed. 

  1. On assigning the name of Lyudmila Verbitskaya to the Department of General Linguistics

Completed: the proposal by Honorary Professor of St Petersburg University Vadim Kasevich and Professor Iurii Kleiner was supported by the decision of the Academic Council of St Petersburg University dated 29 December 2020 and implemented by the order dated 13 February 2021.

  1. On placing a portrait of Lyudmila Verbitskaya in classroom No 70 of the main building next to the portraits of other University Rectors

Completed: the portrait has been put up in classroom No 70 (currently classroom No 2013).

  1. On preparation and publication in the University’s Publishing House of a book of memoirs about Lyudmila Verbitskaya

Completed: book ‘Scientist, Dean, Rector, President: Memoirs about Lyudmila Verbitskaya. Issue 1’, 128 pages. A decision on preparing the materials for the second issue has been taken.                     

Moreover, this year the Publishing House of St Petersburg University has reissued the book by Neonilla Iampolskaia ‘Universant Lyudmila’ based on the talks of the author with Lyudmila Verbitskaya on various topics.  This book was published by the Prosveshchenie Publishing House in 2019 in 50 copies. Rector Nikolay Kropachev managed to agree with the management of the Prosveshchenie Publishing House on transferring the rights for this publication to St Petersburg University in 2021 for 1,000 copies with further printing as required.   

  1. On establishing a scholarship named after Lyudmila Verbitskaya for St Petersburg University students and doctoral students of various fields who have demonstrated high achievements in the field of studying various aspects of the Russian language.

Completed: the scholarship was established by the order dated 1 June 2020.

The following students won in the first competition:

  • Tatiana Sulimova, second-year master’s student in Linguistics
  • Anastasiia Konovalova, a first-year doctoral student in Linguistics and Literary Criticism
  1. On preparing and publishing selected works by Lyudmila Verbitskaya in the field of the Russian language studies by the Publishing House of St Petersburg University

The work is under way directed by Professor Vladimir Kazakov.  

  1. On preparation of a special issue of ‘Vestnik of St Petersburg University. Language and Literature’, of which Lyudmila Verbitskaya was the Editor-in-Chief, and on holding one of the sections of the 49th International Conference on Philology with a tentative name ‘In memory of Lyudmila Verbitskaya’

Completed. In addition, at the 49th International Conference it was decided that in future such conference will always have the additional name of ‘In memory of Lyudmila Verbitskaya’.      

  1. On the issue of St Petersburg University magazine dedicated entirely to Lyudmila Verbitskaya

Relevant activity is conducted under the guidance of Professor Vladimir Kazakov.

  1. On installing a memorial board on the University building (Rector’s Wing) dedicated to Lyudmila Verbitskaya

(under consideration)                                                                    

The authors whose proposals were declined or repeated previous proposals were responded in writing with the relevant clarifications signed by the Committee Chairperson.       

Currently, points 1-5 and 7 have been completed in full. Points 6, 8, 9 are in the works under supervision of the University officials. The Rector asked the colleagues not to be restricted by the plan and make new additional proposals.

10. Organising medical check-ups for students

The participants emphasised the importance of regular medical check-ups for students during the pandemic, as well as the duty of the University to make arrangements for such check-ups. On the premises of the University Clinic at 16-18, 7th Line, Vasilyevsky Island, and 35 Universitetsky Prospect, the University provided for two points where the students could have a regular medical check-up. 2,089 students used this right (1,768 students had a medical check-up in the Vasileostrovsky District and 321 – in the Petrodvortsovy District). It was underscored that despite the information and promotion among the students on the part of medical staff and specialists of the academic office and the Department for Youth Affairs, the medical check-ups have been attended by very few students. Many students do not consider it necessary and obligatory refusing to take care of their health. The measures of positive stimulation are inefficient. The directors and deans have been assigned to emphasise the importance of medical check-ups during their meetings with students.

11. The response of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation to the enquiry from St Petersburg University

In April 2021, St Petersburg University sent an enquiry to the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation with a request to estimate the possibilities of the  University cooperation with Bard College (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 17 May 2021).

On 29 June 2021, the official response of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation was received by the University. The response contains the following: the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation has determined that the activity of the educational foreign non-governmental organisation Bard College (USA) presents threat to the foundations of the constitutional order and security of the Russian Federation. In this regard, it was decided to recognise the activity of this organisation as undesirable in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Earlier, on 21 June 2021, the relevant information was published on the website of the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. It was also requested that the University should send the relevant information to the Ministry of Justice in order to include Bard College into the list of foreign and international non-governmental organisations whose activity in the territory of the Russian Federation has been considered undesirable to make this information public (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 28 June 2021).

12. Observing the face mask mandate by the students

In accordance with Order No 754/1 dated 31 August 2020, 20 committees on checking the observation of mask mandate by the University staff and students and the use of individual protection means were created. Specialists of the Academic Affairs Department, the Educational Programmes Department, the Department for Youth Affairs, the Human Resources Department, supervisors of repair and operation divisions, and student representatives were also attracted to the work of the committees. For the purposes of rapid communication with the committees and monitoring of their activities, the following e-mail has been created: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Weekly reports on observing the requirements on the use of individual protection means by St Petersburg University students are published in the Delo Information System. The preventive effect from the work of the committees on the observation of the individual protection means requirements is obvious. However, it is important to continue persistent control of the mask mandate observation.

From the start of the work of the committees and the issue of the order till mid-November 2020, the committees performed over 1,500 checks, during which 924 violations were found. The vast majority of violations were fixed on site. The committee chairpersons noted the following in their reports: ‘Explanatory talks are held. All students have masks. However, they often put them down wearing them on the chin. Students respond to the request of putting the mask on with understanding’. As a result, during this time period, five acts on violations by students were compiled. The acts are forwarded for consideration and measure-taking to the Department for Youth Affairs.

According to the chairpersons’ reports, the majority of checks were held by the committees on the Graduate School of Management (240) and the Faculty of Economics (114). The largest number of violations was found by the committee on the Faculty of Philology (562 violations, one act was compiled).

Starting mid-November 2020, students were transferred to the distant mode, which influenced the results of the committee activity. In December 2020, two violations were found upon conducting 434 checks. In January 2021 (from 11 to 31 January), 234 checks were held, 26 violations were found. The violations were fixed on site.

With the return of a part of students back to the University classrooms when transitioning to the hybrid educational format, the number of violations increased. From February to early June 2021, 1,631 checks were held; 185 violations were found, 29 of which were repeating violations. 

In general, students’ attitude to the use of individual protection means can be called satisfactory.

In April 2021, following the results of the meeting of the Dean of the Faculty of Sociology with the Chairperson and members of the Student Council of the Faculty of Sociology, an enquiry was forwarded to the head of the Academic Affairs Department and A. Markova, Chairperson of the Committee on supervising the mask mandate in the School of International Relations, the Faculty of Political Science and the Faculty of Sociology. The issue of checking the observation of mask mandate during in-person classes was discussed. The Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Teaching Methods made relevant orders on conducting an inspection. Based on the inspection results, it was resolved that the committees should take a more rigorous approach in their work. In the course of a subsequent check, the committee found violations of the mask mandate; seven acts of violation were issued.

In general, in the course of the committee work, acts were issued for 25 students and forwarded for consideration to the Department for Youth Affairs. The Student Council gave a positive opinion on 21 acts out of 25. As a result, one reprimand was delivered and 20 warnings were made. Three more acts are under consideration (one student is on leave, so his disciplinary violation has not been considered).

In June 2021, over 250 checks were made. Educational work continues to be performed with students. No acts were issued.

Despite the completion of the academic year, the committees continue their work. All University staff have been called to strictly observe the mask mandate, which is one of the major protection means in the current complicated epidemiological situation.

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
Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 19 July 2021

  1. Negotiations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Russian Federation
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. New regulations for accepting the results of completing online courses
  4. Organising of and informing about the admissions processes
  5. Science Metrix indexes of St Petersburg University
  6. The number of the St Petersburg University's projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation in comparison with other Russia's universities
  7. Recording responsibilities of academic staff
  8. Accessibility of the St Petersburg University's objects for people with special health needs
Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 12 July 2021

  1. Results of collaboration between St Petersburg University, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and academic institutes
  2. Work of the University's experts within the framework of the 'Initiatives of social and economic development of Russia'
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. Rules and regulations for a research supervisor of the academic programme are approved
  5. Electronic portfolio of the St Petersburg University Academic Gymnasium students
  6. Participation of St Petersburg University students in international competitions
  7. Violating the University's Code of Conduct by the University staff and students
  8. Measures to stop the spread of the COVID-19 infection
Read more ...

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
Read more ...

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
Read more ...

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
Read more ...

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
Read more ...

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
  Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 11 May 2021

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

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 12 April 2021

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

Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 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
  Read more ...

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
  Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 22 March 2021

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

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

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

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

Read more ...

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

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

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

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

Read more ...

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

1. The format of training sessions from 1 March 2021

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

Read more ...

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

1. Current issues with organising the academic process

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

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 14 December 2020

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

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

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 7 December 2020

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

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

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

Read more ...

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 30 November 2020

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

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

Read more ...