University: A Fresh Start

St Petersburg University is the oldest university in Russia, an actively developing, world-class centre of research and education. The recent history of the University has seen a number of important events that have determined its future.

In this section, you will find information on how these new developments have helped the University to constantly evolve, to develop its facilities and its infrastructure, to improve the quality of its education and to maintain its high standing in the academic community and with leading employers, both in Russia and abroad.  

Students and staff have different attitude to the ethical standards adopted at St Petersburg University. This is only natural, since we are all different. However, we have already seen situations when ethical problems become so hard to resolve that they become the questions of life and death.  Two years ago, there was a resonant case in Japan. A young researcher became widely known due to scientific results published in world famous journals including Nature. Then, it was found out that she had falsified the data. Her co-author hanged himself to save his good name from shame. There were even rumours that he committed seppuku.

A staff member broke the rules of conduct, which resulted in dismissal.  Another staff member kept breaking the same rules and managed to get away with it. A teacher shows disrespect to a female student according to others, while the teacher considers his actions to be permissible. A colleague makes offensive remarks towards the other staff members at the department through social networks instead of a personal conversation.   Students are appalled with the teacher’s critical comments on the topic outside the discipline under consideration. Similar cases get into the public domain quite fast. They are widely debated by the staff even if they have occurred outside St Petersburg University. 

Three students returned to the hall of residence after 1am. The door was closed and they were not allowed inside as they had been warned previously. The guys started banging on the window sills and shaking the doors. They were about to enter through the window at the ground floor, when the guard woke up from the noise and let them in out of pity scolding them for being late... 

The Russian state testing system for non-Russian speakers was established largely through the efforts of scholars and experts of St Petersburg University. It was here at St Petersburg University that the research potential of the Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) was promoted. The TORFL test materials and guidelines were developed by University researchers including Professor Kira Rogova, Professor Tatiana Popova, and Associate Professor Inna Erofeeva. However, 10 to 20 years ago, this line of work at the University was progressing at a slow pace.

Does the University offer an opportunity to study abroad, at least during one term? The answer seems to be obvious. The University offers a number of opportunities to study abroad, gain work experience or undertake research in another country during or outside the term. Moreover, after undertaking a period of study abroad you may be able to have the courses or even study periods recognised towards a qualification at the University. The University encourages student mobility as part of the cross-university cooperation under the direct bilateral and multilateral agreements between the University and other universities across the globe.