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

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

On 14 July 2021, Rector of St Petersburg University, Nikolay Kropachev, met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, Mariam Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.

During the meeting, they expressed interest in developing collaboration and implementing the following initiatives:

  • creating and implementing joint academic programmes with the leading universities of the Republic of Sudan
  • providing support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan and the Consulate of the Republic of Sudan in the Russian Federation in inviting the experts, including the President of the University of Khartoum, to take part in the conference that focuses on the history and culture of Sudan that is scheduled for late October in 2021 at St Petersburg University
  • providing support to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan in relation to initiating and developing collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education of the Republic of Sudan for:
    • implementing a project to open the St Petersburg University representative office in one of the leading universities in the Republic of Sudan
    • opening the Russian Language as a Foreign Language Testing Centre within the framework of the project 'The Cabinet of the Russian Language named after Pushkin' in the University of Khartoum
    • developing collaboration in education and research with the universities of the Republic of Sudan, in particular the University of Khartoum, in relation to terminating the framework agreement and agreement on student mobility
    • ensuring research and academic mobility with the University of Khartoum and other leading universities of the Republic of Sudan, implementing joint research projects in a range of fields of knowledge (medicine, history, literature, religious studies, economics, and others)
    • organising video-conferences of scientists and scholars from Russia and Sudan
    • ensuring participation of St Petersburg University students and students of the universities of the Republic of Sudan in the archaeological excavations in the Republic of Sudan
  • posting the link to the official website of St Petersburg University on the website of the Ministry and Consulate of the Republic of Sudan in the Russian Federation in order to provide information about what potential St Petersburg University can develop

On 14 July 2021, Rector of St Petersburg University, Nikolay Kropachev, met the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the Russian Federation Đặng Minh Khôi.

During the meeting, they expressed interest in developing collaboration in the following areas:

  • engaging the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as the chairperson of the council of the academic programme in the history of Vietnam
  • publishing learning and teaching materials on the Vietnamese studies and publishing translations of works by Hồ Chí Minh ('The Art of War') in the Publishing House of St Petersburg University
  • engaging the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in preparing the preface to the first edition of translation with the comments of Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War' that was modernised by Hồ Chí Minh in 1946
  • providing support to the Embassy of Vietnam by St Petersburg University in carrying out expert evaluation of the literature about Vietnam and for Vietnam that was translated into Russian
  • support provided by the Embassy of Vietnam:
    • in increasing the number of the University's academic programmes with the focus on Vietnam, including developing and implementing the academic programme 'Tourism with the Study of Vietnam and the Vietnamese Language'
    • in providing teaching and learning literature and inviting academic staff from Vietnam to open and implement new academic programmes
    • in increasing the number of Vietnamese students at St Petersburg University within the framework of the University selection procedure and on the state-funded basis
  • ensuring support from the Embassy of Vietnam in negotiating with the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam and signing an agreement between the University and the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam
  • ensuring support from the Embassy of Vietnam in organising practices for the University students in Vietnam (the universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City)
  • organising the visit of the Rector of St Petersburg University to Vietnam (after the pandemic ends) to meet the representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education of Vietnam, rectors of the leading universities in Vietnam with support of the Embassy of Vietnam in the Russian Federation

Deans and directors can submit their proposals on how to develop collaboration with the Republic of Sudan and Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

Over the past week, the Virtual Reception received about 71 enquiries submitted by students and academic staff to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, including 11 enquiries relating to academic issues. 20 enquiries were sent to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods via email service.

Enquiries were related to a range of issues: getting a diploma of St Petersburg University; receiving a notice from the archive; postponing paying a tuition fee; academic transfer; learning a second language in International Relations; proctoring; crossing the borders of the Russian Federation by international students; sending a diploma by post; second defence of the graduation project; disagreement with the mark; issuing the status notices; and ending the maternity leave. In relation to all enquiries, information is collected and there are follow-up check-ups by a range of the University divisions, with all replies sent on time.

For example, we received an enquiry from a student in General Medicine. The student enquired about whether in the current academic year there would be scheduled additional meetings of the committee for admission to the implementation of medical activities on positions of mid-level health care professionals.

According to Order No 798/1 dated 2 February 2021, the meetings of the committee were held on 19 and 22 February 2021.  According to the student, due to the fact that the rate of incidences is increasing in St Petersburg, medical institutions (including those operating in the 'red zone' for COVID-19) need more mid-level healthcare professionals. Students are therefore interested in obtaining admission to implement medical activities.

The student was informed that (in accordance with Clause 13 of Order No 419n 'On approval of the procedure for admission of persons who have not completed the academic programmes of higher medical or higher pharmaceutical education and persons with higher medical or higher pharmaceutical education for the implementation of medical activities or pharmaceutical activities in the positions of nursing or mid-level pharmaceutical personnel' issued by the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation on 27 June 2016) the list of documents required for passing the exam, information on the deadlines, place and time of submitting the documents, time and place of the exam are posted by the committee in public places on the premises of the educational organisation no later than two weeks before the date of the exam and on the official website of the educational organisation in the information and telecommunications network 'Internet' (Committee for admission to the implementation of medical activities). If any decisions on organising meetings of the committee for admission to the implementation of medical activities to be held in other periods are adopted, this information will be available to students in due time and manner.

Please notice that most members of the committees are currently on holiday. The meeting schedule is planned to be approved by late August before the 2021-2022 academic year starts.

According to the information received from the heads of the academic and research divisions, the teaching and learning process is over, and students are on holiday. Students in some fields of study have practical training. Up to 28 July 2021, there are diploma awarding ceremonies for the University graduates.

Over the past week, heads of most academic and research divisions reported that they had no meetings with students as students were on holiday.

3. New regulations for accepting the results of completing online courses

Order No 7249/1 dated 14 July 2021 approves new rules and regulations for accepting the results of completing online courses by the University students. Previously published orders and amendments shall be considered null and void. In comparison with the previous order, the following amendments have been introduced:

  • According to Order No 6514/1 'On amending the St Petersburg University Academic Regulations' dated 16 June 2021, it is stipulated that a student whose results of completing an online course have been accepted shall be transferred to study an individual curriculum.
  • It introduces an enlarged list of cases when the results of completing online courses can be accepted, in particular if an online course is included in the catalogue of the courses recommended by the Teaching Methodology Committee or has passed expert evaluation by the research director of the academic programme and received a positive evaluation report.
  • The University students can complete online courses offered by the leading educational organisations worldwide and are available on the global educational online platforms. The leading educational organisations worldwide also include those that are among the top 300 organisations according to the international league tables: The Academic Ranking of World Universities; The Times Higher Education World University Rankings; QS World University Rankings; The Three University Missions Ranking, and U.S. News Best Global Universities.

The catalogue of online courses recommended by the Teaching Methodology Committee shall be updated at least two weeks before each semester starts and published on the University website.

4. Organising of and informing about the admissions processes

In mass media, there are materials that are positioned as analytical materials by their authors. Yet, unfortunately, from a professional point of view, these authors are far from being well acquainted with the subject they are writing about. Some of the statements and conclusions in the articles tend to be misleading or just give false or inaccurate information. More often than not, applicants and their parents regard such materials as a reference point in decision-making.

We have an example that proves the situation. The Fontanka published an article that focused on the admissions processes at universities. The article is 'Admissions, over! Admissions, over! Are you admitting me? Universities of St Petersburg attract more and more students on government-funded places'.

At the very beginning of the article, the authors write: 'Last year, over 15,000 places on fee-paying basis were left vacant. Seemingly, persuading the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to gain more admissions quotas and receive money from the government is easier for rectors than being able to attract students who can afford to pay money for education'. Only this sentence can show their incompetence in the issues relating to forming and distributing the admissions quotas.

According to the current legislation, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation defines the overall number of admissions quotas. This work engages executive government bodies of the subjects of the Russian Federation and responsible centres, i.e. federal bodies that are responsible for implementing the state policy in the relevant spheres (the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation; the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation; and the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation to name just a few).

Thus, neither rectors as public officials nor universities as educational organisations are involved in defining the overall number of admissions quotas. It can be explained by the fact that the number of admissions quotas is stipulated to meet the needs of the economy of the subjects of the Russian Federation and industries, rather than to meet the needs of universities.

Once the number of admissions quotas is defined and approved by the relevant order by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry announces an open competition for educational organisations for distribution of the approved overall number of admissions quotas. Thus, the question is how rectors can 'persuade the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to gain more admissions quotas' when there are no quotas.

Then the authors write: 'One of the side effects is a sharp rise of the “sponsored” places that are paid by government agencies, state companies, or regions'.

This information is far from what the real situation is and misleads readers as the 'sponsored' places are the government-funded places and are not paid by agencies, state companies, or regions. The number of 'sponsored' places is defined by the Government of the Russian Federation to meet the needs in high-calibre staff for industries. Sponsored education is a way to absorb the staff deficit in those industries where market cannot absorb it.

That is why it is not a fluke that: 'the brightest representatives of this movement are medical universities that often define which regions the students who study on the “sponsored” places shall work in.

In relation to admissions on fee-paying basis at the University, the authors write: 'Last year, even the educational market leader in the city, i.e. St Petersburg University, could fulfil only 1,765 places out of the allocated 1,811 places.’

This statement is strange. In 2020, the University admitted 3,441 students on fee-paying basis. Analysing data concerning other universities can only be performed by those universities. Taking into consideration the data concerning the University, we can suggest whether the information relating to other universities can be true or false.

In this respect, it was noted that applicants should make decisions in relation to entering a university by taking into account the information published on the official websites of universities and be very critical to the articles of this kind published by mass media.

During the meeting, it was noted that not only official mass media, but various Internet-resources, information of which are published by various persons, tend to contain false information in relation to admissions processes at the University (for example, about online courses which an applicant shall pay for to complete and score additional points to enter the University: On official sources of information about admissions process).

The Virtual Reception receives enquiries submitted by applicants in relation to the issues of being admitted to the competition, including those which contain negative assessment of the work of the committee for acceptance of application documents, i.e. failing to meet the deadlines of considering the applications and documents.

Our analysis has revealed that, unfortunately, applicants often tend to provide an incomplete set of documents and they are therefore not allowed to take part in the competition (for example, they do not provide an application form, a copy of the personal identification document, or a consent to process personal data, to name but a few). In order to explain the Regulations for Admissions, the staff members of the Documents Acceptance Board have to contact applicants by phone or by email. Information about the phones and emails to contact the Documents Acceptance Board  can be found on the website of the Admissions Office (Contacts of the Information Centre of the Admissions Office at the University).

For example, one of the applicants created an application form at 12.57pm in the University Applicant’s Personal Account on 11 July 2021. She uploaded a scan of the application form in the University Applicant's Personal Account at 11.07pm on 12 July 2021. She also uploaded a scan of the personal identification document, a scan of the document of education, a photo, and a scan of the SNILS (Individual insurance account number). At 10.45pm on 13 July 2021, she uploaded a scan of the consent to process personal data. The application form that was uploaded on 12 July 2021 did not have her signature. That is why the applicant uploaded the application form once again.  At 12.41pm on 12 July 2021, the application form was proceeded, and at 12.55pm she was accepted to take part in the competition.

Yet she submitted her enquiry containing a question of why she had not been included in the list of the applicants who had been accepted to take part in the competition to the Virtual Reception at 10.57pm on 13 July 2021, just several minutes after she uploaded one of the necessary documents to be accepted to take part in the competition, i.e. a consent to process personal data, yet by that time she had failed to fill in her application form properly (there was no signature on her application form).

It was noted that in 2021 the number of the application forms that were processed by the Documents Acceptance Board significantly increased by 2.5 times in comparison with 2020. By 18 July 2021 there were 50,934 applications submitted, while on 18 July 2020 there were 21,972 applications submitted. Although the volume of work increased, the Documents Acceptance Board processes applications and consults applicants and their parents (official representatives) in due course and manner.

The members of the meeting provided other cases that proved irresponsible behaviour of applicants. For example, a typical mistake is that an applicant submits documents for an academic programme, although their Unified State Examination score is lower than the threshold. Yet they expect they will be accepted for study. Directors and deans told that irresponsible behaviour could be a focus of study in pedagogics, psychology, and sociology.

5. Science Metrix indexes of St Petersburg University

Science Metrix indexes of the University have been analysed in comparison with other Russian research and academic organisations (in those spheres that are included in the priority areas in the St Petersburg University Strategic Plan).

Today, among the most popular citation indexes in analysing data concerning the publication activity is CNCI (Category Normalised Citation Impact). Category Normalised Citation Impact of a document is calculated by dividing by an average citation in the same subject area or a group of subject areas. Thus, we can compare the level of relevant citation of a certain range publications in different subject areas (Presentation).

Priority area – 1. Nanotechnology and materials study

From 2004 to 2013, the University's CNCI in this priority area was 0.62. Among the top 1,000 authors who published articles in the area were 27 persons.

According to the CNCI index in the priority area, the leading institution was the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics named by A.I. Alikhanov of the National Research Center 'Kurchatov Institute' (1.61). According to the CNCI index in the number of authors, the leading institution was Lomonosov Moscow State University (84).

From 2010 to 2019, the University's CNCI index increased up to 0.74 in comparison with the previous period. Yet it did not reach the global average level of 1.0 that demonstrates that the level of research is on a par with the global level of research in the area. If the CNCI index is lower than 1.0, it means that there is no up-to-date research in the area at a university. Nevertheless, the number of authors at the University has increased and reached the level of 30 persons (the top 1,000). The biggest climber in the area is the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics named by A.I. Alikhanov of the National Research Center 'Kurchatov Institute' (up to 2.16) and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (up to 0.93).

Priority area – 2. Biomedicine and human health

From 2004 to 2013, the University's CNCI in this area was 0.65. Among the top 1,000 authors who published articles in the area were 9 persons.

According to the CNCI index in the priority area, the leading institution was Saratov State University (1.03). According to the CNCI index in the number of authors, the leading institution was the Russian Academy of Sciences (224).

From 2010 to 2019, the University's CNCI index increased and reached the average global level (1.06) in comparison with the previous period. The number of authors also increased up to 21 persons (the top 1,000). All mentioned above organisations (except for Saratov State University) demonstrated a rise in the CNCI index. Yet only two of them reached the average global level, i.e. St Petersburg University and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

Priority area – 3. Information systems and technologies

From 2004 to 2013, the University's CNCI in this area was 0.77. Among the top 1,000 authors who published articles in the area were 52 persons.

According to the CNCI index in the priority area, the leading institution was ITMO University (0.97). According to the CNCI index in the number of authors, the leading institution was the Russian Academy of Sciences (195).

From 2010 to 2019, the University's CNCI index increased up to 0.87 in comparison with the previous period. Yet it did not reach the global average level of 1.0 that demonstrates that the level of research is on a par with the global level of research in the area. Nevertheless, the number of authors at the University increased and reached the level of 74 persons (the top 1,000). The biggest climber in the area is Novosibirsk State University (from 0.34 to 0.62), while the leading institution is ITMO University (1.09).

Priority area – 4. Ecology and sustainable use of natural resources

From 2004 to 2013, the University's CNCI in this area was 0.51. Among the top 1,000 authors who published articles in the area were 24 persons.

According to the CNCI index in the priority area, the leading institution was Ural Federal University (0.94). According to the CNCI index in the number of authors, the leading institution was the Russian Academy of Sciences (229).

From 2010 to 2019, the University's CNCI index increased up to 0.86 in comparison with the previous period. Yet it did not reach the global average level of 1.0.  The number of authors at the University increased and reached the level of 32 persons (the top 1,000). The biggest climber in the area is St Petersburg University (from 0.51 to 0.86) and Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University (from 0.31 up to 1.48).

Priority area – 5. Human resource management and technologies

From 2004 to 2013, the University's CNCI in this area was 0.85. Among the top 1,000 authors who published articles in the area were 74 persons.

According to the CNCI index in the priority area, the leading institution was the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (0.91). According to the CNCI index in the number of authors, the leading institution was Higher School of Economics (141) (Presentation).

It was noted that although the University showed a rise in all five areas, yet it reached the average global level only in two out of five areas (Biomedicine and Human Health and Human Resource Management and Technologies). Some ten years ago, some of our colleagues thought we were at the forefront in all areas of research worldwide! Today, the University is moving forward, yet many Russian universities show more rapid progress and development than St Petersburg University. It was highlighted that increasing the quality of publications is essential since it defines the citation index as is the number of researchers who are among the top 1,000 in each area.

6. The number of the St Petersburg University's projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation in comparison with other Russia's universities

During the Rector's Meeting on 5 July 2021, there were presented data on the grants from the Russian Science Foundation that were received by St Petersburg University in comparison with the grants received by other universities in St Petersburg. The Dean of the Faculty of Law Sergei Belov asked about the progress St Petersburg University had made in comparison with other Russian universities (Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 5 July 2021). On behalf of the Rector, the Vice-Rector for Research Sergey Mikushev prepared and presented the following information.

In Russia, St Petersburg University is ranked second in terms of the number of projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation. From 2014, the Russian Science Foundation has supported 455 University's projects.  Lomonosov Moscow State University is ranked first (838 projects), while on the third place is ITMO University (195 projects).

The table below shows the number of the projects supported by the Russian Science Foundation from 2014 up to now for the top 10 educational institutions of higher education in Russia, according to the data of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject:

No

Name of the institution

The number of the projects supported since 2014, pcs

Among them: for early-career researchers since 2014, pcs

1

Lomonosov Moscow State University

838

276

2

St Petersburg University

455

181

3

ITMO University

195

105

4

Kazan Federal University

166

77

5

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

164

74

6

Higher School of Economics

150

59

7

Tyumen State University

137

60

8

National University of Science and Technology MISIS

121

66

9

Novosibirsk State University

96

28

10

Peter the Great St Petersburg State Polytechnic University

90

38

11

National Research Nuclear University MEPHI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute)

84

35

12

Bauman Moscow State Technical University

44

15

13

St Petersburg Mining University

16

7

7. Recording responsibilities of academic staff

The current state policy in research and education is underpinned by the principle that Russian researchers should be widely represented in the global league tables through increasing the quality and quantity of the indexed publications in Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection. For almost 10 years, the University has been solving this task, including through formulating requirements for academic staff to have such publications and formulating high responsibilities for publications in their employment agreements.

In 2000 up to 2010, the practice of publishing articles in international journals was not well developed. That is why the responsibilities for academic staff to have indexed publications were introduced gradually in some divisions taking into consideration the specifics of each division. For example, if in 2013 there had been a minimal competition requirement for academic staff in history and philosophy 'to have at least two publications in Scopus and/or Web of Science Core Collection for the last three years', few professors (if any) could have taken part in the competition and a number of academic programmes had therefore to be closed as there would have been no lecturers to teach students. For example, during the Rector's meeting in 2013, Professor Aleksandr Maiorov suggested that each candidate to become a head of a department should have publications in Scopus and Web of Science for the last five years and a relevant citation index (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 10 December 2013).

As these requirements were gradually introduced, this resulted in inconsistency of the competition requirements and contents of employment agreements. In some faculties (Faculty of Asian and African Studies, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Faculty of Foreign Languages) the employment agreements still have formulations of the requirements that allow alternative ways to count the publications (both in terms of the databases which the publication should be indexed in and a language which it must be written in). The situation is the same with the qualification requirements for the next competition campaign which is scheduled for spring in 2022. They also allow alternative ways in interpreting the clause of the agreement in relation to publications.

Today, employment agreement has a requirement for academic staff 'to have at least two publications annually in the peer-reviewed journals indexed in RSCI, Scopus, Web of Science Core Collection, ERIH, with one out of the two publications being written in a foreign language; at least one publication in the peer-reviewed journals indexed in Web of Science Core Collection or Scopus for the period of employment agreement'. Such formulations are used to stimulate academic staff in an individual way to publish their articles in the journals indexed in Scopus and Web of Science, yet they can publish their articles in less prestigious journals.

Unfortunately, as the practice has shown for the last 10 years, such approach does not allow to stimulate academic staff to publish their works only in the journals indexed in Scopus or Web of Science Core Collection (or other similar journals).It therefore seems worthwhile to make another step forward in this direction, i.e. to use a unified structure of the minimal requirements in similar areas of study and separate requirements to have publications in Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection from requirements to other publications. The participants of the meeting supported the idea. Svetlana Rubtsova, Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, highlighted that the members of the Faculty of Foreign Languages do not understand why the requirements for academic staff of the Faculty of Foreign Languages are higher that the requirements for the academic staff of the Faculty of Philology.

Currently, most employment agreements (70%) with academic staff have standard formulations. Only quantitative values are subject to change depending on the areas of study and individual achievements. For example, if the minimal number of publications for the next competition period in an area of study is two publications for three years, the minimal number of publications in the agreements for three years is at least two publications. Yet the minimal number of publications can be increased individually.

The requirements for academic staff in the employment agreements are expected to be unified gradually during the coming two years depending on the minimal qualification requirements. Awareness of failing to meet these requirements has a great potential to stimulate academic staff.

It was noted that recent years have seen changes in this situation. If in 2019 only 37% of academic staff at St Petersburg University received a salary that was higher than two average salaries in the regions, in 2021 almost 49,4% of academic staff receive a salary that is higher by 200% than the average salary in the region. In 2019, there were eight research and academic divisions at the University where the salary was higher than two average salaries in the region. In 2021, there are 16 divisions where the salary is higher than two average salaries in the region. Labour conditions and information resources at the University have significantly changed as have the requirements for the staff.

Directors and deans are instructed to send their proposals as to how to improve the structure of and increase the level of the minimal qualification requirements for publications for the upcoming periods up to 25 August 2021.

8. Accessibility of the St Petersburg University objects for people with special health needs

At St Petersburg University, there are 422 objects of immovable assets recorded, including:

  • 128 objects in the central districts in St Petersburg
  • 152 objects in Peterhof
  • 142 objects on the premises in other regions in Russia

71 out of 422 objects are objects of the federal, regional, and cultural value (Presentation).

The state programme 'Accessible Environment' and Order No 1309 'On approval of the Rules and regulations for ensuring accessibility of objects and services in education for people with special health needs' issued by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation on 9 November 2015 require providing access to the premises and buildings for people with limited mobility.

According to the current legislation, people with limited mobility are:

  • persons with locomotive disability
  • persons with visual impairment and hearing-impaired persons
  • elderly people
  • temporarily disabled people
  • pregnant women
  • people with perambulators
  • pre-school children

The buildings and premises shall be equipped (adapted) to provide access for the following categories of people with limited mobility:

  • wheelchair persons (W)
  • persons with locomotor disabilities (L)
  • persons with visual impairment (V)
  • hearing-impaired persons (H)

According to the requirements stipulated by the legislation and legal acts, the events to adapt the objects shall be carried out within the framework of 'reasonable adaptation' scheme. Buildings and premises where the University implements academic programmes that have many practical classes and have a wide range of laboratories shall be fully reorganised to accommodate the needs of all categories of people with limited abilities. At St Petersburg University, there are over 40 buildings of this kind, with the total area size of about 300,000 square metres. The buildings where the University implements academic programmes that do not use laboratory equipment can be reorganised partially or on a case-by-case basis, according to the 'reasonable adaptation' scheme.

Currently, St Petersburg University has 250 persons with special health needs among its students and staff. Among them are 233 students:

  • 39 out of them have locomotive disability
  • 26 out of them have visual impairment
  • 5 out of them have hearing impairment.

These students study in 57 academic programmes in over 30 University's buildings. The number of students with disabilities is increasing annually.

Also, there are 17 members of the academic staff:

  • 3 out of them have locomotive disability
  • 1 out of them have visual impairment
  • 1 out of them have hearing impairment.

The buildings are divided into categories depending on the following:

  • accessible to everyone – only 1 building
  • accessible to everyone on a case-by-case basis – 4 buildings
  • accessible to everyone partially – 0 building
  • accessible partially and on a case-by-case basis – 56 buildings
  • accessible on a provisional basis – 1 building
  • temporarily inaccessible – 7 buildings

Most of the University’s buildings cannot be fully adapted to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. It is primarily due to the fact that these buildings are historic buildings and objects of cultural heritage. For example, in 2019, the building located at 11 Universitetskaya Embankment (Palace of Peter II) was not accessible for people with disabilities. Consequently, a girl who used a wheelchair had to leave the University due to inaccessibility of the building, although she won the Olympiad and was admitted to study the programme in oriental studies. The girl took part in the matriculation ceremony for first-year students at the University. Yet during the first semester she had to leave the University.

According to the urban planning legislation, when works on building and construction, major repairs, or building adaptation are performed, there must be developed a scheme to implement the events on providing access for people with disabilities.

The University sustainably implements the programme 'Accessible Environment' that focuses on providing further equipment of the buildings to ensure accessibility for people with disability.

  1. The University published local acts: Order No 8082/1 dated 9 August 2017 with amendments No 5116/1 dated 29 May 2018; Order No 11222/1 'On creating a committee to examine the University's objects in terms of ensuring accessible environment for group with limited mobility' dated 16 November 2018; Order No 8607/1 'On approval of the Rules and regulations for organising learning and teaching process for people with disabilities and people with special health needs at the University' dated 31 August 2018.
  2. The University developed, agreed, and approved the accessibility passports that described the actual condition of accessibility of the architectural zones for 77 University's buildings for study purposes.
  3. We also developed a plan of events to form a barrier-free environment at the University for three years (2020, 2021, and 2022). These events are divided into the following groups:
    • human resourcing
    • work with applicants with disabilities
    • architectural accessibility of the buildings
    • material and technical support in research and education
    • adaptation of the academic programmes and material and technical resources for study purposes for people with disabilities
    • total support of the teaching and learning process

      These groups are within the scope of responsibilities of the relevant official persons.
  4. The University approved a plan to further equip 77 buildings to make them more accessible for people with disabilities. Among them are 38 objects of cultural heritage. In 2019, in order to implement the plan 'Accessible Environment' and to ensure more comfortable conditions for teaching and learning process the University asked for additional financial support: 302.1 million of roubles from the Ministry of Labour and 336.7 million of roubles from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Up to now, the University has not received targeted financing. The University's proposal was approved by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Science and Higher Education, yet was rejected by the Government's Committee for Budget Projects.
  5. 11 University's objects have 18 parking places for people with disabilities.
  6. During the preparation for admissions campaign in 2019, the ground floor of nine buildings where the Admissions Offices were located were equipped with facilities to provide access for people with disabilities: surrounding areas; the entrances were marked with colour contrasting tape; entrance rings for assistance; and routes for moving on the ground floor.
  7. The entrances to 72 objects that were included in the licence for educational activity were equipped with the temporal entrance signs: 'Call for assistance!' with the phone number in each building. The doors were marked by the colour contrasting tape. Then the entrances were further equipped with the braille labels 'Button to call for assistance' and a ring for assistance.
  8. From 2019 to 2020, the University purchased the following using the funds from the activities that brought income:
    • nine portable wheelchair ramps (folding, attachable, rollable)
    • a stairclimber
    • three folding wheelchairs
    • 72 sets of special braille labels 'Button to call for assistance' with the phone numbers
    • sets of tactile indicators to equip the buildings (21-23-25 Tavricheskaya Street and 39 Radishchev Street)
    • a sound system
    • four electronic information lines
    • two PCs were equipped with JAWS (a screen reader); one of the PCs was equipped with the braille display and braille printer
  9. From 2014 to 2016, during the works on major repairs, the entrances to two halls of residence were equipped by fixed ramps, stairlifts, and places (blocks) to live for seven students with locomotive disabilities (Hall of Residence No 3 located at 27 Solidarnosti Prospect and Hall of Residence No 8 located at 15 Khalturina Street)
  10. The University received assignments from the Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture at St Petersburg to design improvements (permanent ramps) for seven objects of the University. Design specifications are developed and cost sheets are calculated. The funds have been allocated for four buildings to design works on major repairs in 2021. This includes repair of the front of the buildings, installing ramps, with the documents being agreed upon in the system 'Turbo-9'. Estimated costs of major repairs of the fronts of the buildings are 65,701,106 roubles.
  11. Only one building out of 77 buildings can provide access for all types of people with disabilities (21-23-25 Tavricheskaia Street).
  12. Four buildings are accessible to everyone (except for people with visual impairment) on a case-by-case basis: 109 Sankt-Petesburgskoe Shosse; 7a 22nd Line, Vasilyevsky Island; 20/1 Korablestroitelei Street (simulation centre); and 13b Universitetskaya Embankment (the building of the Admissions Office).
  13. The research building (17f Botanicheskaia Street, Peterhof, St Petersburg) is partially accessible for people with disabilities and people with limited mobility; braille labels; a ring, a ramp; a toilet for people with disabilities; and a lift (Presentation).

It was highlighted that most University's buildings cannot be adapted to be fully accessible for people with disabilities. Implementing the programme 'Accessible Environment' is only possible on the St Petersburg University Development Territory.

Main documents

FILES

Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 19 July 2021 Science Metrix indexes of St Petersburg University.pdf

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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 19 July 2021 Accessible Environment.pdf

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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 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
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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
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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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