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Saint Petersburg State University


In 1968, Freie Universität Berlin was the first West German university to sign an agreement of cooperation with the Leningrad State University, as St. Petersburg State University was called then. Since then, an elaborate partnership has developed, which includes numerous bilateral connections, joint projects and establishments. In 2012, during the closing festivities of German-Russian Year of Education, Science and Innovation at Freie Universität, an agreement to further the cooperation into a strategic partnership between the two institutions was signed. The agreement has given the partnership a new dynamic that enjoys the active support of both universities.

Internationalization of Young Researchers in the Sciences

Aiming to strengthen German-Russian research and to provide international opportunities for young researchers, Freie Universität and St. Petersburg State University have established the German-Russian Interdisciplinary Science Center (G-RISC). Physics, Physical Chemistry, Mathematics, and Geo-Physics are among the fields that form the academic framework, in which research projects, teaching activities, as well as workshops and conferences are realized in the partner country. Examples for the latter are the international student conference “Science & Progress”, as well as the German-Russian Conference on Fundamentals and Applications of Nanoscience, which concluded the German-Russian Year of Science.

The Center successfully combines the expertise of about 100 working groups from these disciplines, and of about 30 institutions from both countries. The project aims to establish a center of excellence in the sciences in the Russian Federation. Furthermore, it envisages the establishment of interdisciplinary science platforms for the above-named disciplines within the G-RISC. The Center is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), with funds from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Departmental Cooperation in the Humanities and Social Sciences

A strong departmental cooperation exists between St. Petersburg State University and the Institute for East-European Studies. Special research interests lie in the dynamics of transformation processes in Eastern Europe, for example the role of religion.

Further strong ties are maintained in the fields of Law, Sinology, and Islamic Studies, other departments are currently increasing their cooperation acitivities. The departments of Media and Communication Studies of both, Freie Universität and St. Petersburg State University, are currently developing a joint Master’s program. This development process is accompanied by joint events, such as the symposium “Transcultural Media Research”. Other joint disciplinary and interdisciplinary scientific projects, lectures and events strengthen the exchange between both institutions.

Researcher and Student Exchange

Apart from a university-wide exchange agreement, which many bachelor-, master-, as well as PhD-students make use of, an opportunity exists for about a dozen researchers from both universities to conduct research at the partner university. Information about these opportunities can be acquired from Mrs. Ruzica Pranjic of the International Office. In addition, the Faculty of Law provides the possibility for an exchange (German).

Funding of the Partnership

In order to intensify the cooperation between the two universities and within the framework of the strategic partnership, projects with particular potential for development are funded through competitive funding calls. For more information, please follow this link.

Selected Joint Projects

Subject Professor(s) Project
Communication Studies Prof. Lünenborg Challenges for Political Journalism - a Transnational Perspective
Ancient Studies Prof. Schier Principles of Dating in the Bronze, Iron and Middle Ages
Islamic Studies Prof. Schmidtke Delegation to institutionalize the collaboration with the Faculty of Islamic Studies

Prof. Heintzen

Prof. Breig

Prof. Hindelang

Workshop on issues of information access and handling of personal data
Cultural Studies and Humanities

Prof. Badalanova Geller

Prof. Geus

Prof. Ro­ling

Dr. Ilyushechkina

Dr. Chiai

Fictionality and Reality in the Depiction of the North – from the Ancient World to the Renaissance

Partnership Coordinator:

Academic Champion:

  • Prof. Dr. Eckart Rühl, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, Institute for Chemistry and Biochemistry