Mission and Goals of the Programme

Mission of the Programme:

  • Bringing the best practices to the Russian higher education;
  • Creation of competitive academic environment;
  • Support of independent academic schools of international scale in Russia.


Goals of the Programme:

  • Creation of platforms for research and education in the regions of Russia;
  • Creation of financially sustainable and academically original schools of thoughts;
  • Improvement of the quality of Russian education in social sciences and humanities by bringing best practices to this sphere;
  • Sustainability of the University itself by its integration to a broader academic landscape in Russia.


Okh300Oleg Kharkhordin
Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Sociology
Rector, the European University at St. Petersburg

It is a well-known fact that the European University is a unique institution, because harmony of research and education, creative exchange between faculty and students, friendly atmosphere and great intellectual potential give rise to it. Besides, our University is known for its strategic thinking: we support our graduates’ efforts to build their own careers and research centres in the regions of Russia.

It is very important that this support is not just a sole individual research grant. Since 2012, The Programme for Development of Partner Centres was opened in the EUSP: the University provides ground for establishment and development of research collectives gathered in different regions out of University’s graduates – in Perm, Kazan and Tomsk. The Programme’s staff cooperate with the graduates to open up educational programmes, organise conferences, workshops and schools.


wudraf300David Woodruff
Professor, London School of Economics

The Partner Centre Development Programme is a unique and important effort to develop Russian social science. Over the past 25 years, Russian scholarship in the social sciences has made enormous advances. Russian scholars are publishing in leading presses and journals and winning international reputations.

However, this activity remains narrowly concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Elsewhere in Russia, political scientists, sociologists, and other social scientists are much less integrated into international debates and scholarly networks.
The Programme is an important step towards rectifying this situation. By supporting the creation of new centres of excellence in three of Russia’s best regional universities, it provides an opportunity for an exciting new generation of Russian scholars to pursue cutting-edge research.

From its inception, the European University at St. Petersburg has had the mission of bringing world-class social science to Russia and bringing outstanding Russian scholarship to the notice of the international community of social scientists. The Programme is a natural continuation of this mission, and one that promises to leave a lasting legacy.


kolonitskiy300Boris Kolonitskiy
Doctor of History

First Vice-Rector of the European University at St. Petersburg
The Programme conducted by the European University at St. Petersburg corresponds to its mission and strategic aims. The University trains specialists in social sciences and humanities who can then become good researchers and professors. However, in Russia labour market is hostile to such specialists – they can hardly fulfil their career plans: many educational programmes are ceased and salaries are very low. Moreover, competitions for positions are not always open and clear: most of the universities prefer to take their own graduates for positions – they sometimes take candidates with their bachelor’s degree rather than those who finished PhD in a different institution. In these circumstances, young scholars believe that going abroad or in Moscow and St. Petersburg is their only option.

Our project aims at resisting this tendency: after clear and open competitions, we have chosen collectives of young ambitious scholars who are ready to work in regional universities and open research and education centres there. Our project is still on its way, but we already see that these young scholars together with the regional universities and their staff benefit from it. We do believe that this experience is important for other Russian universities that deal with complicated and ambitious tasks. If our graduates achieve success and if we are able to give them floor for achievements, then the European University at St. Petersburg completes its mission.