Petrozavodsk State University (PetrSU) was founded in 1940 as the Karelian-Finnish University and was renamed in 1956. During its 70-year-long history, the university has trained more than 60000 highly qualified specialists. Among its graduates there are academicians, ministers and world-famous specialists in culture and science, heads of enterprises and workers of various branches of industry of the Northwest and Northern economical regions of Russia.
The university has joined the best twenty classical universities of the general Russian Universities' rating of 2009 and has won the first place on the Internationalization criterion and the 6th place in the Brand nomination.
The university now comprises 85 chairs and 17 faculties: Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Mining and Geology, Faculty of History, Faculty of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Mathematics, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Faculty of Baltic and Finnish Philology and Culture, Faculty of Industrial and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Physical Engineering, Faculty of Philology, Faculty of Ecology and Biology, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Law, as well as Preparatory Faculty, Faculty of Improvement of Professional Skills, and Faculty of Postgraduate Education in the Sphere of Medicine. The university also includes 3 branches, of which two are located in Karelia - Priladozhsky branch (Sortavala), Belomorsk branch (Belomorsk) and Kola branch is located in Apatity, Murmansk region; more than 40 international, regional and university innovation centers, training and production facilities, Publishing house, Scientific library (one of the largest libraries in the European North of Russia which funds total more than one million four hundred thousand books), Botanic garden.
Among structural subdivisions of the university there are Northern Fisheries Research Institute, PetrSU Karelian scientific research institute on timber industry complex, Karelian regional institute of management, economy and law under the auspices of the Government of Karelia, Regional Center for New Information Technologies, PetrSU-Metso Automation Systems Center, PetrSU Interfaculty Ecological Legal Center, Institute of historical and theoretical problems of folk architecture, Budgetary monitoring center, Regional center of international cooperation in the European North of Russia, Karelian EU Information Center, Karelian Barents Center, Karelian Branch of the Information Bureau of Nordic Council of Ministers in St.Petersburg, Regional Coordinating Center of the Program "Step to the Future", Regional Center of Ministry of Education on Labour Protection and Safety Devices, Center for agricultural education development in the European North, etc.
Nowadays teaching staff of PetrSU is more than 1000 people (over 500 PhD holders, 130 doctors of science and professors, 4 associates of the State Academies of the Russian Federation), more than 18500 undergraduate and graduate students study there, every year more than 4000 students take training, re-training and professional development.
The Petrozavodsk University newspaper is published since 1956, it informs readers on scientific, public, international and student life of the university and carries problem and analytical articles.
The Petrozavodsk State University has own site, which is the main PetrSU mass media. In 2002 it has been recognized the winner of the best Web-site competition held among universities of Russia.
PetrSU trains entrants for entrance to institutes of higher education, students have an opportunity to obtain bachelor's, master's and specialist's degrees in 97 majors and minors, study and prepare to defend Ph.D. theses in postgraduate school in 14 spheres of science and 60 licensed scientific branches of studies. Researchers prepare their doctorate theses, improve professional skills and experts are retrained in many spheres. At present at the university there are 5 Dissertation Councils.
Great attention is paid to increasing of availability of higher education for schoolchildren from regions of the republic. Each region is assigned to one of the faculties of PetrSU. Also there has been organized target entrance for students from regions of the RK and from countryside by assignments of the Government of the RK and local authorities.
The university takes an active part in preparation and carrying out of the uniform state exam: on the basis of the university there has been founded the Republicís center for processing of results of the uniform state exam, consulting on the uniform state exam are held via Internet for school teachers and students.
In the academic process organization active methods of training, advancing preparation and opportunity to choose training trajectory, as well as teamwork, performance of group and interfaculty projects are used widely. At preservation of fundamentality of preparation, special attention is paid to practical orientation of students' projects, participation of sophomores and juniors in work of innovative and industrial divisions. PetrSU students participate in research work, win All-Russia and international Olympiads in the field of mathematics, programming, physics, law, philology, history, building technologies, medicine, biology.
PetrSU has a high status of large research center in the field of programming, information technologies, plasma research, microelectronics, mathematics, physics, medicine, biology, history, philology, political and social sciences, law, economy, problems of timber, building and agroindustrial complexes, etc. Annually more than 300 scientific, educational and economic agreement projects financed by the Federal Agency of Education, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Russian Foundation for the Humanities, Russian Federal Property Foundation, other Russian and foreign foundations and programs, organizations and enterprises are implemented in PetrSU. Also from 60 to70 international, All-Russia and regional conferences and seminars are held in PetrSU annually, and dozens of scientific monographies, textbooks and manuals are published.
From the beginning of 1990s the university has chosen innovative way of development as one of the main priority in its activity. It has demanded serious changes in preparation of school graduates and students, organization of scientific research and application-oriented solutions, development of international cooperation, university management./p>
PetrSU is the recognized leader in the field of information technologies among universities of Russia. The Regional Center for New Information Technologies (RCNIT) of PetrSU was a cradle of introduction of computer facilities in Karelia celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2006.
As well as educational and scientific activity, innovative activity is announced the key line of development of the institute of higher education. The innovative complex of PetrSU is leading in Karelia.
Among PetrSU applied research and development there are information systems, decision-making support systems, information and analytical system of university management, automation systems, automated production control systems, geoinformation systems, Web-appendices and Internet-portals, systems of remote education, information-measuring systems, research in the field of low-temperature plasma and microelectronics, developed high technologies in construction, water treatment, agriculture, biology and ecology, fish industry, medicine, timber industry complex, etc.
The university is engaged in development of information and educational environment and material and technical foundation for introduction of information communication technologies in education and scientific research, remote education system development and formation of electronic resources both for the university, and for the entire regional education system, public health services and culture in the European North of Russia. There actively develops an IT-park in which now there work more than 300 people.
Thanks to the active position of the university in the sphere of informatization of the region Petrozavodsk was made a venue for the Session of the Presidium of the State Council under the President of the Russian Federation on July 17, 2008 devoted to implementation of the Strategy of information society development. The President was shown the best sampled of development work accomplished in PetrSU. President Dmitry Medvedev has rated the universityís activities in the sphere of development and promotion of information technologies in the Republic of Karelia and in Russia very high.
PetrSU is a recognized leader among the institutes of higher education of the Northwest Federal District of the RF in the sphere of international cooperation development. The university has 35 international agreements in force with foreign institutes of higher education, research organizations and research-and-production companies of Finland, Canada, the USA, the Great Britain, Italy. Annually PetrSU implements about 30 international projects carried out at the financial support of various international funds, programs and organizations. Bilateral agreements with foreign partner universities on student exchange of have been supported for more than 15 years. The most active are exchange programs with universities of Helsinki, Oulu, Joensuu, Tampere, Kuopio, Lappeenranta, Evle on which annually students of both parties undergo training and work on probation.
Cross-border cooperation with Finland and countries of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region holds a specific place in the activities of PetrSU. The Russian-Finnish Cross-Border University project was launched in 2004. Cooperation within the scope of this project is implemented in the following sūheres: history, international relations, forestry, public health, medicine, information and telecommunication technologies, social work, economy. The Russian-Finnish Barents Cross-Border University joint project with universities of Russia and Finland was launched in 2005. During the work on this project in 2007 there had been signed an Agreement on Cooperation in the field of teaching joint Master's programs in information technologies, social work and law. In 2009-2011 PetrSU became a President of the Joint Working Group on Education and Science of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region.
In the academic process organization active methods of training, advancing preparation and opportunity to choose training trajectory, as well as teamwork, performance of group and interfaculty projects are used widely. At preservation of fundamentality of preparation, special attention is paid to practical orientation of students' projects, participation of sophomores and juniors in work of innovative and industrial divisions.
In PetrSU there has been introduced an education quality control system, educational programs of higher vocational training are audited, polls of students on quality of education, inquiries of employers and graduates are conducted. Constant work on introduction and use of new educational technologies is conducted, competitions of innovative pedagogical technologies, electronic academic and methodological complexes, digital educational resources, master-classes on new pedagogical technologies are held.
Students of PetrSU conduct active research work and annually represent the Republic of Karelia at conferences, exhibitions, contests, and championships. Thus, in the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest our IT-students have won bronze medals in 2007 and 2008 and silver medals in 2010. Freshman student of the Faculty of Mathematics Taisia Rogova became the laureate of the Hope of Russia 2008 scholarship premium competition for high achievements in the field of mathematics and research activity. Students of the Faculty of Mathematics won the 2 place at the Oracle contest (2008 and 2009).
The university pays much attention to cultural and aesthetic education of youth. With a view of broadening students' cultural outlook, development of their creativity regarding all kinds of professional activities and impart human values to them, theoretical classes are supplemented with practical participation of students in work of creative ensembles. Petrozavodsk State University has its Academic choir and folk music ensemble Toive which are widely recognized both in Karelia, in Russia and abroad. Students' organization of the Trade Union is regularly introducing various projects to organize leisure of young people and participates in them.