1. The University members of the academic staff are the laureates of the Professor of the Year Award and the Dean of the Year Award
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Incident at the meeting of the Student Council at St Petersburg University
  4. Weekend trips in the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’ for the University students
  5. Meeting of the University Rector Nikolay Kropachev with the Director for Technology Development of Gazprom Neft Alexei Vashkevich
  6. Indicators of research at St Petersburg University
  7. Anti-corruption
  8. Using Okdesk to organise the remote learning and teaching process in Management
  9. Actions of law enforcement officials in connection with violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation and by-laws of St Petersburg University
  10. Changes in human resources

1. The University members of the academic staff are the laureates of the Professor of the Year Award and the Dean of the Year Award

The Professor Forum 2021 'Science and Technology of the 21st Century: Trends and Prospects', has held a solemn ceremony of giving the national awards of the Russian Professorial Assembly. Among the winners of the prestigious awards are professors at St Petersburg University.

The laureates are: Professor Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies; Professor Elena Kazakova, Director of the Institute of Pedagogy; and Professor Iurii Shcherbuk, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Medcine and Medical Technologies.

The winners in the Dean of the Year category were two representatives from St Petersburg University: Nikolai Skvortsov, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology at St Petersburg University; and Petr Iablonskii, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at St Petersburg University (Professors and deans of St Petersburg University receive awards from the Russian Professorial Assembly).

The participants of the meeting congratulated their colleagues on receiving the awards.

2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

Over the past period, the Virtual Reception received 33 enquiries submitted by students and academic staff (including 13 enquiries relating to academic issues and methodological issues) addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, with 17 enquiries registered at the catalogue of student enquiries.

The enquiries vary in topics: rules and regulations for choosing the topics of the graduation projects; submitting the data on getting vaccinated against COVID-19 by the University international students through personal accounts; obtaining full information in the notice of education at St Petersburg University; submitting changes in personal data; access for students and postgraduate students to the University premises; submitting data on graduating the University to the UK’s  Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC); learning foreign languages at St Petersburg University; academic transfer to another academic programme; academic transfer to another university; issuing an academic notice, notice of education, and notice of non-attendance to the assessment board to resit the elective discipline ‘Business Etiquette’; Russian Census (Will there be a response to the appeal of the Student Council regarding the practice within the framework of the Russian Census?; If I do not sign an agreement with Rosstat, am I obliged to do an internship there?; How can you refuse to work in the Russian Census?). All submitted enquiries are followed by checkups and responded in due course and manner.

According to information from the heads of most academic and research divisions, no problems in organising the teaching and learning process have been identified. Classes are delivered according to the schedule in a blended format. There were no appeals, complaints, or comments submitted by students or academic staff.

At the Institute of Earth Sciences, there was a problem with the timetable for an academic programme. The timetable for one academic group for Monday, 27 September, did not have a discipline 'Geophysical Fields in Geoecology’. There were no data on the name of the member of the academic staff who was to deliver the class; the format of delivering the class; or the room where the class was scheduled to be delivered. This elective discipline was included in the timetable before the procedure for choosing elective disciplines was over. So, the timetable had an error and did not have necessary data.   Now, the procedure of choosing elective disciplines is over and the data is displayed in the timetable correctly.

Due to the large number of second-year international students in all areas of study who have not come to study in the Russian Federation, additional five academic groups in physical culture were formed for distance learning using information and communication technologies.

Some heads of divisions and departments did not meet with student councils over the past week.

The Director of the College of Physical Training and Sports, Economics and Technology held meetings with student activists and second-, third-, and fourth-year students to discuss internships (in each profile of the field of study). 27 agreements for internships were approved, signed, and registered, with potential jobs for students being taken into account.

The Chairperson of the Student Council and the Chairperson of the Research Committee of the Student Council asked the Director of the Institute of History to help in organising an open lecture by a lecturer from the European University at St Petersburg at the premises of St Petersburg University. The Director of the Institute of History refused to allow students to organise this event and explained that the administration of the European University at St Petersburg could organise lectures by its academic staff in its premises, and the University students can attend these lectures in compliance with all safety measures.

There was a meeting between the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and representatives of the Student Council to discuss the current issues. Among them were: the results of increased state academic scholarships; the matriculation ceremony for first-year students; and an enquiry submitted by third-year students in relation to a possible technical failure during online testing in the discipline 'Language of Effective Communication'. The necessary instructions have been issued.

The meeting between the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and representatives of the Student Council focused on the issue of approving the topics of graduation projects of sixth-year students. They discussed Order No 2882/1 ‘On the requirements for research supervisors of students’ graduation projects’ dated 31 March 2017. The procedure to change the topics of projects was explained to students. Representatives of the Student Council made a presentation on the prospects for the development of student research community in surgery and presented proposals for organising extracurricular activities for students to develop practical surgical and microsurgical skills. The Student Council was informed about the Simulation Centre at St Petersburg University and the procedure to gain access to this centre. Representatives of the Student Council made a presentation on the multicentre international study MOPED and offered to disseminate information about it.

A representative of the Student Council asked the Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences about the possibility for students to work in the Russian Census and receive a salary. Any students in any area of study can take part in the Russian Census. The Student Council was proposed to form a list of those wishing to take part in the Russian Census with academic groups being identified and submit it to the Internship Department.

The issue of organising the internship of students in the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region (participation in the Russian Census) was also discussed at meetings with student councils, students, and Director of the Institute of History, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology, and Dean of the Faculty of Philology. During the meetings with student councils, they were informed about the organisation of work of census takers, their training, signing civil contracts, and issuing insurance against accidents to name just a few.

The participants of the Rector's meeting discussed the participation of the University students in the Russian Census. It was noted that a student would not be able to take part in the census if an agreement was not signed between a student and Rosstat. Signing a civil contract is possible only the parties have reached an agreement. In other words, both a student and the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) can refuse to sign a contract (Is the practice as part of the Russian Census obligatory for St Petersburg University students?).  The Director of the Institute of Philosophy Nikita Kuznetsov said that during conversations with students he explained to them that students in philosophy who did not undergo practical training during the Russian Census would have the opportunity to have practice at a later time within the framework of the sociological research to enable students to acquire the same soft skills as they could acquire during the Census.

We continued to discuss the forms of encouraging census participants and medical students (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 27 September 2021). Ivan Pchelin, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said that the administration of the Faculty of Medicine supported the initiative to reward students for working with patients with the new coronavirus disease. Both in 2020 and in 2021, among the individual achievements of students to be admitted to the clinical residency programme was ‘employment in the positions of medical workers with higher education or secondary vocational education, in the positions of junior medical personnel and (or) the completing practical training in the academic programme in medicine (specialist’s programme, bachelor's programme, master's programme), if the specified activities and (or) practical training included activities for the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus disease and their total duration is at least 30 calendar days’ (Clause 3.18).

In 2021, 121 out of 249 persons enrolled in clinical residency programmes at the Faculty of Medicine, scored points under Clause 3.18.

3. Incident at the meeting of the Student Council at St Petersburg University

On 24 September, there was a meeting of the Student Council at St Petersburg University. A postgraduate student in economics was invited to take part in the meeting. During the meeting, he used vulgar language when communicating with the students. The meeting of the Student Council was broadcast online on the Internet. When the meeting was over, the recording of this meeting was posted in the public account of the Student Council on the social network Vkontakte.

The postgraduate student's behaviour provoked a negative reaction from most of students and their parents. They submitted relevant enquiries and appeals, including those to the University’s Virtual Reception (Is it possible to send University students away with a flea in their ear?). The incident was widely covered in media. The overall number of those who read this news is tens of thousands of people.

It was noted that such news negatively affects the reputation of the University. The University's Student and Staff Code of Conduct establishes the most important duty of all University students and staff to: honour academic staff; respect colleagues and students; support friendly relations both inside and outside the University; and create an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation.

An appeal relating to the incident was sent to law enforcement agencies and the University Ethics Commission.

4. Weekend trips to the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’ for the University students

In order to organise recreation for the University students, the University offers weekend trips to the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’. In total, 11 weekend trips are planned, with a total number of students up to 1,100 people.

Organisation of weekend trips to the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’ in the autumn semester of the 2021/22 academic year is in accordance with the Regulations on providing vouchers to St Petersburg University students to the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’ for weekend trips, approved by Order No 9339/1 (Regulations).

The regulation takes into account measures to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). In particular, students can apply for vouchers for weekend trips to the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’, if one of the following documents is submitted no later than one day before the first day of arrival:

  • a certificate of vaccination against coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • a certificate of having coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during six months before the arrival date
  • a document confirming a medical exemption to the immunisation against coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  • a document confirming the negative result of a laboratory test for COVID-19 by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method carried out no earlier than three calendar days before the date of arrival

5. Meeting of the Rector Nikolay Kropachev with the Director for Technology Development at Gazprom Neft Alexei Vashkevich 

On 1 October, the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev met with Alexei Vashkevich, Director for Technology Development at Gazprom Neft. They discussed the strategy of institutional development of relations between the Gazpromneft Science & Technology Centre and St Petersburg University in education and research. Among the key topics the meeting focused on was a discussion of new approaches to managing large-scale projects. During the meeting, the participants pointed out the need to concentrate joint efforts to cope with the global challenges of the industry and to take them into account in the development priorities of St Petersburg University.

The first agreement between St Petersburg University and the Gazpromneft Science & Technology Centre was signed in 2017. The main areas of joint work today are the implementation of research and development and personnel training (joint academic programmes). The dynamics of how joint work has been developing is evidenced by the number of employees at St Petersburg University enaged in the projects. In 2019, 30 people were engaged in the projects, while in 2021 there were 75 people (academic staff at the Institute of Chemistry, the Institute of Earth Sciences and all three faculties of mathematics). In September 2021, St Petersburg University won the open competition 'Selection of applications for the right to sign an agreement to perform research and development, develop technical documentation, create research and technical products, and other work on the topic “Development of solutions in the framework of technology development projects and methodological, organisational and research and technical support of projects”’. The amount of the agreement signed between St Petersburg University and the Gazprom Neft Science & Technology Centre is 1.6 billion roubles. This agreement will ensure stable collaboration for the period up to 2030.

6. Indicators of research at St Petersburg University

Every year, in order to implement Order No 162 of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of the Russian Federation dated 5 March 2014 (with amendments and additions), St Petersburg University is to send information about research through the account of the research organisation in the information system. The analysis of the scientometric indicators of St Petersburg University according to the reporting data for the last three years shows the following:

  1. The number of postgraduate students of the organisation is increasing every year. There was a rise from 2,203 postgraduate students in 2018 to 2,378 in 2020. The number of doctoral students remains at the same level: 8, 7 and 10 in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
  2. In 2020, the number of defended dissertations increased. There was a rise from 75 candidate dissertations in 2019 to 102 candidate dissertations in 2020; from 12 doctoral dissertations in 2019 to 21 doctoral dissertations in 2020. Nevertheless, similar indicators for 2018 (212 candidate dissertations and 33 doctoral dissertations) are still higher than the indicators for 2020.
  3. From 2018 to 2020, there has been a consistent increase in indicators related to publication activity. This trend concerns both the number of publications in journals indexed in the Web of Science and Scopus, and the citation of these publications. Additionally, the overall impact factor of the journals in which the organisation's articles are published also shows stable growth every year.

The share of publications in the Q1 journals from 2018 to 2020

The share of publications in the journals indexed in the Web of Science, per year, %

Quartile

2018

2019

2020

Q1

29.9

30.13

32.98

Q2

27.76

28.14

28.18

The share of the publications in the journals indexed in the Scopus, per year, %

Quartile

2018

2019

2020

Q1

27.3

28.8

28.8

Q2

19.6

20.8

21.7

  1. The number of articles prepared together with international organisations is also increasing.

The share of publications with international co-authors, %

2018

2019

2020

34.38

35.22

35.94

  1. The total number of research, design, and technological works over the past three years is increasing. In 2019, there was a slight decrease in the number of published works (published for the first time monographs, textbooks, dictionaries) compared to the same indicator in 2018 (279 in 2018; 252 in 2019). However, the number of such works in 2020 (283) exceeds the number for 2018.
  2. The number of published periodicals remains at the same level (100 in 2017; 99 in 2018; 102 in 2020). The number of unpublished works of science (reports on research projects registered with the integrated national information system (EGISU) and expert evaluations conducted by St Petersburg University) increased from 435 in 2018 and 477 in 2019 to 486 in 2020.
  3. The number of results of intellectual activity created over the past three years has remained approximately at the same level: 76 in 2018, 75 in 2019 and 77 in 2020. The number of results of intellectual activity with state registration and (or) legal protection in the Russian Federation increased from 33 in 2018 to 62 in 2020, and the number of those with legal protection outside the Russian Federation increased from two in 2018 to 15 in 2020 year.
  4. Although in 2020 there were restrictive measures relating to coronavirus disease and there was a decrease in the number of competitions announced by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (compared to 2018), in terms of grant activity for the period 2018–2020 there was a slight decrease in the number of RFBR grants (2018 – 600 grants, 2019 – 721 grants, 2020 – 702 grants) and an increase in the total number of the Russian Science Foundation (RSF) grants carried out at St Petersburg University (2018 – 171 grants, 2019 – 260 grants, 2020 – 263 grants). There is also a positive trend in new supported grants from the President of the Russian Federation (2018 – 22 grants, 2019 – 13 grants, 2020 – 24 grants).
  5. In 2019, the number of small innovative enterprises created with the participation of the organisation increased from 49 to 61, and their total income increased from 111,987,000 roubles up to 116,851,000 roubles, respectively. In 2020, the indicators remained at the level of 2019.
  6. The cost of remuneration of employees who performed research and development increased from 379,322,000.6 thousand roubles in 2018 up to 1,283,999,000.13 roubles in 2020.
  7. In 2019 and 2020, the number of popular science publications produced by employees of the organisation has significantly decreased compared to 2018: 373 in 2018; 180 and 193 in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
  8. The number of positive and neutral references to the organisation in the federal media has increased significantly: from 11,053 in 2018 to 38,951 in 2019 and 41,631 in 2020.
  9. The number of hits (website traffic) of the official websites and (or) pages of the organisation posted on the information and telecommunications network of the Internet increased sharply in 2020: from 3,890,000 in 2018 and 4,070,000 in 2019 to 16,400,000 in 2020.

Every year, prizes named after prominent scientists awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences and prizes awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences for outstanding achievements by early-career researchers are awarded for the best research work. In 2020, the number of awards of the Russian Academy of Sciences has increased significantly compared to 2018 and 2019.

Prizes named after prominent scientists awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences to St Petersburg University researchers in 2018 to 2020

Year

The number of awards

Award winners

2020

4

Nikolay Zelinsky Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Valentin Ananikov

Sergei Rubinstein Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Irina Mironenko

Alexander Veselovsky Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Aleksei Sirenov

Friedrich Tsander Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Alexey Tikhonov

2019

4

Petr Rebinder Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Anatolii Kuchma, Aleksandr Shchekin

Vladimir Dal Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences– Valerii Mokienko

Sergey Lebedev Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Aleksandr Iakimanskii

2018

1

Aleksandr Andronov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences – Aleksandr Fradkov

The prizes awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences to early-career researchers for the best research works in 2018 to 2020

Year

The number of awards

Award winners

2020

5

In the field of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and mining sciences – Olga Iakubovich

In the field of mathematics – Ivan Bochkov

In the field of oceanology, physics of the atmosphere, and geography – Aleksandr Fedorov

In the field of development and creation of devices, methods, technologies of the scientific and applied significance – Andrei Shishov

In the field of agro-industrial complex – Ekaterina Ivanova

2019

1

In the field of history – Valentina Chikina

2018

1

In the field of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and mining sciences – Elena Zhitova

In 2020 (compared to 2018), the number of received international awards and prizes also increased: 4 in 2018, 14 in 2019, 11 in 2020.

List of international prizes and awards 2018-2020

No

Name, position of a member of St Petersburg University who received an award (title,prize etc.)

Field of research  at St Petersburg University  (research area of the laureate)

Name of the award (title, prize etc.)

Name of the international university (organization) that awarded the prize (title etc.)

2018

1.

Alexander Novik, Associate Professor in the Department of General Linguistics

Philology

1st place (diploma) of the laureate and a national prize in the national competition of scientific monographs of the Academy of Sciences of Albania 2018 (Konkursi kombëtar për çmimin e Akademisë së Shkencave të Shqipërisë 2018)

Academy of Sciences of Albania

2.

Anna Chelnokova, Associate Professor in the Department of Indian Philology

Asian and African Studies

World Hindi Award (Vishwa Hindi Samman) for contributions to the study and promotion of Hindi   

Ministry of External Affairs, Goverment of India

3.

Yehuda Shoenfeld, Chief Research Associate in the  Laboratory of the Mosaic of Autoimmunity

Medicine

Medical and Scientific Contribution Award  

Israeli Medical Association

4.

Vladimir Popondopulo, Professor in the Department of Commercial Law

Model lawmaking

Medal 'IPA CIS. 25 years.' Resolution of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA CIS) Council dated 12 April 12 2018 No 21 
    

IPA CIS

2019

1.

Raul Gainetdinov, Professor, Laboratory of Neurobiology and Molecular Pharmacology, Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine 

Pharmacology and toxicology

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science 

2.

Gennady Leonov, Dean of Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty

Cross-Field

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science 

3.

Nikolay Kuznetsov, Professor in the Department of Applied Cybernetics

Cross-Field

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science 

4.

Pavel Pevzner, Chief Advisor of the Centre for Algorithmic Biotechnology

Medicine

Paris Kanellakis Theory and Practice Award

Association for Computing Machinery

5.

Milena Rozhdestvenskaia, Professor in the Department of History of Russian Literature

Philology

Medal of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) in memory of Doctor of History, Deputy Chairperson of the IOPS, researcher and public figure Nikolai Lisovoi for professional activity on the study of historical, cultural and literary ties between Russia and the Middle East          

International Public Organisation 'Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society'

6.

Alla Lapidus, Deputy Director, Centre for Algorithmic Biotechnology, Professor, Department of Cytology and Histology 

Biology

Professor of the Year in Life Sciences

National award 'Professor of the Year', Russian Professorial Assembly

7.

Elena Zernova, Associate Professor in the Department of Romance Philology

Philology

Member of the ‘Enxebre Orde da Vieira’

Orde da Vieira

8.

Irina Mikhailova, Professor, Department of Scandinavian and Dutch Philology 

Philology

Martinus Nijhoff Vertaalprijs (Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Award for excellence in the translation of Dutch literature)  

Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

9.

Alexander Knysh, Professor, Laboratory for Analysis and Modelling of Social Processes  

International Relations

Award of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani for the book 'Sufism', which was recognised as the Book of the Year in Iran in the category ‘Islamic Studies'   

Award of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

10.

Vadim Kukushkin, Professor in the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry

Chemistry

Reaxys Award Russia 2019 in the nomination 'The number of citations of articles in the field of chemistry and on science materials among highly-cited authors'    

Elsevier company and Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society

11.

Nadezhda Bokach, Professor in the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry

Chemistry

Reaxys Award Russia 2019 in the category 'For achievements in coordination chemistry' 

Elsevier company and Mendeleev  Russian Chemical Society

12.

Elena Grigorenko, Chief Research Associate in the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Human Development

Psychology

Mary Ainsworth Award for Excellence in Developmental Science

American Psychological Association

13.

Elena Grigorenko, Chief Research Associate in the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Human Development

Psychology

Mary Ainsworth Award for Excellence in Developmental Science 

American Psychological Association

14.

Elena Grigorenko, Chief Research Associate in the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Human Development

Psychology

Distinguished Faculty Award

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, University of Houston

2020

1.

Dmitrii Bolotin, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Organic Chemistry

Chemistry

European Academy Award

EC

2.

Nikolay Kuznetsov, Professor in the Department of Applied Cybernetics

Mathematics, Mechanics

The Finnish Information Processing Association (TIVIA) Award, which was first awarded to a foreign scientist ( https://tivia.fi/2020/07/02/tivia-keski-suomi-ryn-vuoden-2019- tunnustusp ... )

 

3.

Raul Gainetdinov, Professor, Laboratory of Neurobiology and Molecular Pharmacology, Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine 

Pharmacology and toxicology

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science 

4.

Gennady Leonov, Dean of the Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty

Cross-Field

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science

5.

Nikolay Kuznetsov, Professor in the Department of Applied Cybernetic

Cross-Field

Highly Cited Researchers Award 2019

Web of Science

6.

Alexey Kavokin, Chief Research Associate, Spin Optics Laboratory

Mathematics, Physics

ISCS 2020 Quantum Devices Prize (the first Russian scientist to win the prize) 

Compound Semiconductor Week 2021 in Sweden 

7.

Arto Urtti, Head of the Laboratory of Biohybrid Technologies, Institute of Chemistry

Chemistry

Takeru & Aya Higuchi Memorial Lectureship Award 

Academy of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, Japan 

8.

Elena Grigorenko, Chief Research Associate, Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research of Human Development

Psychology

Translation Award

International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES), USA

9.

German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Centre (G-RISC)

 

Best joint German-Russian project

Winner of the project competition within the framework of the Russian-German Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships 2018–2020  

10.

Centre for German and European Studies 

 

Best joint German-Russian project

Winner of the project competition within the framework of the Russian-German Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships 2018–2020

11.

TRR 160: Coherent manipulation of interacting spin excitations in tailored semiconductors, St Petersburg University and Ioffe Institute

 

Best joint German-Russian project

Winner of the project competition within the framework of the Russian-German Year of Scientific and Educational Partnerships 2018–2020  

7. Anti-corruption

In order to implement Federal Law No 273-FE 'On Anti-Corruption' dated 25 December 2008 and Presidential Decree No 478 'On the National Anti-Corruption Plan for 2021–2024' dated 16 August 2021 in St Petersburg University, the University approved a plan of anti-corruption measures (Order No 9265/1 dated 29 September 2021). The directors and deans were instructed to send suggestions and comments for further improvement of work in this direction.

8. Using Okdesk to organise the remote learning and teaching process in Management

In spring 2020, the Graduate School of Management and the University had to move to distance learning. Most of the Rector’s Office staff that are responsible for implementing academic programmes and research in the field of management started to work remotely, as stipulated by the orders of Vice-Rectors. The Rector set the task for the IT departments of St Petersburg University to make this transition as seamless as possible to ensure the quality of the teaching and learning process.      

The Rector’s Office staff that ensure the teaching and learning process in Management at ​​St Petersburg University faced a difficulty: almost everyone involved was outside the premises of the Mikhailovskaya Dacha Campus, including full-time engineers. To organise the teaching and learning process in such a difficult situation, a flexible application management system and comprehensive technical support were required to assist students and academic staff.       

The transition to distance learning meant changes in the existing scenarios for the interaction of people involved. In particular, it was necessary to solve such non-trivial tasks as: monitoring behaviour of students during exams; creating special rooms for exams; equipping workplaces for students and academic staff; and organising operational communication channels to name just a few.      

Following the results of a comparative analysis of various systems for the organisation of technical support for users within the framework of remote training for the academic programmes in Management, the accounting and order management system Okdesk was chosen. The Okdesk is a cloud system that enables the IT department in Management to: promptly receive various enquiries from users; distribute incoming enquiries among employees; clarify the details of their content (if necessary); and track the changing status of the received enquiries.    

Academic staff and administrative staff that are responsible to ensure the teaching and learning process at the Graduate School of Management are computer literate. It was therefore possible to switch to remote work within one to two weeks and introduce a remote format of teaching students. It took another month to finely adjust all processes.    

The simplified life cycle of an enquiry is as follows: students, academic staff, and employees submit their enquiries with a description of the problem that has arisen. During the exams, an enquiry submitted by a student or a member of academic staff is forwarded to the office of the acadcemic programme. Only after that, the enquiries get to the IT specialists.      

The initial plans for leveraging technical support through remote learning by using the Okdesk expanded rapidly. The system ensures simultaneous operation of many different processes with high quality. It started to be used by other divisions of the Rector’s Office to support the teaching and learning process and research (the branch department of the Scientific Library, Research Support Services, PR, economic divisions, etc.). Apart from providing technical support for users, the Okdesk system set up parallel queues of enquiries for the branch department of the Library to provide access to electronic resources. Then, the Okdesk system set up parallel management of the enquiries of the branch department of the administrative, economic, and PR services.            

As a result, the system ensured a much easier way for students and academic staff to contact various administration services because enquiries are created and distributed in an electronic form. The systematisation of the work of the services of the administration has made it possible to significantly increase the convenience and quality of handling incidents, and to increase the number of consultations. As part of implementation of the management system Okdesk, IT department syncronised the system and the University’s Technical Support Service OTRS. All applications of the University system will automatically enter the Okdesk system.            

Among the promising technical tasks are: integration of the Okdesk and virtual PBX that is currenly being installed; and using the function of recurring enquiries to ensure operational advice and routine maintenance of individual infrastructure elements. 

The ICT development strategy of St Petersburg University for the next three years provides for a revision of the landscape of communication services and the creation of a single digital platform for electronic interaction. What will underpin these changes will be the experience of using the Okdesk and experience in using a university-wide accounting system hardware running on the software Hardware Inspector, ITIL, and ITSM. These plans, as part of the digital transformation of St Petersburg University, are aimed to: increase the availability of St Petersburg University’s resources and services; reduce the time spent on processing electronic enquiries; and transparently assess the efficiency of the resources in use.          

9. Actions of law enforcement officials in connection with violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation and by-laws of St Petersburg University  

On 29 September, the Virtual Reception received an enquiry submitted by the Deputy Chairperson of the Student Council of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Process Vadim Suleimanov. He asked about the legitimacy of the actions of the police officers on 24 September to protect public order and the rule of law in the University’s halls of residence located in Peterhof.    

In this regard, it was explained that in accordance with Article 1 of Federal Law No 3-FZ 'On Police’ dated 7 February 2011, the police can protect public order and ensure public safety in the assigned territory.   

On the night of 18 to 19 September, in the halls of residence in the Petrodvortsovy District of St Petersburg, a group of students was involved in unlawful activities: violating the requirements of administrative legislation of the Russian Federation, internal rules of St Petersburg University, including provisions on keeping silence at night (administrative responsibility for violation of the peace and quiet of citizens in the night, at weekends and on public holidays established by Article 8 of Law of St Petersburg No 273-70 ‘On administrative offenses in St Petersburg' dated 12 May 2010), a ban on the consumption of (drinking) alcohol products on the territory of the educational organisation (administrative responsibility is established by Article 20.20 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation ), and requirements to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 20 September 2021 ). In this regard, the administration of the Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Petrodvortsovy District of St Petersburg and Acting Deputy Rector for Security at the University Dmitry Gryaznov made a decision to periodically conduct patrols by police officers (with the involvement of employees of the Security Department at St Petersburg University) in the halls of residence in Peterhof. 

Attention was drawn to the fact that, according to Paragraph 6 of Article 13 of Federal Law No 3-FZ 'On Police' dated 7 February 2011, police officers have the right to patrol public places while performing the functions assigned to the police, which, as mentioned above, include the protection of public order and ensuring public safety.   

Thus, the actions of the police officers to maintain public order on 24 September were legitimate and did not require any authorisation. The result of these events is detecting violations of the administrative legislation of the Russian Federation by students at St Petersburg University. In particular, seven students of the University were brought to administrative responsibility for committing offenses under Article 20.20 of the 'Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation' (consumption of alcoholic beverages).           

In order to conduct preventive measures to cope with disturbances of public order and to ensure the rule of law, there was submitted an enquiry to the chief of the Department of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Petrodvortsovy District of St Petersburg. It was asked to open a police office in the University’s halls of residence (as it was done in Lomonosov Moscow State University and other universities across the Russian Federation).          

10. Changes in human resources

The University Chief Engineer Maksim Ivanov was appointed as the Vice-Rector for Capital Construction at St Petersburg University. 

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 27 December 2021

  1. Extended meeting of the State Council and the Presidential Council for Science and Education of the Russian Federation
  2. Organising anti-epidemic activity at St Petersburg University
  3. Vaccination against COVID-19
  4. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  5. Activity of the Council of the Academic Programme in ‘Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Japanese Language and Legal System)’
  6. Improving the admission process for international students at St Petersburg University
  7. Preparation of the materials for the Russian Academy of Sciences
  8. Opening a representative office of St Petersburg University in Germany
  9. Awarding the employees of St Petersburg University with the prizes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
  10. Usage of corporate e-mail by the employees of St Petersburg University
  11. Financial support for students
  12. Actions of student Maksim Drozhzhin  
  13. Implementation of the project ‘St Petersburg University in the words of the University staff and students’
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Minutes of the Rector's meeting dated 20 December 2021

  1. Meeting of the Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg University
  2. Establishing the Institute of Theology
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. Actions of a University student reported by the Examus company
  5. Participation of the University students in the Russian Census
  6. Legal regulation of students’ practical training
  7. Preparation for the 2022/2023 academic year
  8. Nomination of a master’s student for the position of Deputy Chairperson of the Academic Council at St Petersburg University
  9. Participation of a delegation from St Petersburg University in the Congress of Young Scientists and the closing ceremony of the Year of Science and Technology
  10. Visit of the Chairman of the South Korea Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation to St Petersburg University
  11. Visit of the Consul General of Israel to St Petersburg University
  12. Preparing and publishing articles and books dedicated to the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University
  13. Measures on countering the spread of COVID-19 at St Petersburg University
  14. Vaccination against COVID-19
  15. Celebrating the University Teacher Day at St Petersburg University
  16. Considering the enquiries on Igor Mintusov  
  17. Participation of St Petersburg University in the charity event ‘New Year Tree of Wishes’
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 6 December 2021

  1. Vaccination against COVID-19
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Cancelling state examinations in 2020 and granting the right to the graduates to take their state examinations in 2021
  4. Development of accreditation indicators for academic programmes of higher education
  5. The field of ‘Theology’ has been included in the licence for educational activity
  6. Participation of St Petersburg University in holding the ‘I am a Professional’ Olympiad
  7. Results of St Petersburg University participation in the grant competition of the Russian Science Foundation
  8. Participation of St Petersburg University in the development of the ‘Science’ domain
  9. Tasks performed by the heads of the academic and research subdivisions
  10. List of image-building events in 2022 has been approved
  11. The process of mailing the Minutes of the Rector’s meetings
  12. Activities on reducing debtor indebtedness
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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 30 November 2021

  1. Meeting of the St Petersburg University Board of Trustees
  2. Position of St Petersburg University at the RUR Reputation World University Ranking
  3. St Petersburg University received the third prestigious accreditation in business education (AACSB)
  4. Professor of St Petersburg University Igor Murin awarded the Medal of the Order for Merit to the Fatherland, First Class 
  5. Microsurgery at the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies at St Petersburg University   
  6. Exhibition of artwork by the teachers and students at the Faculty of Arts
  7. Amendments to Governmental Order No 121 dated 13 March 2020
  8. Vaccination against COVID-19
  9. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  10. Academic title conferment procedure at St Petersburg University
  11. Participation of St Petersburg University experts in assessing the projects of the contest for funding scientific and technical projects performed by the Nizhegorodsky scientific and educational centre
  12. Filling the Pure information system by the research and teaching staff
  13. Measures on increasing grant activity
  14. Visit of the Governmental Delegation of the Republic of Sakha to St Petersburg University
  15. Students violating the internal regulations at the halls of residence at St Petersburg University
  16. Actions of student Aleksei Pachin
  17. Dismissal of Michael Freese, Assistant Lecturer in the Department for Theory and Methodology for Teaching Arts and Humanities
  18. Cancellation of the event with the participation of Alexey Kavokin
  19. Changes in human resources
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 11 November 2021

  1. Organising the activity at St Petersburg University in view of the amendments to the Resolution of the Government of St Petersburg ‘On the measures of countering the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in St Petersburg’ dated 13 March 2020
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Expulsion of students due to violating the legislation of the Russian Federation and St Petersburg University by-laws
  4. The Ethics Committee decision on doctoral student Aleksei Pachin
  5. Operation of the Pure system
  6. Information on other types of research activity performed by the students and employees at St Petersburg University
  7. Visit of Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus Kyriakos Pogiatzis to St Petersburg University
  8. Publication of the works by the researchers of St Petersburg University in the Springer Nature Publishing House
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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 8 November 2021

  1. Organisation of work of St Petersburg University from 8 November 2021 
  2. Vaccination against COVID-19
  3. Current problems with organising the teaching and learning process 
  4. Taking into account the opinion of the University Student Council in decision-making in relation to imposing disciplinary measures and expulsion of students
  5. Reply from the University of Warsaw in relation to expulsion of Vladislav Dubrovskii from the University
  6. Professor Chernigovskaya's participation in the discussion 'Mindful brain: horizons of understanding and boundaries of neurotechnologies' as part of the EXPO 2020
  7. Participation of the team members of the Institute of Pedagogy and the University students in the 20th All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference 'Research that improves education’
  8. All-Russian competition of projects for schoolchildren ‘Skill Up’
  9. Specifying the amount of payment for accommodation in halls of residence for the University students
  10. Registration of documents for foreign citizens arriving at St Petersburg University for research and teaching activities
  11. Changes in human resources
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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 25 October 2021

  1. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  2. Organising the work at St Petersburg University in connection with the decree of the President of the Russian Federation ‘On non-working days in the territory of the Russian Federation in October – November 2021’
  3. Vaccination against flu
  4. Moving between halls of residence for students
  5. Round table of the Association of the Leading Universities ‘Organising admissions. Problems and ways to solve them’
  6. Participation in the Russian Census as one of the individual achievements in admissions to St Petersburg University
  7. Implementation of the programme of the research and educational cluster ‘Mendeleev’
  8. Providing members of research teams with office equipment and consumables
  9. Including reports on the main achievements of scientists at St Petersburg University in the agenda of meetings of the Academic Councils
  10. Round table ‘University museums in the era of digitalisation: educational and cultural opportunities’
  11. The University researcher Olga Kuznetsova is a laureate of the Vladislav Krapivin International Literary Prize
  12. Staff of academic and research divisions
  13. Meetings of the heads of academic and research divisions with student councils, representatives of the trade union organisation, etc.
  14. Comparative analysis of international activities
  15. Organisation of interaction with alumni
  16. Consideration of Maksim Drozhzhin’s enquiry by the Ethics Committee
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Minutes of the Rector's Meeting dated 18 October 2021

  1. Evacuation of students from a hall of residence at St Petersburg University
  2. St Petersburg University received the Order of the Polar Star, a state award of Mongolia
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process Resettlement of students
  4. Promotion of the University academic programmes in other countries
  5. Organising interaction with the alumni
  6. Preventive vaccination for COVID-19
  7. Meeting the document flow schedule for accounting source documents
  8. Organising the activity of the Control and Revision Department
  9. Staff of the Institute of Chemistry
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 11 October 2021

  1. Establishing ‘St Petersburg University Representative Office’ in the Federal Republic of Germany
  2. Publications devoted to the 300th anniversary
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. Online courses on the ‘OpenEdu’ platform
  5. Resettlement and outcomes of a meeting with the Student Council. Mailing the minutes of the Rector’s meetings
  6. Violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation, University by-laws, employment agreements and other documents by students and staff
  7. Enquiry of Maksim Drozhzhin to the Ethics Committee at St Petersburg University
  8. Access control for the persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to the territory of St Petersburg University. Epidemiological situation at the University
  9. Iurii Guzov has been released from the position of First Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics
  10. St Petersburg University was refused in initiating a criminal case. However,...
  11. Decision of the Vasileostrovsky District Court
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 4 October 2021

  1. The University members of the academic staff are the laureates of the Professor of the Year Award and the Dean of the Year Award
  2. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  3. Incident at the meeting of the Student Council at St Petersburg University
  4. Weekend trips in the health-improving complex ‘Universitetskiy’ for the University students
  5. Meeting of the University Rector Nikolay Kropachev with the Director for Technology Development of Gazprom Neft Alexei Vashkevich
  6. Indicators of research at St Petersburg University
  7. Anti-corruption
  8. Using Okdesk to organise the remote learning and teaching process in Management
  9. Actions of law enforcement officials in connection with violations of the legislation of the Russian Federation and by-laws of St Petersburg University
  10. Changes in human resources
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 20 September 2021

  1. Visit of Sergey Ivanov, Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg University, and Alexander Beglov, Governor of St Petersburg, to St Petersburg University
  2. The Shoenfeld's Centre for Studying Autoimmune Diseases opened
  3. Meeting between Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, and Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab
  4. Japanese Garden opened at St Petersburg University
  5. Distribution of teaching assignments
  6. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  7. Organising work of the Institute for Cognitive Studies and the Institute of Pedagogy
  8. Engaging the public to control the financial and business activities of St Petersburg University
  9. Implementing educational activities of the legal entities as part of the research and educational complex of the University
  10. Disorderly behaviour in the University Campus at night from 18 to 19 September
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 6 September 2021

  1. St Petersburg University positions in the MosIUR and THE global rankings
  2. Cooperation between St Petersburg University and ‘Rosatom – International Network’
  3. The work of the Federal Training and Methodological Associations headed by St Petersburg University representatives
  4. Beginning of the new academic year: distribution of teaching assignments
  5. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  6. Admissions processes at St Petersburg University
  7. Working programme for student affairs at St Petersburg University and calendar plan for student affairs for the 2021/22 academic year
  8. Administrative work on countering the spread of COVID-19 by international students entering the Russian Federation
  9. Participation of scientists at St Petersburg University in the project on studying SARS-CoV-2
  10. Experts in bioinformatics at St Petersburg University are the first Russian scientists to receive a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  11. ‘Books saved from the basement: epilogue’ – 15 years of rotation work by St Petersburg University staff
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Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting dated 23 August 2021

  1. Celebrating the winners of the International Mathematics Competition for University Students IMC-2021
  2. St Petersburg University scientists present the results of research on COVID-19 immune response dynamics
  3. Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process
  4. Preparation to the new academic year
  5. Results of the student survey performed by the academic mobility programme participants
  6. The Chinese Cabinet at St Petersburg University
  7. Admissions processes at St Petersburg University
  8. Accommodation arrangements in the University halls of residence
  9. COVID-19 vaccination arrangements
  10. Placement of information boards with the Russian Professorial Assembly prize winners at St Petersburg University
  11. Changes in human resources
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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 July 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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