ASEEES Supports European University at St. Petersburg
Published December 22, 2016
The European University at St Petersburg is one of Russia's leading academic institutions. Scholars who work there often present papers at ASEEES conventions and their track record of publishing in refereed journals and with leading publishing houses both within Russia and beyond is second to none. In recent years, the EUSP has gone from strength to strength, managing to build up an endowment, to assemble funding for a major reconstruction of the historic palace in which it is housed, and to train generations of Russian and non-Russian graduate students, many of whom have themselves gone on to leading positions in academic and public life across the world.
Added to this, the EUSP has been a beacon of academic internationalism and disinterested scholarship at a period when the geopolitical situation has sometimes hindered fair-minded debate between scholars based in the West and in the Russian Federation, and when journalistic comment on both sides of the divide has sometimes been misleading and irresponsible. The foreign students on programs such as IMARES are imbued with a deep respect not just for the EUSP itself, but for Russian history and culture in the broadest sense.
This makes it all the more regrettable that the EUSP's future is now in question while the Ministry of Education's inspectorate, Rosobrnadzor, investigates alleged violations of administrative regulations, for example the failure to register research degrees with the Higher Attestatory Committee (VAK) and the absence of a gymnasium. A court judgement is due on January 11, 2017. We trust that this will recognize the outstanding scholarly stature of the EUSP and the genuine efforts made by the Rector, Oleg Kharkhordin, and the staff of the EUSP to address the problems that Rosobrnadzor has identified, and that the current impediments to the university's academic and pedagogical activities will be swiftly and permanently removed.