Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

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Foundation & Mission

The Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic Institute was founded in 1899 as the largest and most advanced engineering educational institute in Russia. Earl Andrey Gagarin has been chosen the first Rector and was succeeded by a chain of celebrated academicians. Dmitriy Mendeleev, Alexander Popov, Alexey Krylov and other outstanding Russian scholars of the time took active part in the institute's formation and planning of its future. The Polytechnic Institute has been set up as a very special place destined for much more that the ordinary. It was the institution originated with a distinctive character and a promise of high quality. From the beginning the Institute lived up to the aspirations of its founders. In 1910 with regards to its achievements it was given the highest honour to bear the name of Emperor Peter the Great. In years that followed the name of the Institute has been changed several times, but invariably it retained its outstanding position of one of the most highly regarded engineering educational centres. The hallmark of Polytechnic bears significance of the highest standard in teaching and research.


Several important elements have contributed to successful development of the University during its century long lifetime: the constant State support combined with academic autonomy, favorable disposition, extremely high concentration of talent, advanced educational programmes based on solid theoretical knowledge, traditions of extensive research with active students' involvement, vast and close links with industry and commerce, the distinctive pioneering spirit inherited from generation to generation of faculty and students.

The State support combined with academic autonomy

From the outset the Institute has received favourable attention and support of the State. The Polytechnical University is under the direct jurisdiction of the Russian Federation Ministry of Education. According to the decision adopted by the Ministry the Technical University was certified and recognized as one of the country's leading institutes. It has been selected by the Ministry as one of the few universities for investment priority. At the same time, the University enjoys an exclusive academic independence with regards to its educational programmes which the institute is allowed to maintain in accordance with its own traditions. The University rates among the top two technical universities in Russian academic hierarchy.

Polytechnic was built up as a satellite town let in the Northern environs of Russia's Capital. Its campus and numerous buildings reside over vast green grounds known as the Pine Tree (Sosnovka) and Forestry (Lesnoy) regions. Such spacious disposition, the long established tradition of pioneering research, high educational standards, cultural heritage and alumni fraternity altogether bear some analogy with American Ivy League universities. Its esteemed position in Russian educational hierarchy is comparable to that of MIT in US academic circles.

Concentration of talent

Approach to faculty selection that characterizes the University has always served to establish tradition of quality and enhance its reputation of prestige. The high standard of training at the Polytechnical University is guaranteed by the high level of the experienced teachers and professors. Among the University faculty there are outstanding individuals, specialists with leadership positions in industry, economy, governmental bodies of St.Petersburg and the Region, holders of distinguishing academic and research titles and honorary awards. To ensure the prolonged certainty of a highly qualified personnel the University traditionally pays much attention to raising the younger generation of faculty members by inviting talented postgraduates to promising academic carrier positions on teaching and research staff.

Theoretic Knowledge Plus Hands-on Experience for Students

The University adheres to the three long established traditions which it believes are of the utmost importance in education:

  • to build every curriculum on a solid background of general theoretic science and mathematics 
  • to foster active learning through problem solving and through hands-on experience 
  • to encourages a pioneering spirit among its students by providing an environment for exploration. 

These goals are achieved via a challenging curriculum, instruction by experienced full-time faculty members in comparatively small classes, students' research of their own under guidance by a tutor, and , for qualified students in their 3rd or 4th year, an opportunity for active involvement in ongoing research projects.

Links with industry and commerce 

Since the turn of the past century Polytech has become the alma-mater to over a hundred thousand graduates, its alumni forming elite corps of research and engineering in technical science and industry. Its contribution in developing the resource base of the north-west region and in the industrial development of Russia in the past century was unsurpassed, especially in metallurgy, ship-building, rail transport, hydraulic construction, civil engineering, electrical power industry and, later, in nuclear power industry, computer industry and space projects. Through its alumni, many of whom tend to rise to commanding positions in industry, business and finance, the Polytechnical University has long-established and lasting contacts, collaboration and contracts with enterprises and institutions not only in Saint Petersburg and its environs, but throughout Russia and the former Republics. The Polytechnical University collaborates with over 300 industrial organizations. In recent years with commercial activities becoming a part of academic life and commercial units becoming a part of university structure, business links are also growing to bring in financial support to education and research.