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.  

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.

Since the summer of 2018, St Petersburg University has been conducting comprehensive research and survey work to develop a plan for the reconstruction of the University Botanical Garden. The famous landscape designer Artem Parshin has developed a conceptual design of the restoration and a strategy for the development of the territory.

There is a Russian proverb, an old one, from the time of Kievan Rus: ‘Your tongue can get you all the way to Kiev.’ Today it can be rephrased as ‘tongues will take you to St Petersburg.’ This is confirmed by facts.

In September, all first-year students take a placement test in English. You may wonder, ’Why?’ After all, for those who are studying medicine or physics, is the English language their subject?

St Petersburg University offers a variety of foreign language learning opportunities. Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods Marina Lavrikova talked about the foreign language provision at the University and how it is implemented.