Interview with the Rector of SPbSPU M.P. Fedorov and Vice-Rector for studies V.V. Glukhov, the newspaper "Izvestia", 30 June 2010

Olympic recipe

At Polytech they know how to support talented students


   Mikhail Petrovich Fedorov     Medals were awarded to the best graduates yesterday at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University. The main university awards were given to yesterday's students, who for the entire period of study got only excellent marks – none of the four. This year there are quite a lot of such students – 75. Another 600 graduates received diplomas with distinction. And now one more important detail: almost all the medalists and the best students actively participated in student competitions, contests and other intellectual competitions. Why do students need this, seemed to be an additional burden, the correspondent of "Izvestia" Inga Drozdova find out from the Rector of SPbSPU Mikhail Petrovich Fedorov and Vice-Rector for Studies Vladimir Viktorovich Glukhov.



The surest stimulus



Izvestia: Any competition or student contest is always a competition of very strong, talented and well trained people. How in high school are you looking for talents? Is there some kind of targeted work with such students?


M.P. Fedorov: Today, when our country has started an innovative way of development, improving of the quality of training for the knowledge-based sectors of the domestic industry and the scientific sphere is one of the most important, I would say, the top priorities. At the state level it is clearly defined: to solve this problem, the Russian system of higher education must develop effective ways and mechanisms to stimulate innovation activities of young people. Thus, a system to identify the most gifted students and graduate students in high schools becomes crucial. It is not a secret that the most important factor of motivating the scientific activity of young people is financial stimulation of students through grants, scholarships, contests. The government of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Education and Science, the administration of St. Petersburg in recent years adopted series of important measures to promote competitive-grant system to support and attract creative young people to research and innovation, create the conditions for uniting the efforts of state, business and scientific community. In particular, the national project "Education" provides for annual determination of more than 5,000 young talents in all regions of Russia. And in accordance with the Decree of the government of the Russian Federation "On the awards for support of talented young people" are identified annually more than 1200 prize winners of Russia international contests with bonuses of 60 thousand rubles, 4000 winners of regional and national competitions with bonuses of 30 thousand rubles each.


Izvestia: But the "Education", as you rightly noted, is the national project. But how gifted students are supported in St. Petersburg, for example, in Polytech?

Vladimir Viktorovich Glukhov


V.V. Glukhov: The activity of our students in recent years has grown considerably. Guys tend to express themselves, to test their capabilities. This is supported by the existing system of annual events: national and international youth conferences, contests, all-Russian competitions of students in interdisciplinary areas of innovative character; national competitions of scientific works of students, graduation final works; contests in scholarship programs of major companies and banks, interuniversity "Week of Science of the SPbSPU"; publication of collections of student work. For several years, the Government of St. Petersburg holds a grant competition for young researchers, the contest for the best graduation work performed for the urban economy. Thus, there is a system of support of talented students, it exists. The most important task of our University in the ongoing activities is strengthening the innovative orientation of the youth competitions, granting the winners, the authors of the best works of guaranteed financial support for research (development). Competitive aspect is only for good – it allows to make purposeful, active and innovative thinking specialists, researchers and inventors focused on creative self-realization and success. That is why the intellectual contests and competitions involve students of all years, starting with the first.



Vladimir Viktorovich Glukhov

To pass the test "here and now"


Izvestia: Student competitions and conferences can hardly be called "novelty of the season", they were held 10 and even 15 years ago. What is the know-how, are there some new tendencies?


V.V. Glukhov: That is true, competitions are held for a long time and have already become a tradition. At the same time it should be noted that state support for youth competitive events in recent years, outlined the new tendencies in particular, the Olympic competitions have become major student scientific and technical forums in Russia. Students' participation in international competitions is supported, new forms of student competitions are developing. As noted in the Provisions of the All-Russian Student Olympics – it is a competition of students in the creative application of knowledge and skills in carrying out assignments on subjects studied at the university, as well as professional training of future specialists. But any Olympics are an intelligent testing "here and now." Conferences, contests of scientific works among students are based on another principle, there are considered student research materials obtained during sufficiently long period of time. Thus, the Olympics did not exclude the contests of scientific students works. On the contrary, these two components are fundamental elements of the training of engineering and scientific staff.


Izvestia: The fact that the Olympics are necessary and important, hardly anyone doubts. But how a particular student can be interested? Why he needs this additional burden? What experience can be obtained by participating in such contests?


M.P. Fedorov: The main task of any high school is to prepare a specialist who is competent and adapted to modern realities. Participation in the Olympics gives such practical experience and develops the ability to operate in a limited time and resources and increased responsibility for decisions. Young specialist then easier adapts to production conditions. Olympic environment allows to model the situations, develop the willingness to exercise creativity. Many student Olympic competitions are consciously organized as team competitions, and it teaches a collective creativity, work of each in constant interaction with other members of the group. In this regard Olympic movement allows to identify and develop the communicative and leadership capabilities. Also, can not be discounted such a factor as increasing of personal satisfaction of student from the process of learning and creativity. And positive example is also important: the undergraduate students have an example to learn from, to strive for.



Always among the winners



Izvestia: One takes part in the competition in order to win. Name the most important achievements of your students.


M.P. Fedorov: The list of victories is rather long. First and foremost, I am pleased to note that the results of comprehensive achievements in various competitive all-Russian events a number of our students won the Russian President award "For support of talented young people". Among them are winners of the competition of the Russian Ministry of Defence, the All-Russian student Olympics on physics among students of technical colleges, on strength of materials, the All-Russian Student Olympics on hydraulics, the All-Russian Olympics on Applied Mechanics (VSOPM-2009). And on the basis of the results of the most prestigious competition of the RAS for young scientists and for university students in Russia during 2005-2009, the medals with prizes for the best scientific work were awarded 11 students of the SPbSPU in the directions: "General Physics and Astronomy," "Physical and technical problems of energy, "Physics-Chemical Biology" and "Economics." And this list can be continued: each year the students of the SPbSPU get 20-25 medals "For the best scientific student work" and 35-40 diplomas of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. On the basis of the results of the all-Russian Competition of research works of students of universities in nanotechnology and nanomaterials the students of Polytech were awarded 7 medals. At the international contest for students in the field of genetic engineering, the SPbSPU team won the gold medal. Students of the Polytech successfully perform at corporate and industry competitions. In particular, on the competitions of RAO "UES of Russia" and the Academy of Sciences for the award of "New Generation" 2005-2008, awards were given to 18 students and 8 young researchers of the SPbSPU. In the competition "Knowledge of young nuclear scientists – to nuclear power stations", which is organized by "Rosenergoatom", our students got two grants, two scholarships of well-known scientists, and 11 scholarships. Polytechnics regularly constitute the basic number of winners in the open competitions of the Northwestern Energy Complex JSC "TGC-1" with prizes for students of the Northwestern Federal District. In the city Polytech is also noticeable. As a result of the regional Science Olympics for the students of St. Petersburg in 2010 polytechnics have won first places in individual and team competition at the Olympics in physics, the theoretical foundations of electrical engineering and at the Olympics "Radio Engineering and Telecommunication Systems". University students have become winners and got prizes at regional competitions in strength of materials in the team competition, in computer graphics and graphic design, etc. Every year in the competitions of youth grants of the St. Petersburg government, grants are won by 60-80 students of the SPbSPU. In 2010, our students have submitted for this contest 340 nominations – a record for all time of the event.


Izvestia: The list is really huge and respectable. And what major student competitions are organized by the Polytechnic University itself?


V.V. Glukhov: There are several such events. In the first place – International Olympics on Automatic Control (in conjunction with SPbSPU IPMO), National Olympics "Computer modeling of nano-structures and renewable energy sources" 2009; Regional Competition on Robotics; regional stages of the All-Russian Olympics using Internet technology, international student engineering competition. By the way, a relatively new experience for us to conduct online contests, showed how easy and efficient Internet technologies are. Such competitions allow to attract wide circle of talented students practically from all the country.


Izvestia: And does eternal problem of "physicists and poets" manifest itself in the Polytech?


V.V. Glukhov: Among the students of our university every year are held dozens of different creative contests and competitions. In different areas: photography, music, student journals, mass student sporting events, participation in theatrical performances, poetry and literary competitions, KVN, tournament of teams, "What? Where? When?", evenings of classical music. In short, the choice is there. And as experience shows, there is no conflict here; the students live combining physics and lyrics.

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