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.  

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.

In 2010, as part of an effort to reform the structure of the University and its system of management, temporary posts of vice-rectors for the areas of study were established. Their task was to unite the University’s fragmented resources (premises, equipment, library and information resources, food services, etc.) and organise them so that they could be accessed and used by all students.

Who is more important in today’s society, a central heating engineer or a multi-skilled manager?  A dental prosthetist or a primary care physician?  What sort of professionals should the University be training, ones who are highly specialised or ones who, on the contrary, are well-rounded?  Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods, speaks about the importance of developing interdisciplinary academic programmes.

A diligent St Petersburg University student can get up to speed on any changes in his/her tomorrow's schedule the night before the next school day, and a disorganised student can look up today’s classes in the morning, while hurrying to the bus stop. The online timetable is accessible to everyone now, even on a tablet or a smartphone.