Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

No. 511
15.02.2022

    Extended meeting of the Council for Regional Policy of the Russian Academy of Sciences

    An expanded meeting of the Council for Regional Policy of the Russian Academy of Sciences was held at St Petersburg University. The meeting was co-chaired by Alexander Sergeev, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Lilia Gumerova, Chairperson of the Federation Council Committee on Science, Education and Culture; and Sergei Kabyshev, Chairperson of the State Duma Committee on Science and Higher Education.

    Nikolay Kropachev, Rector of St Petersburg University, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Irina Ganus, Acting Chairperson of the Committee on Science and Higher Education of the Government of St Petersburg, addressed the participants of the meeting with a welcoming speech.

    Among the speakers of the meeting are well-known scientists, including universitarians: Professor Petr Iablonskii, Senior Vice-Rector for Medical Care at St Petersburg State University, and Igor Tikhonovich, Dean of the Faculty of Biology at St Petersburg University, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    The video is available via the link.

    Events to celebrate the University’s anniversary

    On 8 February 2022, St Petersburg University marked its 298th anniversary and the Day of Russian Science and had a light show with 1,000 quadcopters over the main building of the University.

    Olga Tulsanova, Deputy Senior Vice-Rector for Event Management and Partner Relations, said that the performance began at 09.45 pm and lasted about seven minutes. The theme of the figures that created the quadcopters is associated with the history of Russian science and the University. For the first time, the founding date of a Russian university was accompanied by such a large-scale and bright event (1,000 drones create luminous figures over the main building of St Petersburg University). It is symbolic that the show opened with a huge luminous figure of the founder of the University, Peter the Great, whose 350th anniversary is widely celebrated this year, including St Petersburg University.

    The technical side of the show was provided by the Geoscan company, which is engaged in the production of unmanned aerial vehicles. The portfolio of this company includes: a show dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the State Space Corporation "Roscosmos", participation in the show dedicated to the Independence Day of Armenia, and a world record for the simultaneous participation in the show programme of 2,200 luminous drones.

    According to the audience and the creators of the performance, the show looked most spectacular if viewed at some distance from the Twelve Collegia building. Among the ideal places for viewing were the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, Senate Square, Palace Bridge and the Annunciation Bridge.

    The event was widely covered on St Petersburg University’s resources and by regional and federal media. A report on the drone show is available on the YouTube channel of the University Media Centre (1,000 drones create luminous figures above the main building of St Petersburg University). You can watch short videos about the drone show via the links:

    On 8 February, in honour of the founding of St Petersburg University, there was traditionally a midday shot from the Naryshkin bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress. This year, the honour to make a solemn shot was given to Sergei Lisenkov, a first-year master’s student of the programme "Ecology and Nature Management" at St Petersburg University (Midday shot in honour of the anniversary of St Petersburg University).

    Sergei Lisenkov is actively engaged in the popularisation of environmental and geographical knowledge in the University environment. He is one of the organisers of the St Petersburg University Open Geographic Brain Ring Championship and the Ecological Brain Ring Game in the Department of Geoecology and Nature Management. In December 2020, for the fourth year in a row, the anniversary Geography Week was held under the leadership of Sergei Lisenkov at the University. Since 2019, Sergei Lisenkov has been heading the organising committee of the international Grand Geographical Festival, which for the 16th time brings together more than 2,000 geographers of different generations and specialisations from Russia, the CIS countries, and neighbouring countries.

    Photo exhibition of Yuri Natochin, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences

    On the University’s birthday, the first personal photo exhibition of Yuri Natochin, Honorary Professor of St Petersburg University, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, "Water Magic: From Realism to Expressionism" has opened in the gallery in the Twelve Collegia building.

    The photographs were made by Yuri Natochin, Honorary Professor at St Petersburg University, Doctor of Biology, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His research interests include the physiology of the kidney and water-salt metabolism, evolutionary and gravitational physiology. In 1994, he proposed the project to open the Faculty of Medicine at the University and was the first to head the Faculty of Medicine. Today, Yuri Natochin is actively engaged in research, grant competitions, and lectures future doctors.

    The exhibition presents photographs of the changeable reflections of old mansions in the waves of the Moyka River and the Griboyedov Canal, trees in the ponds of Yelagin Island will present a new look at the images familiar to every resident of the city. The exhibition includes 27 photographs taken by Yuri Natochin during walks around St Petersburg.

    The Department for Public Relations has organised an online version of the photo exhibition, which is available via the link. Information about the exhibition is posted on the University’s resources, including the official website of St Petersburg University and social networks, and also sent to the media. Among the resources that published information about the exhibition: the official website of the Committee for Science and Higher Education, TASS Russian News Agency.

    An interview with Yuri Natochin prepared by the St Petersburg University Media Centre on the eve of the opening of the exhibition is also available.

    Naming the celestial body

    The Institute of Applied Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, within its scope of work, considered the request submitted by St Petersburg University to pass the name chosen by the Board of Honorary Professors of St Petersburg University for the small planet to its discoverer (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 24 January 2022).

    The letter received by St Petersburg University signed by Dmitry Ivanov, Director of the Institute of Applied Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, states: due to the specifics of the procedure for considering possible names for celestial bodies by the working group on the nomenclature of small bodies of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the University needs to send as soon as possible several new options. This will reduce the time it takes to review if one of the options does not meet the criteria and allow the working group to choose.

    Olga Tulsanova, Deputy Senior Vice-Rector for Event Management and Partner Relations, recalled that at the meeting of the Board of Honorary Professors of St Petersburg University, in addition to the chosen option Alma Mater 1724 (Alma Mater 1724), the name Petrocollegium was also proposed. This name reflects the role of Peter I (as the author of the idea and the author of its implementation), the Twelve Collegia building (as the symbol of the University) and the complexity of the approach to solving the problems of the development of science in Russia: the Academy of Sciences, the University, and the Gymnasium.

    Through the Virtual Reception of St Petersburg University, a proposal was received from a St Petersburg University graduate to name the planet by the name Minerva. Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, arts and sciences in Roman mythology. The name contains a reference to the coat of arms of St Petersburg State University.

    Proposals were also considered to name the planet the Twelve Collegia or Johann Kohl in honour of the first head of St Petersburg University. All these proposals will be sent to the Institute of Applied Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    Vaccination against COVID-19

    The meeting participants continued to discuss the process of vaccination against COVID-19. Over the past week, the overall number of students with vaccination, past disease certificates within the last six months or medical exemption certificates has increased insignificantly by 1.02% (from 42.12 to 43.14%).

    The information on the students’ vaccination across the fields of study:

    Area of study

    Students with vaccination, past disease certificates, medical exemption certificates

    as of 28 January 2022

    as of 4 February 2022

    as of 11 February 2022

    Medical recovery certificate

    Students with vaccination

    Medical recovery certificate

    Students with vaccination

    Medical recovery certificate

    Students with vaccination

    Biology

    4

    54,64 %

    3

    54,71 %

    1

    54,71 %

    Asian and African Studies

    3

    68,93 %

    4

    68,8 %

    3

    69,15 %

    School of Journalism and Mass Communication

    1

    23,7 %

    3

    24,15 %

    4

    24,3 %

    Institute of History

    5

    41,49 %

    3

    41,77 %

    3

    42,14 %

    Institute for Cognitive Studies

    0

    44,44 %

    0

    44,44 %

    0

    44,44 %

    Institute of Earth Sciences

    5

    47,57 %

    4

    48,25 %

    11

    48,58 %

    Institute of Pedagogy

    0

    50 %

    0

    50,5 %

    0

    49,5 %

    Institute for Competition Development and Antimonopoly Regulation

    0

    91,67 %

    0

    91,67 %

    0

    91,67 %

    Institute of Philosophy

    4

    43,12 %

    4

    43,31 %

    0

    43,96 %

    Institute of Chemistry

    2

    67,52 %

    1

    69,03 %

    1

    70,54 %

    Arts

    1

    29,02 %

    0

    29,67 %

    1

    40,08 %

    Mathematics and Computer Science

    5

    50,72 %

    5

    50,72 %

    3

    50,72 %

    Mathematics and Mechanics

    2

    43,73 %

    1

    43,98 %

    2

    44,71 %

    Medicine

    6

    53,54 %

    6

    53,22 %

    6

    53,38 %

    Medical College

    0

    39,29 %

    0

    39,29 %

    0

    53,57 %

    International Relations

    1

    38,22 %

    3

    38,87 %

    6

    40,69 %

    Management

    3

    39,77 %

    7

    41,75 %

    4

    42,97 %

    Political Science

    3

    33,26 %

    2

    33,62 %

    2

    34,84 %

    Control Processes

    8

    40,73 %

    5

    40,78 %

    3

    41,55 %

    Psychology

    0

    43,13 %

    1

    43,07 %

    2

    43,17 %

    Liberal Arts and Sciences

    1

    48,17 %

    1

    48,44 %

    2

    48,79 %

    Sociology

    1

    33,49 %

    1

    34,17 %

    0

    35,12 %

    Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies

    1

    43,84 %

    0

    43,78 %

    0

    44,24 %

    Physics

    1

    54,08 %

    0

    54,47 %

    0

    55,5 %

    Physical Training (bachelor’s programme)

    0

    71,43 %

    0

    73,81 %

    0

    76,19 %

    Physical Training (non-university level higher education, excluding under age students)

    11

    34,82 %

    15

    39,19 %

    20

    41,51 %

    Philology

    1

    48,37 %

    3

    48,51 %

    3

    49,5 %

    Economics

    1

    27,71 %

    3

    28,33 %

    2

    29,15 %

    Law

    19

    32,62 %

    18

    33,75 %

    19

    34,69 %

    Total

    89

    41,51 %

    93

    42,12 %

    98

    43,14 %

    Growth

    1,43 %

    0,61 %

    1,02 %

    The information on the vaccination of research and academic staff at the faculties and institutes:

    Subdivision

    Total

    Vaccinated

    Antibodies

    Medical exemption

    % as of 04 February 2022

    % as of 11 February 2022

    Military Training Centre

    34

    29

    3

    2

    100 %

    100 %

    Institute for Cognitive Studies

    14

    12

    1

    1

    100 %

    100 %

    Institute of Pedagogy

    7

    7

    0

    0

    100 %

    100 %

    Institute for Competition Development and Antimonopoly Regulation

    9

    6

    2

    1

    100 %

    100 %

    Institute of Philosophy

    130

    111

    10

    9

    100 %

    100 %

    Institute of Chemistry

    264

    242

    14

    8

    100 %

    100 %

    Department of Physical Training and Sports

    53

    41

    5

    7

    100 %

    100 %

    Faculty of Asian and African Studies

    150

    128

    9

    10

    98 %

    98 %

    Institute of Earth Sciences

    248

    223

    12

    4

    96,4 %

    96,4 %

    School of International Relations

    120

    92

    7

    16

    95,8 %

    95,8 %

    Medical College

    23

    19

    2

    1

    95,7 %

    95,7 %

    Faculty of Political Science

    42

    35

    5

    0

    95,2 %

    95,2 %

    College of Physical Training and Sports, Economics and Technology

    78

    59

    8

    7

    94,9 %

    94,9 %

    Faculty of Arts

    104

    88

    6

    4

    94,2 %

    94,2 %

    Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communication

    119

    89

    13

    10

    94,1 %

    94,1 %

    Institute of History

    141

    121

    6

    5

    93,6 %

    93,6 %

    Faculty of Biology

    329

    279

    20

    6

    92,7 %

    92,7 %

    Faculty of Philology

    456

    357

    43

    21

    92,3 %

    92,3 %

    Graduate School of Management

    89

    69

    8

    5

    92,1 %

    92,1 %

    Faculty of Economics

    167

    133

    12

    8

    91,6 %

    91,6 %

    Faculty of Law

    153

    116

    19

    5

    92,2 %

    91,5 %

    Faculty of Physics

    434

    359

    32

    6

    91,5 %

    91,5 %

    Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    88

    76

    3

    1

    90,9 %

    90,9 %

    Faculty of Psychology

    169

    130

    15

    8

    90,5 %

    90,5 %

    Faculty of Sociology

    90

    70

    6

    4

    88,9 %

    88,9 %

    Mathematics and Mechanics Faculty

    328

    258

    24

    4

    87,2 %

    87,2 %

    Faculty of Foreign Languages

    298

    212

    28

    17

    86,2 %

    86,2 %

    Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science

    122

    100

    3

    2

    86,1 %

    86,1 %

    Faculty of Medicine

    320

    246

    21

    7

    85,6 %

    85,6 %

    Academic Gymnasium

    81

    57

    6

    6

    85,2 %

    85,2 %

    Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes

    209

    148

    18

    9

    83,7 %

    83,7 %

    Faculty of Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies

    90

    54

    17

    2

    81,1 %

    81,1 %

    Total

    4959

    3966

    378

    196

    91,5 %

    91,6 %

    As of 11 February 2022, the percentage of vaccinated teachers exceeded 80% in all academic and research subdivisions and 90% in the majority of subdivisions. The overall number of the University staff vaccinated against COVID-19 exceeded 90% already in December.

    The heads of academic and research subdivisions shall continue explaining the need for vaccination to staff and students.

    Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

    Last week, the Virtual Reception received nine enquiries addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities. There were 17 enquiries registered in the catalogue of student enquiries.

    The enquiries covered various topics, including the following: academic transfer to another academic programme at St Petersburg University; assessment criteria during academic transfer to another academic programme at St Petersburg University.

    The Virtual Reception received an enquiry submitted by a student of the academic programme "Journalism" about the format of the teaching and learning process in the area of study "Journalism", where the share of vaccinated students does not exceed 40%, but the remote format of the teaching and learning process using information and telecommunication technologies is set only until 28 February 2022.

    The student was informed of the following: classes at the University from 11 February 2022, 2022 are held on the basis of proposals from the heads of academic and research subdivisions in accordance with the Order No 894/1 «On the operation of the Order No 7991/1 "On the format of teaching and learning process in the 2021/22 academic year" from 11 February 2022 dated 13 August 2021» dated 8 February 2022.

    In the areas of "Journalism", "Advertising and Public Relations", if that the proportion of students who have been vaccinated and have had COVID-19 has not reached 40% at the moment, the classes, following the proposal of the Director of the Graduate School of Journalism and Mass Communication, are delivered using information and communication technologies until 28 February 2022.

    Similar enquiries were received from students in other areas of study. They were given appropriate explanations. It was also emphasised that when determining the format of the teaching and learning process in a specific area of study, in addition to the indicator of student vaccination, the position of the director or dean is taken into account. An indicator of 40% allows the head of the academic and research subdivisions to choose a classroom or mixed format. However, if he/she thinks it is necessary to maintain the remote format of classes, the timetable is made accordingly. For example, students in Asian and African Studies have long reached the indicator of 40% of vaccinated students, but face-to-face classes will only begin on 21 February 2022 (such was the position of the Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies).

    According to information from the heads of most academic and research subdivisions, the winter interim assessment was held according to the timetable in the prescribed manner. Until 10 February, students had a vacation period.

    Some heads did not hold meetings with representatives of student councils over the past week due to the vacation period.

    At the meetings of the Dean of the Faculty of Sociology and the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Political Science with the representatives of the student councils, they discussed the issue of the format of the teaching and learning process. At the beginning of the spring semester, the teaching and learning process will be held using information and communication technologies. In the future, with the improvement of the epidemiological situation, it is possible to change to a mixed format. In order to establish a classroom format of the teaching and learning process, it remains necessary to increase the number of vaccinated students to the required minimum of 40%.

    At the meeting of the Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Philology with representatives of the Student Council, the interim assessment was discussed. It was suggested that an interim assessment in writing, followed by encryption of papers on in-line lecture disciplines, would save time for students and academic staff, eliminate the possibility of taking into account any subjective factors when assessing students’ achievements, and also increase the credibility of grades in the interim assessment. It was especially noted that in this case, the interim assessment should be carried out on the premises of the University in the presence of academic staff with a video recording of the process of writing a written work by students, while the work must be done on paper without using any technical means.

    The Director of the Institute of History and the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Processes held meetings with representatives of the student councils.

    Providing access to the materials of online courses

    Vladimir Starostenko, Director of the Centre of E-Learning Development, told the participants of the Rector’s meeting about the practice of providing the students of other universities with free access to St Petersburg University online courses. Our University was one of the first in Russia to adopt this practice, and currently, the government is calling upon other higher education institutions to follow this course.

    Vladimir Starostenko underscored that the pandemic revealed and aggravated many important issues of the national system of education and science in the Russian Federation that had been invisible before. ’First and foremost, it is related to the principles and approaches to organising financial support and allocating other resources to the system of public universities that should not only proclaim their focus on shared resources, which is the case in many centres with the shared access to research equipment, but also demonstrate it in everyday practical activity. The state regularly implements programmes of supporting projects in the sphere of education and research. Thus, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in Russia holds competitions for the provision of budget funding for research, development and integration of online courses into the teaching and learning process, helps to create centres of the National Technology Initiative, centres for collective use of research equipment and so on,’ said Director of the Centre of E-Learning Development.

    Vladimir Starostenko added that these programmes are aimed at increasing the general level of quality and accessibility of education, as well as contributing to the development of the entire system of science, technology and higher education. ’Unfortunately, sometimes we lack the required administrative, managerial and legal mechanisms. For example, there are still no legal mechanisms that prescribe how public universities can jointly use public resources created with the help of the state budget funds, including the following: methodological materials, online platforms, software purchased with the help of the state budget funds, research equipment and other property,’ clarified Vladimir Starostenko.

    In recent years, St Petersburg University experts have pointed at this issue both in the presentations at conferences of the Russian Council of Rectors and the Association of Leading Universities and in research papers published in the relevant field. For example, it is reflected in the materials of the meeting of the working group at the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation on improving methodological and regulatory base in the issues of conducting financial and operating activities by the higher education establishments (Representatives of the leading universities in Russia discuss the initiatives on developing facilities and resources at universities; S.A. Belov, Yu.V. Linskaya, N.M. Kropachev. 2020. Unity of the system of state universities in today’s Russia. Vestnik of St Petersburg University. Management 19 (2): 151–163; S.A. Belov, A.A. Soloviev, V.V. Suyazov. 2021. Ensuring the right to education by state university’s funding programs. Vestnik of St Petersburg University. Management 20 (3): 453-468; Nikolay Kropachev, Sergei Belov and Yulia Linskaya offer to enhance cooperation in the system of public universities ).

    In 2019, the Government of the Russian Federation approved the rules of giving grants in the form of subsidies from the federal budget to implement specific events of the federal project ‘Young Professionals (making professional education more competitive)’ of the national project "Education" (Order No 1876 dated 27 December 2019 of the Government of the Russian Federation).

    Since 2020, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of Russia has regularly held competitions to receive budgetary funds for the development of online courses within the framework of the federal project "Young Professionals".

    ’However, as a rule, the rights for the use of the online courses developed with the help of budgetary funds are usually granted to the developers. Such courses fail to become public property, and universities-developers usually determine the conditions of opening them to other public universities. The problem of organising access to online courses developed by public universities was especially prominent in March 2020, when the coronavirus restrictions were introduced, which required massive transition to distance learning,’ emphasised Vladimir Starostenko.

    ’Since the conditions of grants failed to provide for the right of the grant sponsor to demand that the developers give free access to the created online courses to anyone, in spring 2020 due to the massive transfer to distance learning, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation had to turn to the university rectors with a request to open access to the courses developed with the use of budgetary funds. Universities gradually satisfied this request. At the same time, some of them persisted in saying that they needed additional budgetary funding ‘to cover the shortfall in income’ caused by providing the students of other universities with access to these courses on a fee-paying basis,’ noted Vladimir Starostenko.

    In spring 2020, before the request from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, St Petersburg University took the initiative and opened free access to its online courses for all Russian students. Apart from the students on educational platforms, over 13 thousand students from 89 universities in Russia could get education using the resources of St Petersburg Universities in the required disciplines and transfer the credits to their higher education institution without putting their health at risk (St Petersburg University to help Russian students to transfer the credit of the online course at St Petersburg University to their university; St Petersburg University opens free access to online courses for students from the whole country till the end of the autumn interim assessment ).

    The University practice of providing access to online courses continued through the autumn of 2020 till the present moment. All online courses created by the employees of St Petersburg University with the help of the federal grant funds are published in open access at the educational platform "Open Education" with free access to everyone.

    In June 2020, the new grant competition of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science of Russia within the framework of the project "Young Professionals" was completed. Following the competition rules, the winners were provided with budgetary funding to develop online courses. In doing so, the rights to the intellectual property stayed with the developers that determined the terms of access.

    ’As a result, due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation, transition to remote work and training at production facilities and organisations, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation had to turn to the developer organisations once again with a request to provide access to online course materials developed with the use of the grant funds to all users, which would allow for the people under lockdown caused by the pandemic to get an education. This enquiry was received at the University at the end of January 2022 (letter No МН-19/60-АН dated 27 January 2022),’ underscored Vladimir Starostenko.

    ’In my opinion, there are no economic, legal or ethical impediments for the state to request that the product created with the use of budgetary funds become public property and gain free general collective access, at least during the pandemic,’ concluded Vladimir Starostenko.

    Robert Evarestov, Head of the Department of Quantum Chemistry and Honorary Professor of St Petersburg University, asked if the large company that promotes online courses would mind St Petersburg University opening access to its online courses to everyone. Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Director of the Institute for Cognitive Studies, asked about the rights for the joint online course developed together with SberBank. In the course of the discussion, it was clarified that the copyright for each online course belongs to researchers-developers, while the property rights belong to the University. Online courses of St Petersburg University are the University property, and the University controls them as opposed to the platforms aggregating such courses. When providing budgetary funds in the form of grants to develop online courses, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation could certainly specify in the grant agreement, who and in which order shall determine access to them.

    Results of the activity by the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee before the spring term of the 2021/2022 academic year

    On 10 February, a joint meeting of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee on transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format took place. A joint meeting of the Committee on transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format in the non-university level higher education programmes in Physical Education took place on 25 January.

    In accordance with Order No 11980/1 dated 12 December 2018 "On approving the Provisions on organising the activity of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee, the Committee for transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format and on collecting documents for such transfers and reinstatement" and Order No 11117/1 dated 17 November 2021 "On the schedule of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee for transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format in 2022", applications from those who were seeking transfer and reinstatement were accepted from 13 December 2021 till 28 January 2022 (for non-university level higher education programmes in Physical Education — from 13 December 2021 till 14 January 2022).

    All information on the deadlines, required documents, form and time frame of the assessment, availability of places was published on the University portal in a timely manner.

    From 31 January 2022 to 4 February 2022, the work of the assessment committees on assessing the candidates for reinstatement, transfer from other higher education institutions, change of the academic programme, change of the teaching and learning process was organised. There were 27 committees which held meetings on accepting the documents for transfer and reinstatement in the relevant fields.

    Overall, 2,224 requests were submitted to the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee on transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format, including the following:

    • 53 requests in the aspirantura and clinical residency programmes (21 requests from doctoral students and 32 requests from clinical residency students)
    • 2,078 requests in the bachelor’s, specialist’s and master’s programmes
    • 93 requests in the programmes of secondary vocational training

    Request

    Number of requests

    Number of positive recommendations

    total

    budget

    agreement

    total

    budget

    agreement

    Changing the basis of education (transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format)

    315

    315

    -

    60

    60

    -

    Reinstatement in St Petersburg University

    510

    198

    312

    301

    70

    231

    Change of the academic programme

    279

    198

    81

    49

    25

    24

    Transfer from a different higher education institution

    1120

    852

    268

    109

    29

    80

    Total

    2224

    1563

    661

    519

    184

    335

    The information on the recommendations of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee on transfer from the paid format to the government-funded format is published on the portal of St Petersburg University and can be viewed here. The applications and documents before the beginning of the 2022/2023 academic year will be accepted from 6 June 2022 to 5 August 2022.

    Schedule of preparation for the 2022/2023 academic year

    The preparation for the 2022/2023 academic year is performed in accordance with Order No 13239/1 dated 30 December 2021 "On the schedule of preparation for the 2022/2023 academic year". The new curricula for degree programmes were uploaded into the "Learning" information system within the time frame specified by the order (31 January 2022). Since 1 February 2022, the teachers have been able to choose their teaching assignments for the 2022/2023 academic year in the "Teaching at St Petersburg University" electronic service of the "Learning" information system (self-registration).

    According to Elvira Zeletdinova, Vice-Rector for Teaching Methods, the teachers could choose their teaching assignments for the 2022/2023 academic year in the "Teaching at St Petersburg University" electronic service of the "Learning" information system (self-registration) till 14 February 11.59pm following the schedule.

    The degree of completion as of 08.15pm on 14 February 2022 can be viewed in the Appendix. On 10, 11 and 14 February 2022, the information was forwarded to the directors and deans via the Electronic Document Management System "Delo" with a request to organise the work following the order. At the same time, the work on holding competitions for teaching position was organised. In accordance with order No 4634/1р dated 29 December 2021, it is planned to declare a competition for 915.75 paid positions. As of 8 February 2022, drafts for 70% of competitions have been prepared, which will allow keeping the schedule.

    According to Order dated 15 February 2022, the "Teaching at St Petersburg University" electronic service has a new function that enables a dean or director to choose permanent and invited staff members via commenting.

    From 15 February 2022 till 23 February 2022, commenting is available to the persons in charge of academic programmes approved by Order No 8343/1 dated 31 August 2021 "On approving academic programme coordinators from research and teaching staff in charge of current staffing to implement academic programmes" (with further changes and additions). Commenting is available to directors and deans from 15 February 2022 till 1 March 2022.

    When commenting, it is necessary to take into account the participation of outsourcers in the implementation of disciplines. Such persons are invited to conduct classes on a regular basis under independent contractor agreements with an extended validity period.

    At the meeting, it was noted that such agreements with an extended validity period will be concluded for the first time, which will allow for efficient use of administrative resources. If one and the same employee teaches several disciplines or takes part in the implementation of several academic programmes, one agreement will be concluded with him or her instead of several agreements as previously done.

    Using foreign languages in the teaching and learning process

    In accordance with part 5 of article 14 of the Federal Law "On education in the Russian Federation", education may be received in a foreign language following the curriculum and, in the order, specified by the legislation on education as well as by-laws of the higher education institution.

    According to Elvira Zeletdinova, Vice-Rector for Teaching Methods, the indicator demonstrating ‘The number of degree programmes of higher education implemented in foreign languages fully or partially’ (including the programmes indicating the scope implemented in a foreign language) is reflected in annual surveys monitoring the activity of the higher education institutions, such as the following:

    • monitoring international activity of the higher education institutions report on implementing the "Export of Education" federal project of the "Education" national project
    • priority project "Developing the export potential of the Russian Educational System"
    • survey for the higher education institutions located in St Petersburg

    To increase the attraction of academic programmes at St Petersburg University among foreign citizens, since 2014, the University has been continuously working on increasing the number of academic programmes of higher education implemented in foreign languages fully or partially. Their number has increased from 10 academic programmes in 2014 to 278 academic programmes in 2021.

    To confirm competence and proficiency in a foreign language, since 2015, St Petersburg University has provided for including at least one discipline implemented in a foreign language to form professional competencies during the eighth term in the curricula of all academic programmes.

    In the 2021/2022 academic year, out of 490 academic programmes:

    • 27 degree programmes have been implemented in a foreign language in full
    • 251 degree programmes have been implemented in a foreign language partially (Appendix)

    Over 2,500 disciplines in foreign languages are provided for in the curricula of the degree programmes to be implemented starting 2022. In general, the portfolio of degree programmes at St Petersburg University includes over 3,500 disciplines in foreign languages, which makes about 15 % of the overall number of current disciplines.

    To make academic programmes more competitive and attractive among foreign citizens, increasing the number of academic programmes fully implemented in a foreign language is of high priority. In doing so, we should focus on master’s programmes partially implemented in foreign languages (73), taking them to the level of being fully implemented in a foreign language.

    Elvira Zeletdinova noted that no less important is to gradually increase the number of specific disciplines implemented in a foreign language, which requires the following steps:

    • organise the development of English versions for university wide online courses included in the curricula of academic programmes at St Petersburg University, which will increase the number of disciplines in a foreign language many-fold and result in a number of academic programmes becoming partially implemented in a foreign language
    • the number of disciplines implemented in English (the language of teaching) with interim assessment in English should be increased in the curricula of degree programmes; in bachelor’s and specialist’s programmes, disciplines in English may be included starting the fifth term (third year), since the level equivalent to B2 is assessed mostly at the end of the fourth term (second year)
    • the curricula of higher education degree programmes focused on studying a foreign language should include at least two disciplines in the target foreign language during the last terms with the assessment held in the foreign language to check the presence of professional competencies

    In the 2021/2022 academic year, 111 such academic programmes are implemented, including the programmes focused on studying a foreign language (at the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, the Faculty of Philology, the Faculty of Foreign Languages) and the programmes aimed at studying a foreign language together with the main speciality (at the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Economics, the Graduate School of Management): International Management (with the study of Modern European and Oriental Languages), Organisation of Tourist Activities (with Advanced Study of the Chinese Language), Economics (with advanced study of the Economy of China and the Chinese language), Jurisprudence (with an In-Depth Study of the Japanese Language and Legal System), etc. In 2022, the number of such academic programmes should reach 129.

    To achieve this goal, directors and deans should provide the following proposals by 21 February 2022:

    • on the staff teams of research and academic staff; on the organisation of their work aimed at developing English versions of the university wide online courses
    • on the list of disciplines (in addition to the existing ones) implemented in English (the language of teaching) with the interim assessment in English in the curricula of degree programmes of higher education
    • on implementing two and more disciplines in the target language (in addition to the existing ones) that form professional competencies in academic programmes focused on studying a foreign language

    A specific plan and relevant tasks will be approved on 24 February 2022.

    Subsequent growth of the number of academic programmes implemented in foreign languages fully or partially is related to two interconnected conditions:

    1. increasing the level of proficiency in a foreign language (English in the first place) by the University students
    2. increasing the number of research and academic staff teaching their disciplines in a foreign language

    Several approaches will be used to solve the first task:

    • to enrol students in bachelor’s and specialist’s programmes implemented in a foreign language in full, an additional entrance examination in a foreign language should be held (a specific plan will be approved by 1 May 2022)
    • to enrol students on master’s programmes implemented in a foreign language fully or partially, holding an additional entrance examination in the form of an interview in a foreign language or providing a certificate confirming at least B2 level should be planned (a specific plan will be approved by 1 May 2022)
    • provide for increasing the level of competence in a foreign language comparable to C1 or C2 among the students of specific academic programmes (a specific plan will be approved by 1 April 2022)

    Elvira Zeletdinova underscored that the following steps are crucial for continuous progress in this field.

    • Academic programmes at St Petersburg University should be staffed with professionals demonstrating a relevant level of proficiency in a foreign language. To this end, the requirement of foreign language proficiency will be included in the qualification requirements for the teaching positions. Over the past five years, employment agreements of no less than 30% of staff at the faculties of the humanities (International Relations, Economics, Political Science, and Liberal Arts and Sciences to name just a few.) have featured the requirement of holding classes in a foreign language. In the Graduate School of Management, 78% of teachers (51 out of 65) already deliver classes in a foreign language. In 2022, over a quarter of competition announcements include the requirement of foreign language proficiency at the level sufficient for teaching
    • It is necessary to conduct advanced training in a foreign language (with a professional component depending on the area of study) to the research and academic staff involved in implementing disciplines in a foreign language. Over the past three years, more than 300 research and academic staff have advanced their qualification. No one was refused advanced training without a reason. In 2022, it is planned to hold advanced training for at least 200 research and academic staff
    • It is necessary to provide for the certification of teachers at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the C1 / C2 level to teach at the academic programmes that form foreign language competency of a specific level (a relevant requirement will be included in the conditions of admission to the employment competition)
    • It is necessary to invite international teachers with the language competencies sufficient for teaching in a foreign language. At the moment, 56 international teachers deliver classes at St Petersburg University

    A specific plan will be approved by 1 April 2022.

    Using the name of St Petersburg University by third parties in the provision of commercial services

    The University has received complaints from citizens regarding the improper use of the name of St Petersburg University by commercial organisations in the provision of their services.

    Aleksandr Babich, Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Admissions, reported that a citizen wrote to the Virtual Reception of St Petersburg University with a question regarding the activities of the Moscow-based "Education and Culture" Foundation, whose staff claim to have direct agreements with St Petersburg University to administer admission procedures. They also promise that the first year of studies would be paid for by the Foundation ("Education and Culture" Foundation).

    St Petersburg University has requested to remove the information about St Petersburg University from the website of the Foundation since the University has no cooperation agreements with the Foundation to develop academic programmes and promote the Russian creative school "Education and Culture" (including the arrangements for administering admission tests to study at St Petersburg University). The information was removed from the Foundation’s website by 3 February 2022. The University has also sent the official notice to the law enforcement bodies.

    To avoid falling victim to the malpractices of unscrupulous organisations, the citizens should be guided by the information posted exclusively on the University’s official websites, and consult the section on unscrupulous organisations. All questions should be directed to the University officials via the Virtual Reception of St Petersburg University.

    Participation in the grant competition to support student scientific societies

    The Rector’s meeting held on 31 January discussed the application of the University for the grant competition of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation to implement activities to support student scientific societies (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 31 January 2022), 2 February (Meetings with Public: on participation in the grant competition to support student scientific societies) and 7 February (Meetings with Public: student proposals for participation in the grant competition).

    The development of the application was discussed by the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Admissions with the representatives of student scientific societies.

    Following the discussions with the representatives of student scientific societies, it was decided to develop a multidisciplinary project that would contribute to the general university research and promote networking between student scientific societies in various academic subdivisions, rather than just individual student scientific societies. On 9 February, following the Rector’s instructions, the Standing Committee for Research of the Academic Council of St Petersburg University held a meeting, at which students presented the proposal for a consolidated interdisciplinary application from all student scientific societies interested in taking part in the competition.

    The International Student Research Forum "St Petersburg Bridges" has been selected as the key event of the project. Members of the Standing Committee for Research of the Academic Council of St Petersburg University have made proposals on improving the contest application, taking into account the coverage of scientific events for students and scientific events organised by student scientific societies, which could be conducted during the year. The members of the Standing Committee expressed their general support for the proposal to submit a consolidated interdisciplinary application from the University for the competition.

    Developing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

    One of the missions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to encourage and assist research on, and development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world. The Agency brings together research institutions from developed and developing Member States to work together on research projects of mutual interest (Coordinated Research Activities (CRA)).

    Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, noted that participation in CRA provides an opportunity for scientists from all over the world to collaborate in conducting breakthrough research in the most important areas of peaceful applications of nuclear science. The topics of such research are not limited to issues of nuclear energy. The agency conducts research in areas such as isotope and radiation applications in agriculture, health, industry, hydrology, and terrestrial and marine environmental studies, addresses nuclear safety issues, and initiates economic research. The CRA implements research, technical, and academic contracts, as well as research agreements without financial support. Each project brings together 10-15 research institutions from different countries to cooperate for three to five years. Currently, the agency is running about 120 such projects. There are 1,600 contracts concluded with the IAEA. The total funding for the projects amounts to 7.1 million euros. The IAEA encourages scientific societies in all participating countries to initiate such projects.

    Responding to the growing importance of nuclear-related issues in key sectors, the IAEA has established several specialised programmes. Their main priorities include cancer treatment, nuclear safety and security, and innovative nuclear reactors and fuel cycles:

    • Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)
    • Human Health Programme
    • IAEA Water Availability Enhancement Project (IWAVE)
    • International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO)
    • Nuclear Technology for Controlling Plastic Pollution (NUTEC Plastics)
    • Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI)
    • Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC)

    The Russia-IAEA Nuclear Knowledge Management School was launched in October 2021 at Rosatom Technical Academy (Rosatom Tech) as part of the INPRO programme to build human capacity and develop national human resources in the nuclear power sector. The school brings together students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Egypt, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sudan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan and international experts, representatives of the Rosatom and academics from the National Research Nuclear University MEPHI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute).

    The IAEA offers a wide range of education and training activities. The initiatives include nuclear safety, radiation protection, human resource management, sustainable energy, emergency response, technical cooperation, and provide in-person training courses and workshops, as well as online distance learning, fellowships and schools on various aspects of nuclear science. The following courses are now offered on a regular basis:

    • Nuclear Law Institute
    • School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety
    • School of Nuclear Energy Management
    • School of Nuclear Knowledge Management
    • School of Radiation Emergency Management

    The IAEA also promotes partnerships between higher education institutions and educational organisations worldwide. The Agency has contributed to establishing regional educational networks in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia: AFRA NEST, ANENT, LANENT, STAR-NET, ENEN, NTEC, BNEN SCK-CEN and UNENE.

    Regional Network for Education and Training in Nuclear Technology (STAR-NET) is one of the regional networks for nuclear education, established under the auspices of the IAEA. It covers the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The mission of STAR-NET is to facilitate cooperation in education and professional training, related research and outreach in nuclear technology through:

    • identifying the educational problems and needs in nuclear education in the region
    • assessing educational resources and offerings in nuclear education and training in the region
    • collaborating in projects in nuclear education and nuclear technology
    • exchanging information, teaching materials and advanced tools for education, training and outreach to nuclear technology
    • developing common curricula and facilitating mutual recognition of degrees
    • developing educational and methodological materials
    • promoting exchanges of students, teachers and researchers
    • promoting collaboration among STAR-NET member organisations and other regional educational networks
    • sharing best practices in nuclear education and educational resources

    Membership in the STAR-NET is open to legal entities (universities, research centres, governmental organisations and other institutions involved in nuclear education activities) and individuals by application subject to approval by the General Assembly.

    Currently, the STAR-NET is a network of 15 universities from 8 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine). Russia is represented by the National Research Nuclear University "MEPHI" , Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University named after R.E. Alekseev, and the National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University. The network offers a course for master’s students in "International Nuclear Cooperation. Technical Aspects".

    Since 2019, the IAEA has been developing partnership relations with St Petersburg Polytechnic University. The University has launched a joint master’s programme in emergency response. Since 2020, the International Polytechnic Summer School has been implementing the academic programme "Plasma Physics and Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion". Peter the Great St Petersburg Polytechnic University plans to develop cooperation with the IAEA through scholarship programmes, grants and fellowships for students, as well as start a new international course on machine learning and establish a "Collaboration Centre" in the field of nuclear technology and controlled thermonuclear fusion.

    The IAEA runs fellowship programmes for students and graduates in various fields of study. The highest priority sectors include:

    • Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • Social Sciences/Humanities
    • Engineering
    • Information Technology
    • Administration and Management

    Sergey Andryushin proposed to expand the international cooperation between St Petersburg University and the IAEA in the following areas:

    • current and new projects for coordinated research
    • IAEA special programmes
    • development and implementation of IAEA training courses
    • cooperation with the International Nuclear Management Academy (INMA)
    • STAR-NET regional education network
    • IAEA fellowship programmes
    • IAEA Fellowship and Grants Programme
    • other bilateral projects with IAEA in research and education

    St Petersburg University put forward the following initiatives as a first step towards expanding the cooperation:

    • cooperation in education and training initiatives in the nuclear field, in particular through the intensive training course on nuclear law
    • cooperation in the development of innovative and advanced educational and training technologies in the nuclear field
    • cooperation in other areas upon the proposals of the experts

    The directors and deans are instructed to review the information note on IAEA programmes and submit proposals for cooperation between St Petersburg University and the IAEA in the relevant academic and research fields in order to prepare the application.

    Budgeting

    Since 2014, the federal budget for state programmes has been formed in accordance with the provisions of Federal Law No 104-FZ dated 7 May 2013 "On Amendments to the Budget Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in order to Improve the Budget Process".

    The state programmes account for 97.4% of the open part of the federal budget for 2022 (as provided by Federal Law No 390-FZ dated 6 December 2021 ’On the Federal Budget for 2022 and the Planning Period of 2023 and 2024′). The remaining 2.6% shall be allocated to non-programme expenditures, including the government reserve and financial support for federal public bodies.

    Tite Akhobadze, Deputy Senior Vice-Rector — Head of the Office of Budgeting and Analysis, informed that there are currently 49 state programmes that cover almost all economic activities of the national economic entities. St Petersburg University, as the principal administrator of budgetary funds, is currently involved in the implementation of four state programmes: "Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation", "Development of Education", "Social Support of Citizens" and "Economic Development and Innovative Economy".

    In 2022, under the state programme "Scientific and Technological Development of the Russian Federation", the University has received 10752.2 million roubles (98.37% of the total disposable budget allocated to St Petersburg University) to implement higher education programmes and research activities as part of the state assignment of St Petersburg University, scholarship payments, Strategic plan 2021-2030, construction and renovation works.

    Under the state programme "Development of Education" for 2022, the state has allocated 118 million roubles (1.08% of the budget of St Petersburg University) to implement educational activities in general, secondary and secondary vocational education.

    Under the state programme, "Social Support for Citizens" for 2022, 59.6 million roubles (0.55% of the budget of St Petersburg University) have been allocated to provide payments to orphans.

    Under the state programme "Economic Development and Innovative Economy" for 2022, 0.2 million roubles have been allocated to implement civil servant training programmes (volunteering).

    Тite Akhobadze noted that the diversity of the activities of St Petersburg University means that the University can participate in several state programmes and is entitled to a subsequent allocation of additional budgetary funds. These programmes include "Development of Culture" (for example, in terms of repair and restoration of cultural heritage sites, library and museum activities), "Accessible Environment" (as part of the statutory obligations to ensure an accessible and comfortable environment for students and employees), "Development of Culture and Sports" (sports and recreational activities), etc.

    Following the Rector’s Order dated 12 January 2021, the University has intensified its efforts to identify possible forms of participation in state programmes given the positive experience of the University’s involvement in the state programme "Economic Development and Innovative Economy" (in accordance with Government Order No 376 of 31 March 2020). Directors of the institutes, deans of the faculties and other officials were instructed to submit relevant proposals and organise, within their competence, the work on submitting applications to the federal executive bodies responsible for the state programmes.

    However, the principles of preparing and submitting the applications need to be clarified, given the different views of the officials on the appropriate procedures and the radical changes to the algorithms for formulating and running state programmes introduced by the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation in 2021.

    Since 2022, state programmes will incorporate federal and departmental projects (the so-called "project part", development) and a series of process activities (the so-called "process part", regular activities). For example, the St Petersburg University Strategic Plan 2021-2030 shall be financed under the federal project "Development of integration processes in science, higher education and industry"; the project for the construction of the halls of residence for students of master’s programmes and the Hofmeister building of the Graduate School of Management shall be financed under the departmental project "Development of Infrastructure for Science and Higher Education"; other expenditures of the budget of St Petersburg University shall be attributed to the process part.

    Each state programme shall be assigned a supervisor from among the deputy chairpersons of the Government of the Russian Federation, who shall appoint a governing council for the programme and chair it. The Governing Council shall make decisions concerning amendments to the state programme based on proposals submitted by the federal executive body.

    In accordance with paragraph 42 of the Regulations on management system by state programmes of the Russian Federation (approved by Government Order No 786 dated 26 May 2021), amendments to the state programme shall be made in the course of drawing up a draft federal law on the federal budget, simultaneously with the preparation of proposals by the chief administering bodies concerned with the distribution of basic and supplementary budgetary funds. Thus, the process of introducing changes to state programmes shall be synchronised with the schedule of budgetary operations, which is annually updated in accordance with a special governmental schedule.

    It was noted that obtaining additional budgetary funding depends on the initiatives of directors and deans. Applications should substantiate the ability to participate in state programmes. For example, in 2022, St Petersburg University participates in the state programme of healthcare development. In the framework of the state programme, the University shall receive 184 million roubles to purchase medical equipment as part of a federal project to fight cancer. This was the initiative of Yury Fedotov, Director of the Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies of St Petersburg University.

    Тite Akhobadze has outlined the sequence of actions in the process of applying for the state programmes in 2022, which might include the following stages.

    1. Review of the passports of existing state programmes and identification of prospective areas corresponding to the objectives specified in the passport of the selected state programme
    2. Assessment of the impact that the participation of St Petersburg University in the state programme may have on the indicators, objectives of the structural elements and strategic priorities set out in the passport of the programme. The assessment should be based on the principles of measurability and plausibility
    3. Assessment of the impact that the participation of St Petersburg University in the state programme could have on the achievement of the national objectives set by Presidential Decree No 474 dated 21 July 2020
    4. Determining the amount of funding for the activities to be implemented by St Petersburg University as part of the state programme, in cooperation with the financial departments of the University
    5. Preparation of a draft application, including estimates and projected amounts of funding, to be submitted to the head of the federal executive body responsible for the state programme
    6. Submission of the draft application for review to the Rector (statements of initiatives shall be signed by the Rector before being sent to the heads of state authorities)

    Taking into account the average timeframe for budget operations, the final version of the application shall be sent no later than 1 June in order to complete the necessary technical steps (including the generation of the chain of budget classification codes, and updating the nested regulatory directories to name just a few.). As it is advisable to have at least one possibility to finalise applications after receiving the response from the federal executive bodies (considering the time required for posting and statutory review), they shall be submitted by 15 April.

    To facilitate the application process, the template forms for addressing the heads of ministries and agencies to supplement the list of state programme participants shall be made available to the directors and deans within a week. Besides, it is planned to organise a cloud repository with the passports of state programmes updated upon approval of their new versions. Access to the documentation shall be provided to all relevant staff of St Petersburg University.

    Establishment of the "Honorary Diploma named after Lyudmila Verbitskaya"

    In the memory of the prominent Russian philologist, Rector (1996-2008) and President of St Petersburg University ( 2008-2019), President of the Russian Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (1999-2019), President of the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (2003-2019) and Lyudmila Verbitskaya, Academician of the Russian Academy of Education, and in recognition of her contribution to preserving and promoting the Russian language, the Council of Rectors of the universities of Voronezh region established the "Honorary Diploma named after Lyudmila Verbitskaya", which will be awarded annually. Nataliia Kozelskaia, Associate Professor in the Department of General Linguistics and Stylistics of Voronezh State University, has become the first laureate. The participants of the meeting welcomed the news that the work of outstanding university scholars has been recognised not only at St Petersburg University but also in other regions of the Russian Federation.

    Documents