Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

No. 534
18.07.2022

    St Petersburg University cardiovascular surgeon develops neural network to treat patients with heart disease

    Gleb Kim, a physician at St Petersburg University’s Pirogov Clinic of High Medical Technologies, has created a neural network that, using the database of the encoded medical histories of patients, can predict the development of cardiovascular diseases and also give recommendations for their treatment. This project took first place in the All-Russian competition "League of the Future" in the field of healthcare.

    By means of the system "A Second Opinion: Neural Networks and Aortic Pathology in Cardiac Surgery", specialists from all over the country will be able to obtain expert assistance in managing patients with a life-threatening condition — an aneurysm or aortic dissection. It will suffice for the doctor to provide a certain amount of date from the patient’s medical history: clinical data, their anthropometry, the results from a computed tomography scan of the aorta and an echocardiogram. The neural network will then give its predictions and recommendations.

    The conclusions of the expert system are formed as a result of its training, which is based on encoded data from the histories of patients’ illnesses. It is planned to collect the big data that is necessary to effectively train the neural networks in cooperation with cardiac surgeons and cardiologists from all regions of Russia. So far, nine models of neural networks have been created and are being tested at St Petersburg University. At present, the main task of development is to accumulate data, as this is what makes it possible for the neural network to learn and to form accurate recommendations (St Petersburg University cardiovascular surgeon develops neural network to treat patients with heart disease).

    St Petersburg University is the first Russian university to hold an open all-Russian competition for signing agreements on sponsored education with companies in Karelia

    Representatives of St Petersburg University, the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Karelia, and companies in the Republic of Karelia that sponsor education have agreed to hold an open competition for signing agreements on employer-sponsored education among applicants of St Petersburg University during the 2022 admission campaign. Not only the residents of the particular subject of the Russian Federation, but applicants from all over the country can take part in the competition. The competition will be held for the first time.

    The agreement was reached at the meeting that focused on the development of the personnel potential of the Republic of Karelia through the mechanism of sponsored training. The meeting was held by the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Republic of Karelia at the end of June.

    Winning the competition will grant an applicant the right to sign an agreement on sponsored training at St Petersburg University. The agreements cover bachelor’s and specialist studies in priority areas of study and specialties for the Republic of Karelia. The competition is held for the academic programmes at St Petersburg University for which the Government of the Russian Federation has set an admission quota for sponsored education.

    Those who are interested to apply for sponsored training can be residents of any constituent entity of the Russian Federation, not only those living in the Republic of Karelia. If you win the competition, you will have the opportunity to sign an agreement on sponsored education with one of the customer organisations from the Republic of Karelia and take part in the competition for admission within the admission quota for sponsored training. More detailed information about the competition is available on the website of the St Petersburg University Admissions Committee (A competition for applicants to bachelor’s programmes to conclude an agreement on sponsored education with organisations in the Republic of Karelia announced).

    Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

    Over the past week, the Virtual Reception received ten enquiries addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities. Additionally, ten enquiries were registered in the student enquiry register. Enquiries are mostly related to requests for various documents. Responses to the enquiries are sent in the prescribed manner.

    Since 24 February, 185 requests have been received to be transferred to St Petersburg University from universities of the following countries: the Czech Republic; Germany; Poland; Israel; the Donetsk People’s Republic; Romania; Canada; the USA; Switzerland; France; Ukraine; Spain; Austria; Italy; Latvia; the Lugansk People’s Republic; Finland; South Korea; Lithuania; Hungary; Belgium; Greece; Great Britain; Slovakia; Singapore; and Japan. Additionally, 12 requests were registered last week. According to Regulation № 434 dated 21 March 2022 of the Government of the Russian Federation and Letter MN-5/927-DA dated 1 March 2022 of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation: St Petersburg University accepts transfer requests from the citizens of Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic and Russian citizens who had to leave the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Ukraine and arrive in Russia, as well as the Russian citizens expressing the desire to transfer from international educational organisations in the states included into the list of non-friendly states established by Regulation No 430-r of the Government of the Russian Federation. As of today, orders have been issued to enrol 38 students as an academic transfer from a foreign educational organisation. Twenty two students were enrolled on a government-funded basis, while 16 students were enrolled on a fee-paying basis. Planned work is underway with other applicants.

    Meetings of the heads of academic subdivisions of St Petersburg University with the student activists have been postponed until August.

    Results of the State Final Assessment

    The State Final Assessment 2022 is coming to an end. During the State Final Assessment 2022 period, as of 13 July 2022, there were 1,474 meetings of the State Assessment Committees (SAC). At the end of July 2022, the remaining few meetings of the State Assessment Committees for the defences of the graduation projects for aspirantura and master’s students will take place.

    According to Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities, 1,890 external experts − representatives of employing organisations and professional communities − took part in the meetings of the State Assessment Committees, with 480 of them being SAC chairs. A total of 2,818 people took part as SAC participants, including 928 members of St Petersburg University academic staff.

    There were 2,917 representatives of employing organisations who acted as reviewers for the qualification projects. For each of the 352 degree programmes, academic coordinators were assigned form the teaching staff.

    From 12 May to 7 July, 5,284 students in bachelor’s, specialist’s, master’s and aspirantura programmes had their graduation project defences.

    Field of study

    Bachelor’s programme

    Master’s programme

    Specialist’s programme

    Aspirantura programme

    Total

    1

    Biology

    77

    109

     

    17

    203

    2

    Earth Sciences

    127

    200

     

    23

    350

    3

    Asian and African Studies

    76

    53

     

    7

    136

    4

    Journalism

    208

    148

     

    7

    363

    5

    Arts

    53

    48

    32

     

    133

    6

    History

    120

    75

     

    26

    221

    7

    Cognitive Studies

     

    4

       

    4

    8

    Pedagogy

     

    12

     

    8

    20

    9

    Competition Development and Antimonopoly Regulation

     

    6

       

    6

    10

    Mathematics and Computer Science

    57

    18

       

    75

    11

    Mathematics and Mechanics

    94

    51

    23

    26

    194

    12

    Medicine

       

    52

    17

    69

    13

    International Relations

    196

    198

     

    30

    424

    14

    Management

    153

    91

     

    3

    247

    15

    Applied Mathematics and Control Processes

    133

    87

     

    11

    231

    16

    Psychology

    44

    99

    23

    19

    185

    17

    Political Science

    50

    40

     

    11

    101

    18

    Arts and Humanities

    111

    46

       

    157

    19

    Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies

       

    17

    2

    19

    20

    Sociology

    86

    74

     

    11

    171

    21

    Physics

    81

    56

     

    16

    153

    22

    Philology

    219

    363

     

    46

    628

    23

    Philosophy

    72

    73

     

    29

    174

    24

    Physical Education

       

    266

     

    266

    25

    Nursing

       

    12

     

    12

    26

    Chemistry

    57

    60

     

    19

    136

    27

    Economics

    212

    158

     

    16

    386

    28

    Law

     

    204

     

    16

    220

     

    Total

    2,226

    2,273

    425

    360

    5,284

    The meetings of 746 State Assessment Committees took place:

    Field of study

    Number of State Assessment Committees

    1

    Biology

    34

    2

    Earth Sciences

    41

    3

    Asian and African Studies

    25

    4

    Journalism

    45

    5

    Arts

    15

    6

    History

    33

    7

    Cognitive Studies

    1

    8

    Pedagogy

    4

    9

    Competition Development and Antimonopoly Regulation

    1

    10

    Mathematics and Computer Science

    12

    11

    Mathematics and Mechanics

    32

    12

    Medicine

    15

    13

    International Relations

    39

    14

    Management

    34

    15

    Applied Mathematics and Control Processes

    39

    16

    Psychology

    38

    17

    Political Science

    16

    18

    Arts and Humanities

    20

    19

    Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies

    2

    20

    Sociology

    19

    21

    Physics

    48

    22

    Philology

    93

    23

    Philosophy

    31

    24

    Physical Education

    22

    25

    Nursing

    1

    26

    Chemistry

    16

    27

    Economics

    43

    28

    Law

    27

     

    Total

    746

    From 5,284 project defences 3,739 people (70.8%) were graded as "excellent", 1,269 people (24%) — "good", 257 people (4.9 %) — "satisfactory", and 19 people (0.36%) — "unsatisfactory".

    From 12 May to 29 June 2022, state exams were held for:

    • bachelor’s students in: Asian and African Studies; Earth Sciences; Arts and Humanities; International Relations; Political Science; Psychology; Philology; Economics; and Law
    • master’s students in: Earth Sciences; International Relations; Political Science; Psychology; and Law
    • specialist’s students in: Medicine; Dental Medicine; and Psychology
    • aspirantura students in: Biology; Asian and African Studies; Earth Sciences; History; International Relations; Political Science; Sociology; Philology; Philosophy; Chemistry; Economics; and Law

    During the period of the State Final Assessment, 43 students have filed enquiries to the appeal committees following the results of the final state examinations: 18 enquiries from bachelor’s students in International Relations, Psychology, Economics, and Law; 24 enquiries from master’s students in Law and Psychology; and one enquiry from an aspirantura student in Law.

    According to Elvira Zeletdinova, Vice-Rector for Teaching Methods, the format of the State Final Assessment 2022 (state examination (if any) and defence of the graduation project) was different:

    • the in-person format in the classroom in the following fields of study: Medicine; Competition Development and Antimonopoly Regulation; Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies; Chemistry; and Nursing
    • the hybrid format (in the classroom and using online video conferences and information and communication technology) in the following fields of study: Biology; Asian and African Studies; Journalism; Earth Sciences; Arts; History; Arts and Humanities; Cognitive Studies; Mathematics and Computer Science; Mathematics and Mechanics; Pedagogy; Political Science; Control Processes; Psychology; Sociology; Physics; Philosophy; Law; and Physical Education
    • using online video conferences and information and communication technology in the following fields of study: Journalism; Management; International Relations; Economics; and Philology

    Additionally, as part of the recommendations of the Standing Teaching Methodology Committee of the Academic Council at St Petersburg University, the quality of the State Final Assessment 2022 of the bachelor’s programme "Liberal Arts and Sciences" was assessed. The teaching staff of the History, Philosophy, Economics and Sociology fields of study participated in the State Final Assessment 2022 as members of the State Assessment Committees. The experts noted the following observations about the quality of training of graduates from the bachelor’s programme ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’ demonstrated at the State Final Assessment 2022: low level, and sometimes no research component of the graduation project; low level of independence of some students in developing their graduation project; and focus on the criterion of "demonstrating broad erudition", which takes into the background the requirement ‘knowledge of fundamental concepts of the subject area’, and understanding of the "main directions of scientific development".

    The following aspects were noted by the Standing Teaching Methodology Committee of the Academic Council at St Petersburg University (the meeting held on 28 April 2022): the profiling (building 12 professional paths) due to a wide range of elective courses has led to the formation of the curriculum of the academic programme that consists of 500 courses; and introduction of a large number of professional competences into the content of the academic programme, which are almost impossible to be qualitatively developed in the standard 240 credits of the bachelor’s programme. This was confirmed by an analysis of the competencies of the 2021 graduates from this programme (50 graduate diplomas were analysed out of 123 graduates of 2021 from the bachelor’s programme). In 2022, the experts noted the lack of fundamental theoretical knowledge of students in the main subject area of professional paths, especially when compared to graduates of the corresponding academic programmes of faculties/institutes ("History", "Philosophy", "Economics", and "Sociology").

    The experts pointed out the following disadvantages of the State Final Assessment: the assessment criteria were not always consistent; and the wording of questions in the state examination papers were too generalised and extensive (given the limited time for the examination, it required the students to either give a too voluminous answer or make general judgements), which made the assessment of the competence and level of knowledge of students significantly more difficult.

    These remarks, as well as the experts’ statement that the style of scientific journalism often prevailed in qualification projects, which were often of an essay nature and far removed from the content requirements of graduation projects, necessitate major changes in the curriculum and the content of the academic programmes as a whole.

    The results of the assessment were sent to the Standing Teaching Methodology Committee of the Academic Council at St Petersburg University for analysis and recommendations to modify the bachelor’s programme in the field of 50.03.01 "Arts and Humanities".

    According to Sergey Sevryukov, Vice-Rector for Information Technologies, various information technologies were used to conduct the State Final Assessment in hybrid, classroom and remote formats. For example, even with the classroom format of examinations and defences, it was necessary to use technology to enable remote participation in defences and examinations by some members of the State Assessment Committees and some international students who were outside the Russian Federation. Computer-assisted state examinations using the Blackboard system were also used. For example, law students who needed to take the state examinations remotely were connected using a terminal server to be able to use the legal reference systems during the exam on an equal footing with those taking the exams in the University’s classrooms.

    In the remote format, the state examination was conducted depending on the specifics of the field: either in the form of a test in the Blackboard system using online invigilation (in most cases), or orally via video conference in Microsoft Teams (in Psychology, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Arts), with the direct control of the members of the State Assessment Committees.

    The format of the online student equipment test using the invigilation system is now in its third year. The guidelines for self-configuration of the equipment were updated by the staff of the Information Technology Service and communicated to the students through the academic offices. As a result, most of the technical problems of the students were solved at the test connection stage. Appeals during examinations were sporadic and problems were promptly solved. No cases of resits due to technical problems have been registered.

    There were a few requests for assignments due to incorrect settings in the Blackboard system, which were promptly resolved. However, the need for additional counselling for teachers and staff who directly set up the final examination tasks was identified.

    The defences of graduation projects were held via video conferences in the Microsoft Teams system in a remote or mixed (hybrid) format, when part of the committee (especially considering the involvement of a significant share of employers’ representatives in the committee) and part of the students are connected online, while another part of the committee and students are in the classroom.

    The mixed (including hybrid) format has already been used in the teaching and learning process during the current academic year. Specially equipped multimedia classrooms with a projection device and/or LCD panel, audio system and camera were therefore already available in a number of fields of study. All equipment was checked well in advance. There were therefore only a small number of technical failures: in the History field of study, during the mixed-format defence of a graduation project, the projection device malfunctioned in the classroom and the session was moved to a reserve classroom; during the State Final Assessment, the video cameras of students in Asian and African Studies malfunctioned − in these cases the faulty devices were promptly replaced.

    The Information Technology Service provided the following quantitative characteristics reflecting the volume and complexity of support:

    • 4,395 defences of graduation projects and 3,249 examinations (by number of students) were held, which required technical support
    • the number of incidents and/or failures was 59 (less than 1%)
    • the number of supported video conference sessions was 2,967

    The overall result shows that St Petersburg University has developed some experience of successfully organising sophisticated processes of interaction between multiple participants with different functions in the teaching and learning process, using various information and communication technologies for e-learning. At the same time, it would be advisable to continue improving the skills of teachers and staff in working with different platforms and information systems that are used for delivering classes, interim assessments and state examinations and defences of qualification projects.

    Student transfer and reinstatement

    St Petersburg University continues to accept documents from applicants for academic transfer and reinstatement at St Petersburg University. As Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities, said, in order to improve the procedure for academic transfer and reinstatement at the University, decisions were made to expand the possibilities of academic transfer for students from other educational institutions to St Petersburg University.

    As previously reported, according to the Order, now the academic difference that may occur during academic transfer and reinstatement on a fee-paying basis to St Petersburg University from other educational organisations can be up to a half of the curriculum of the academic programme. Earlier, the academic difference could be up to 10 disciplines in the curriculum.

    In those cases, where an assessment test is carried out for reinstatement, academic transfer from other educational organisations, changing an academic programme, or changing the form of education at St Petersburg University, a remote format is established using information and communication technologies. This enables students from other regions to take the assessment test without having to come to St Petersburg.

    In accordance with Clauses 7.5.1 and 7.5.6 of the Academic Regulations for Bachelor’s, Specialist’s, Master’s Programmes and Non-University Level Higher Education at St Petersburg University approved by Order № 470/1 dated 29 January 2016, one of the conditions for academic transfer and (or) reinstatement is the readiness of the student to pursue an academic programme. The list of programmes for academic transfer which implies taking the assessment test is defined in Order № 12157/1 "On approval of the composition of the committees for the assessment of applicants for reinstatement, academic transfer from other educational organisations, changing the academic programme, changing the form of education, and forms of assessment tests in 2022" dated 16 December 2021.

    Marina Lavrikova noted that every year there was a competitive situation between applicants in almost all academic programmes and areas of study during transfer and reinstatement for vacant government-funded places at St Petersburg University. Decisions are made by the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee for Making Decisions on Transfer from Fee-Paying Basis to Government-Funded Basis, including on the basis of the results of the assessment tests.

    Acceptance of documents from applicants for academic transfer and reinstatement at St Petersburg University will last until 6pm on 5 August 2022. Documents are also accepted remotely by submitting documents through the Personal Account on the official St Petersburg University website. Information on the availability of vacant places for academic transfer and reinstatement will be published on the St Petersburg University website on 12 August 2022. The meeting of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee and the Committee for Making Decisions on Transfer from Fee-Paying Basis to Government-Funded Basis will be held on 31 August 2022.

    Detailed information about the rules of academic transfer and reinstatement can be found on the page "Information of the Central Transfer and Reinstatement Committee" on the St Petersburg University website. Additionally, the Virtual Reception of St Petersburg University regularly publishes answers to the questions about the rules of academic transfer and reinstatement.

    Submitting the documents on temporary disability by students

    On the basis of Decree of the Government of St Petersburg № 121 "On Measures to Counteract the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in St Petersburg" dated 13 March 2020, a number of orders were issued. Among other things, they allowed students at St Petersburg University to submit medical documents on temporary disability in electronic form via e-mail or personal account.

    On 1 July 2022, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) suspended all previously introduced epidemiological restrictions. The orders that allowed students at St Petersburg University to submit medical documents on temporary disability in electronic form were cancelled (Order № 8200/1 dated 21 July 2022). Now medical documents are accepted for consideration exclusively on paper (with the exception of electronic sick leave certificates), legally issued by an authorised medical organisation (see also: In a situation of emergency; ‘It works!’ (On the effectiveness of orders issued by St Petersburg University in an emergency situation)).

    At the meeting, Acting Deputy Rector for Security Yury Penov said that during the pandemic, in a situation of emergency, the University accepted scans of medical documents. As a result, the number of false medical certificates from students increased dramatically. When St Petersburg University applied to law enforcement agencies, the law enforcement agencies did not accept the appeals without the original medical documents. Now the situation must change.

    Measures aimed at preventing fraudulent actions against applicants and students

    St Petersburg University receives information about unethical companies located both in the Russian Federation and on the territory of foreign states that illegally use the name of St Petersburg University to provide educational services for commercial purposes.

    As told by the Acting Deputy Rector for Security Yury Penov, such organisations pretend to be a partner of St Petersburg University and offer the following: guaranteed admission to the University on a commercial basis without having to take entrance examinations for a monetary reward; guarantee publications in low-quality journals; grant support services; assistance in obtaining scholarships; and providing accommodation in halls of residence to name but a few (Beware of unethical companies).

    Yury Penov drew attention to the fact that the University has nothing to do with the activities of such companies and is not responsible for their actions.

    For each revealed fact from the listed episodes of illegal activities, an appeal is sent to the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation to bring the perpetrators to the responsibility established by law. In the event that a crime has been committed outside the Russian Federation, the diplomatic mission of the country in whose territory the specified unlawful act was committed is mandatory notified.

    Unfortunately, the University cannot track the appearance of these organisations. Applicants and St Petersburg University students need to be careful and should be guided by information only on the official websites of St Petersburg University (spbu.ru, english.spbu.ru, abiturient.spbu.ru) and its subdivisions.

    In order not to become a victim of unethical companies, it is necessary to use the St Petersburg University website navigator to search for official and reliable information. It is necessary to pay attention to the e-mail from which communication is conducted. All official communication with representatives of the University is conducted through e-mail addresses with the domain name @spbu.ru.

    The University never guarantees admission for a monetary reward. Any commercial organisations offering educational services on behalf of St Petersburg University operate illegally.

    If there are doubts about the legitimacy of the activities of an organisation that provides services on behalf of St Petersburg University, you can clarify its status by sending a request to the St Petersburg University Virtual Reception.

    Interaction with law enforcement agencies in order to protect the interests of the University, its students and staff

    Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases when international students apply to companies that offer document processing services. Among these services are the following: registration at the place of stay; temporary residence permits; and residence permits to name but a few. As Acting Deputy Rector for Security Yury Penov explained, in most cases, the aim of such companies, unfortunately, was to receive money from a foreign citizen without providing the promised services.

    For example, a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic studying in the clinical residency programme "Oncology" at St Petersburg University asked the University to provide legal assistance in obtaining a residence permit in the Russian Federation.

    In her application, the foreign citizen indicated that she had previously applied for advisory services to a legal agency. The agency promised to provide the necessary service for a monetary reward. Having received the monetary reward, the agency did not fulfil its obligations under the contract.

    The Passport and Visa Department at St Petersburg University is always ready to help the University students and provide the necessary assistance and comprehensive support. In this particular case, the student was explained the procedure for preparing and submitting documents for obtaining a residence permit in the Russian Federation. Additionally, they provided the contact information of the authorised organisation, i.e. "Passport and Visa Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation", and the Legal Clinic at St Petersburg University.

    Upon committing the fraudulent actions against the foreign citizen by the unethical legal agency, a corresponding appeal was sent to law enforcement agencies.

    In order to warn foreign citizens about possible illegal actions in the field of migration, the St Petersburg University Virtual Reception has a detailed explanation: Where can the St Petersburg University students apply for legal assistance?

    In confirmation of the fact that St Petersburg University always supports the University students and staff and provides them with comprehensive assistance, Yury Penov notes that on 14 July 2022, a complaint was sent to law enforcement agencies regarding the theft of the blue spruces by unidentified persons. These spruces had been purchased at the expense of the personal funds by Irina Balova, Director of the Institute of Chemistry at St Petersburg University. She then planted the spruces in front of the building of the Institute of Chemistry in honour of the Professors Emeritus of St Petersburg University (Spruces at the Institute of Chemistry).

    Following the discussion at the meeting, the Rector instructed Marina Lavrikova and Aleksandr Babich to send these materials to students by individual e-mails and to inform applicants about the assistance provided by the University upon admission. Directors and deans are instructed to talk about these cases at meetings with student activists.

    International activities

    At the recent Rector’s meetings, the international activities of St Petersburg University were analysed (Minutes of the Rector’s meetings dated 14 March 2022; dated 20 June 2022; dated 27 June 2022; dated 4 July 2022; and dated 11 July 2022). According to Deputy Rector for International Affairs Sergey Andryushin, a number of new events took place last week.

    Meeting with a delegation from Al-Istiqlal University (Palestine)

    On 12 July 2022, St Petersburg University representatives met with Dr Mohammed Najajra, Director of the Centre of Poet Sergei Yesenin for the Russian Language and Culture and Professor at Al-Istiqlal University (Palestine). During the meeting, the Palestinian side made a presentation of Al-Istiqlal University. It was followed by a discussion of possible areas for academic and scientific cooperation. The parties agreed to sign a cooperation agreement and protocols on academic and student exchange between St Petersburg University and Al-Istiqlal University. It was also decided to establish cooperation between the Russian Language Centres of the two universities and to launch an online school project for Palestinian schools that are under the guidance of Al-Istiqlal University.

    At the meeting, the colleagues from Al-Istiqlal University said that they also expressed the wish of other Palestinian universities to cooperate with St Petersburg University.

    Open lecture as part of the activities of the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain

    On 13 July 2022, the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain hosted an online lecture "Gala and Dali: Creature of Grandeur". It is a continuation of the series of conferences "The Story of One Love". The lecture was delivered by Anna Silyunas, a theatre critic, an art critic, and Director of the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain.

    Meeting with Science and Technology Counsellor of the Embassy of India in Russia

    On 13 July 2022, representatives of St Petersburg University met online with Science and Technology Counsellor of the Embassy of India in Russia and Associate Professor at St Petersburg University Mr Shashwat. They discussed a joint Russian-Indian scientific programme, i.e. Mathematics, Computing and Data Science.

    During the meeting, the Indian colleagues spoke about an initiative to create a joint Russian-Indian scientific programme. Dr Shishir Shrotriya, Science and Technology Counsellor of the Embassy of India in Russia, proposed a partner from the Indian side for the implementation of this project, i.e. the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH). The Technology Innovation Hub was opened at the Indian Statistical Institute (Kolkata, India). The Embassy of India and Mr Shashwat suggested that St Petersburg University should consider the possibility of participation in the project from the Russian side, as St Petersburg University has one of the strongest mathematical schools in the world.

    The parties agreed to jointly prepare a draft programme and an application for funding to the Technology Innovation Hub, since the Indian side proposed to consider their grants as a source of funding for the programme. Additionally, Dr Shishir Shrotriya said that St Petersburg University could offer other projects that were aimed at cooperation between Russian and Indian universities.

    The "Visiting Professors" programme at St Petersburg University

    The "Visiting Professors" programme has been implemented in a new format at St Petersburg University since June 2021. The programme is aimed at inviting international academic staff to ensure the implementation of disciplines in the St Petersburg University curricula with an international component. The project is aimed to ensure:

    • internationalisation of the University and improving the quality of education and research by attracting international academic staff
    • modernisation of academic programmes
    • strengthening cooperation with foreign universities, establishing academic and scientific ties

    The use of information and communication technologies to organise the teaching and learning process ensures simple recruitment procedure of international experts. Additionally, it eliminates the need for obtaining work visas. A large number of international lecturers are invited to organise the teaching process in a remote format.

    In order to support activities to attract international academic staff to ensure the implementation of the disciplines of the St Petersburg University curricula with an international component, a resource has been developed on the St Petersburg University website, i.e. Visiting Professors. Through this resource, international academic staff can submit applications for the proposals in the relevant academic field posted on the website.

    The system of recruitment and support of international lecturers at the University continues to develop. Twice a year, proposals are sent to the heads of academic and research subdivisions at St Petersburg University to invite international experts. In September 2022, all heads of academic and research subdivisions at the University will be sent a request to attract international academic staff for the 2023/24 academic year.

    During the period of operation of the "Visiting Professors" section on the St Petersburg University website, the requests for invitations of international lecturers have been actively sent by the heads of the following subdivisions: the Institute of History; the Faculty of Law; the Faculty of Sociology; the School of International Relations; the Faculty of Economics; and the Graduate School of Management.

    The directors and deans were instructed to communicate this information to the academic staff of their subdivisions and submit applications in a timely manner for attracting international academic staff to implement the academic programmes at St Petersburg University.

    Presentation of the publication "King Lear" in the Vladimir Nabokov Museum at St Petersburg University

    For several years now, the Vladimir Nabokov Museum has been successfully developing lecture activities. They cover several areas. Among them is a series of lectures related to the challenges of translation. On 29 April 2022, Sergei Radlov, a theatre historian and Shakespeare scholar, presented a new edition of "King Lear" at the Vladimir Nabokov Museum at St Petersburg University. Mr Radlov and Mr Ivanov prepared an edition of ‘King Lear’ translated by Osiia Soroka. The translation has an extensive commentary and various accompanying texts. It was published by the Moscow’s Publishing House Common Place in 2022.

    The event focused on the play that became Shakespeare’s main text after World War II. It discussed the life of ‘King Lear’ in Russian translation and the issues of its reception in Russian culture. Additionally, it discussed the challenges of translating Shakespeare’s text. In particular, it focused on the works of one of the most popular Russian translators, Osiia Soroka. He translated texts by William Faulkner, Aldous Huxley, Malcolm Lowry, Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, John Cheever, and James Aldridge to name but a few.

    The event was organised in-person. It was held by Andrei Astvatsaturov, Director of the Vladimir Nabokov Museum, writer, and Professor at St Petersburg University. The video recording of the lecture is available in the Vladimir Nabokov Museum’s official group.