Polytechnic University’s new postgraduate school model attracts foreigners
The number of international PhD students who choose Polytechnic University is growing every year. The results of the admission campaign 2022 show a sharp upward jump: this fall, 69 international applicants from 18 countries have started their studies and research activities at SPbPU. In comparison with the previous year, the number of foreign young scientists enrolled in the SPbPU postgraduate program has increased by one third. Some of them are winners of the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship project in the postgraduate school track, in which SPbPU takes an active part. The basis of this success is the transformation of the model for international PhD students, which is implemented within the Priority 2030 Strategic Academic Leadership Program.
Going to postgraduate school is a much more conscious choice than going to postgraduate school or undergraduate school. We have great respect for foreign candidates who have chosen our Polytechnic Institute for building a scientific career, commented RAS corresponding member Dmitry Arseniev, vice-rector for international affairs.
This speaks not only to SPbPU’s high level of international reputation, but also to the trust that young foreign scientists have in us. The serious growth in the number of foreign PhD. students in 2022 proves that we are moving in the right direction by introducing new approaches to postgraduate education as part of a separate Priority 2030 project.
International office together with the Department of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies of SPbPU conducted extensive work that included the development of new approaches and tools to increase the prestige of foreign postgraduate studies within the university, selecting the best personnel as potential research supervisors and increasing their motivation, formation of information about the programs and its promotion on internal and external resources.
A significant favorable factor was the right of SPbPU to award its own degrees, as well as the global change in the concept of postgraduate school from an educational trajectory to a research component. This was reflected in the descriptions of postgraduate programs and profiles of potential research supervisors. Also, in the sections devoted to postgraduate school courses, there were video profiles of research supervisors, photos of laboratories, descriptions of research groups and topics of possible research. Such information, placed both on internal and external resources in Russian and English, helped to create a complete picture for potential applicants and allowed to attract truly motivated informed PhD students. In particular, through the global portal Keystone Ph.D. Studies, where 22 SPbPU postgraduate programs were first posted in 2022, more than 1,100 inquiries from potential PhD students were received.
In 2022, for the first time in SPbPU, a special competition aimed at supporting research activities of the best foreign Ph.D. students and their academic supervisors was organized. The winners of the Best International Grant for Ph.D. (BIG Ph.D.) contest were 10 teams, consisting of an international SPbPU PhD student and his/her research supervisor. All of them receive additional grant payments during the fall semester, allowing them to concentrate on achieving significant results of their scientific work. The competition was held as part of the Priority 2030 program.
Increasing the number of foreign PhD students and developing English-language programs to attract talented scientists from other countries are among the key objectives of our university and important indicators of the Priority 2030 program and national rankings. But it should be noted that in the future it is worth paying attention to the possibilities of increasing the number of potential academic supervisors for postgraduate programs at SPbPU, including — English-language postgraduate programs.
Prepared by the SPbPU International Office