With a history dating back to 1724, Saint Petersburg University (SPbU) is the oldest institution of higher education in Russia. Today, SPbU successfully combines tradition and innovation, being one of the leading international centers of education, science and culture. As a dynamic institution, it designs multidisciplinary academic programs that combine fundamental theoretical problems with practical application. The achievements of the University professors and graduates have shaped the history of both international and Russian science and technology.

The University maintains strong partnerships with 530 universities in 100 countries worldwide. Last year, as a part of a productive partnership with Tsinghua University, SPbU launched online courses on the international platform XuetangX and has shown its full support to the newest Global MOOC Alliance initiative. Being grateful for the opportunity to become the founding member of the Alliance, SPbU is willing to establish broader connections and exchange experience with partner universities and organizations in the sphere of e-learning.

Representatives on Board & Executive Committee

Professor Nikolay Kropachev became Rector of St Petersburg University in 2008, having previously served as Senior Vice Rector and Dean of the Faculty of Law. He was twice appointed Rector by the President of the Russian Federation: in 2009 and 2014.

Professor Kropachev was born in Leningrad (St Petersburg) in 1959, and graduated from Leningrad State University (Faculty of Law) in 1981. After defending a post-doctoral thesis Regulatory Mechanism of Criminal Law in 2000, Professor Kropachev was awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Law. In 2003, he became Professor, Department of Criminal Law. His research expertise covers education law, theory of state and law, criminology, criminal law and problems of Russian as the state language. These research interests are reflected in Professor Kropachev’s more than 80 scholarly works, teaching and learning guides, including a number of monographs and textbooks.

From September 2000 to September 2005, Professor Kropachev was the Chairman of the Charter Court of St Petersburg. In 2019 he was elected as a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Member of more than 15 professional associations and state councils. Laureate of more than 20 state and professional awards.

Vladimir Starostenko has been working in Saint Petersburg University for more than 10 years. His professional activity mainly includes managing working processes and projects in education, implementation and use of IT in educational process.

Since 2017 he has been the Head of the Centre of E-learning Development of Saint Petersburg University and made a great contribution to the development of online education. He also is a Board Member of the national platform “Open Education” and a member of an expert committee on quality of online courses.

Now SPbU has become a national leader in the sphere of online education, having launched almost 150 courses on the national platform “Open Education” and on the international educational platform Coursera. Vladimir Starostenko has also supported the idea of sharing SPbU online courses on the international platform XuetangX, thus starting the cooperation between Tsinghua University and Saint Petersburg University in the sphere of online education.

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