Founded in 1994 with the active support of the city of St. Petersburg, the European University began operating as an elite graduate school in the social sciences and humanities in 1996. From its inception, the mission of EUSP has been to meet the needs of Russian social development by training a new generation of teachers and scholars in the best Russian and Western traditions. The European University is one of only a few non-state universities fully qualified by the Ministry of Education to award advanced graduate degrees. Over some 20 years, EUSP has gained an international reputation for the superb scholarship of its faculty and the training of Russia's best and brightest graduate students at the highest international levels.
Like the best private universities outside Russia, the EUSP's independence is both intellectual and political. With a significant proportion of faculty with degrees from leading western institutions, and close relations with Stanford, Michigan, Cambridge University, Georgetown, Harvard, Helsinki University, and the University of California, Berkeley, of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Cambridge University (UK); Helsinki University (Finland), and the European University Institute in Florence, EUSP has a strong commitment to the integration of Russian scholarship with scholarship in Europe and America. With Russia's historical distance from the West in intellectual and social terms, this has been a fundamentally important position, one that encourages mobility and encourages graduates to pursue their teaching and scholarly careers in at home. For non-Russians, the International MA in Russian Studies is the only permanent program at the graduate level in Russia that offers degrees in sociology, political science and cultural studies to students from North America, Europe and Asia.
The University is an important agent of innovation and change in other ways as well. As the Russian government itself has recognized, its democratic governance system serves as a model for other Russian institutions striving for international recognition. EUSP was an initiator of private endowment funding that has now become a standard in other universities and cultural institutions. Although fully independent of state control, the University often hosts important government figures as well as Russian and international scholars for seminars and lectures on issues of social importance. EUSP faculty and staff are also regularly invited as expert consultants by the Russian Federation Public Chamber, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry of Education and Science.
The University is also actively involved with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Petersburg Dialogue Forum, and the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum. Partly for this reason, partly because our graduates are among Russia's best, many not only hold positions in leading universities, but occupy key posts in government and non-governmental organizations, as well as leading Russian and international companies. More than forty per cent of those who have finished our core educational program has successfully defended their dissertations.
The mission of the University is to satisfy societal needs in raising and expanding professional qualification of specialists and in developing of their creative and scholarly potential on the basis of achievements of Russian and international experience and cooperation.
Due to its superlative professionalism and unique scholarly potential, EUSP has acquired a reputation as one of the most dynamic and modern educational institutions in the country.
Five important points about the European University at St. Petersburg
- EUSP has greater independence from the Russian governmental bureaucracy than most other Russian universities. This independence is important for both intellectual and political reasons. Universities in Russia were traditionally under the control of the government, to the extent of questions of the content of instruction and research, political ideology, and administration.
- In EUSP a high proportion of faculty have degrees from prominent Western universities. The university employs Russians with PhDs from such recognized schools as the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Cambridge University (UK); Helsinki University (Finland), a.o.
- EUSP has a commitment to the integration of Russian scholarship with scholarship in Europe and America. Against the background of Russian scholarship’s continuing isolation from the West, this is a fundamentally important position.
- EUSP encourages mobility but combats the brain drain. Rather than promoting the departure of graduate students to the West, EUSP invites Western students to come and study in Russia. The International MA in Russian Studies is the ONLY permanent program at the graduate level in Russia that offers degrees in sociology, political science and cultural studies to students from North America, Europe and Asia (about 50 students annually). Both international and Russian students enjoy the advantages of studying in a truly international setting.
- EUSP is a decisive agent of innovation and change, introducing and disseminating new standards and practices in the Russian educational system.
EUSP’s educational programs are popular not only amongst talented graduates of Russian universities, who currently hail from fifty-four Russian regions, but also amongst graduates of foreign universities (mainly in Western Europe and North America). For these students, EUSP offers special international programs taught entirely in English.
EUSP’s teaching faculty is staffed by well-known academics who have achieved significant results and recognition in their fields. Many of them received their PhDs from the best universities in Europe and the US, and have experience teaching in foreign universities.
Our professors are the permanent members of the International Association for the Humanities
Annually EUSP holds an interdisciplinary conference «Exhibition of the Academic Research Achievements» - a central event in the university academic life, that has already become a platform bringing together researchers from different departments of EUSP and providing a ground for our colleagues to familiarize with our research achievements.
EUSP graduates work in prestigious academic and research institutes, and occupy key posts in government and non-governmental organizations, as well as a leading Russian and international companies. More than forty per cent of those who have finished our core educational program have successfully defended their dissertations.
Because EUSP has based its work on the principle of combining teaching with cutting-edge research, it is the first Russian university to have repeated the success of such universities as Harvard and UC Berkeley. The research university model is reflected not only in EUSP’s strategic plan and daily practice, but also in its organizational structure. The university consists of five departments and eleven research centers. A substantial portion of their work involves applied interdisciplinary research.
EUSP provides expertise during the preparation and implementation of key reforms vital to the country’s development. In particular, university staff members are regularly invited as expert consultants by the Russian Federation Public Chamber, the Ministry of Economic Development, and the Ministry of Education and Science. EUSP is actively involved with the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Petersburg Dialogue Forum, and the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum.