St. Petersburg State University
St. Petersburg, Russia
- Judy Twigg, Ph.D.
- Director, VCU-SPSU Partnership
Virginia Commonwealth University’s International Partnership with St. Petersburg State University began in the early 1990s with a steady exchange of researchers and guest lecturers on the Monroe Park and Medical Center campuses. SPSU and VCU signed an official collaborative agreement in August 2006 during VCU President Dr. Eugene P. Trani’s visit to St. Petersburg. In the summer of 2006, Judyth Twigg, Ph.D., interim director of VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, was named director of the VCU-SPSU Partnership and is working with faculty and administration at both institutions to develop further collaborations between the universities.
Location: St. Petersburg is Russia’s “second capital.” Located in the northwestern part of the country on the Baltic Sea, with a population of about 6 million, it is well-known for its remarkable beauty, rich history and unparalleled cultural heritage. It has been home to some of Russia’s most important writers and artists (Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Shostakovish) and cultural institutions (the Mariinsky, formerly known as the Kirov, Ballet).
Public/Private: Private (state-owned at the federal level)
Number of students: 32,000 (with 4,000 faculty members)
Number of undergraduate and graduate degrees: Graduate and undergraduate degrees are offered by most of the departments listed below.
Hospital, museum, theatres, etc. attached: The university houses a museum on site of the former apartment/office of Professor Dmitry Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table of the elements, who taught at the university for many years.
VCU relevant annual events: For the past 18 years, the Department of International Relations has sponsored a high-profile “Russian-American Seminar.” VCU faculty, including former Governor L. Douglas Wilder, have made presentations at this event. Ten VCU faculty and two students made presentations at this event in May 2008.
Top recognized programs: The university of comprised of 20 specialized departments, all of which are ranked among the very top departments in Russia: applied mathematics and control processes, biology and soil studies, chemistry, economics, geography and geoecology, geology, history, international relations, journalism, law, management, mathematics and mechanics, medicine, oriental studies, philology and arts, philosophy and political science, physics, psychology, public health, and sociology.
Partnership track record
Departments/programs interacting at each university: Biochemistry, physics, area studies, international relations/foreign policy
Type of activity: Faculty/student exchange, collaborative research projects, grant proposal submissions, visiting instruction, conference participation, team-taught courses
Areas of promise
Departments/programs interacting at each university: Mathematics, public health, genetics, political science
Type of activity: Faculty/student exchange, collaborative research projects, curriculum and course development