02 june 2023

The Graduate School of Management (GSOM) of St. Petersburg State University and the School of Advanced Studies (SAS), the University of Tyumen, have agreed to exchange students and faculty members.

There are two common types of collaborations between metropolitan and regional universities in the field of education.

The first type involves the leading metropolitan university sharing its advanced educational programs, online courses, and individual instructors. The second type occurs when a regional university possesses some unique resource, such as an ecosystem, which is of interest to researchers and students from the capital city. In such cases, the local university becomes a base for field research conducted by the capital city teams, which may include employees and students from the regional university.

Andrey Sherbenok, Director of the SAS, believes that despite their usefulness, such collaborations are insufficient:

“The problem is that both types of collaborations are fundamentally asymmetric. It is clear which university is more advanced and which is learning from its senior colleagues, hoping, of course, not to catch up with them but at least to narrow the gap. It was precisely against this 'natural' order of things that the School of Advanced Studies was created, which from the very beginning sought to do things that leading metropolitan universities do not do”.

Last week, a delegation from the Graduate School of Management of SPbU, led by its Director and Deputy President and Chairman of VTB MB Olga Dergunova, visited Tyumen University. In April, all first-year SAS students completed a module at the GSOM as part of the core course “City as Text”, and in October, GSOM students will come to SAS for a week of learning.

Here is what Olga Dergunova has to say about the initial steps of collaboration between the two schools:

“There is an old principle: when you want to build something new, go to those who have already succeeded and to enthusiasts who can consult and improve you. Several years ago, we got acquainted with SAS, Andrey Sherbenok, and the approaches that SAS adheres to and successfully implements. It is, of course, a unique school in Russia. It has a comprehensive approach, openness, and readiness to discuss topics from completely different perspectives than those accustomed to by Russian education. It is crucial for the Graduate School of Management of St. Petersburg University, the best business school in Russia and the only one in Russia with triple crown accreditations, to be in dialogue with those who do many things better than us. The content and approach to the development of undergraduate students at SAS are different from those at the GSOM, but they do not contradict each other. In this sense, it is essential that they complement each other. SAS has a comprehensive approach, and the GSOM has a result-oriented approach. 

We felt that the visit of SAS colleagues and students to the GSOM demonstrated what the Graduate School of Management is capable of. We came here together with colleagues to see what we can learn from the School of Advanced Studies and to further develop a joint complementary program that caters to different students with different perspectives and approaches. It is necessary to create opportunities for dialogue. There is no correct solution to what and how to teach. The secret ingredient lies in the people who do it. Therefore, the dialogue between different cultures, environments, and students is even more important for the common outcome”.