In May, 2003 two hundred years have passed since the foundation of the first high educational forest institution of Russia which is: St.-Petersburg State Forest Technical University named after S.M.Kirov. It is one of the oldest forestry teaching institutions in the world.
On November 11 1802, the emperor Alexander 1st has ratified the project on the "Charter about Forests", where in item 19 "the Forest Department was entrusted to found schools for education and training of people in forest sciences". The proposal to found the Forest School in Tsarkoe Selo was approved by the highest statement of Alexander 1st in May 19, 1803. The basic aim of the school was - "to give knowledge to forestry people, which could be used for forest management more efficiently than in actual recommendations”.
The first students were graduates from gymnasiums and were coming from Imperial Moscow University, with certain privileges in awarding them grades accordingly with the "Table about ranks". The training in the Forest Institute, as it was called initially, was started in October, 1803, 12 students were accepted.
In 1811 the building of the Institute was transferred to the army and the Institute by the order of the Ministry of Finance Guriev was moved into a former English farm in the northern suburb of St.-Petersburg.
During the first 100 years of its existence, Forest Institute was frequently renamed in accordance with economic and political circumstances, but always kept the basic orientation – training of specialists in forestry. The organization of a training station and experimental forest was very important for the development of the Institute and affected both educational process and development of forestry sciences. Lisino field training station with the area of 30000 ha was established in 1834 under the initiative of the Minister of Finance Kankrin. Okhta experimental forest with the area of 1500 ha was established in 1902.
The centenary of the Institute was marked by its assignment to the rank "Imperial".
After the revolutionary events in 1917 and new tasks which were given for forestry, the Forest Institute was transformed in Polytechnic Institute keeping the basic forestry education. Sections of forest economy, forest engineering, and mechanical processing of wood, chemical processing of wood have appeared. In connection with the industrialization of forestry in USSR, in 1929, the Forest Institute was transformed into Forest Technical Academy. The Academy was named after S.M. Kirov in 1935. In 2011 it was transformed in State Forest Technical University.
In connection with the development of forest industry and need for engineering staff, other forest technical institutes were organized in Archangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Voronezh, Bryansk, Krasnoyarsk, as well as faculties which were established in other polytechnic and technological institutes. But the university keeps its leading role in the organization of educational-methodology and scientific work, thanks to the expertise of famous scientists and teachers both from the pre-revolutionary and Soviet periods.
More than 50000 specialists were graduated from the University during the period of five year development plans: Second World War and post-war period. The University was awarded for merits in the field of the formation of engineering staff and, in connection with its 150-anniversary, with the Decree of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of USSR, by Lenin’s Order.
The University is the leading scientific and methodological centre of high educational institutions of Russian Federation, in Forestry.
The University has four teaching buildings with more than 1000 auditoriums, laboratories, computer centers and offices. FTU library is one of the largest collections of revues and books on forest sciences, in the world. There are four unique museums in FTU:
- Museum of forest entomology named after M.N. Rimsky-Korsakov, famous soviet entomologist;
- Museum of forest zoology and hunting, named after A.A. Silantiev, founder of scientific hunting;
- Museum of forestry named after G.F. Morozov, founder of scientific forestry;
- Soil-geological museum.
The buildings of the University are surrounded by a 65 ha park, established in 1827. It is one of the ancient recreation parks of St. Petersburg. There are more than 1400 species of trees and shrubs, more than 1500 species of grassy plants in FTU botanical garden.
The University has two field training stations, where scientists and students carry out research works, participate in summer field training courses and get practical experience.
The staff of the University includes 84 doctors, 350 candidates of sciences, and 15 Honorable figures of a science and engineering, PhD students and doctorates students. There is a compulsory involving of the students through educational, research, scientific, technical and experimental industrial structural divisions.
Nowadays FTU has 6 faculties: Forestry Faculty; Faculty of Landscape Architecture; Faculty of Economics and Management; Faculty of Mechanical Technology of Wood; Forest Mechanics Faculty; Forest Engineering Faculty; Faculty of Chemical Technologies and Biotechnologies:
- Forestry Facultyprovides education and research in the following areas: silviculture, forest regeneration, forest inventory and management, wood science and plant pathology, zoology and hunting, ecology and plant physiology, botany and dendrology, forest soils and peat land drainage.
- Faculty of Landscape Architecture provides education and research in landscape design and park construction.
- Forest Engineering Facultyprovides education and research in the following areas: logging industries technology, overland transport of wood, water transportation of wood, construction mechanics.
- - Faculty of Mechanical Technology of Woodprovides education and research in the following areas: design of special forest machines, technology of forest machine construction and repair, wheel and crawler forest machinery, theoretical mechanics, ergonomics.
- Faculty of Mechanical Technology of Woodprovides education and research in the following areas: technology of mechanical woodworking industry, machinery and mechanisms of woodworking industry, sawing and hydro technical processing of wood, automatization of production processes, theory of mechanisms, machine parts and lifting and transport machines.
- Faculty of Chemical Technologies and Biotechnologyprovides education and researches in the following areas: pulp and paper production, wood hydrolysis and microbiological production, plate production, production of forest extracts and biologically active substances, organic chemistry, wood chemistry, processes and mechanisms of chemical technology; inorganic, analytical, physical and colloid chemistry.
- Faculty of Economics and Management provides education and research in the following areas: economy of forestry and forest industries, administration of forestry and forest industries, bookkeeping and economic analysis, computerized accounting.
In 1994, fifty universities of Russia took part in experimental introduction of two-level educational system: Bachelor – Master, keeping the existing form of engineering training. The frame of qualifications in Russian system of education including initial, medium and high education as well as postgraduate and continuing training is presented on fig.1.
Fig. 1. The frame of qualifications in Russian system of education
At that time, these changes did not bother the high school educational community because it allows an active exchange of students and teachers of higher education, teaching methods and scientific cooperation. Economic situation inside the country was very difficult, and changes in education were seen as a change for a better life in high schools of Russia.
Many Russian Universities are beginning to actively participate in international programs and projects, including programs funded by the European Union.
St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University was among the first 50 Russian Universities which transferred to the two level system of education.
Integration of European forest higher educational institutions started with the organization of the SILVA network in the middle of 90-ies in the last century.
Since 1995 SPbFTU has been taking an active part in the events organized by the SILVA network and in cooperation based on bilateral and multilateral agreements.
FTU has a great experience in participation in TEMPUS projects, devoted to the transition on a multilevel system of education in accordance with the basic principles of the Bologna Declaration, such as: "Continuing Education in Economics" (1998-2000); "North-West Forest Trainer" (2002-2005); "Developing MSc Curriculum in Forest Policy and Economics" (2007-2010), an international master's educational program FORPEC, developed by Germany (Dresden Technical University), Sweden (Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences), Estonia (Estonian University of Life Sciences).
In 2010 the leading Russian Universities have developed Federal State Educational Standards, the creation of which took into account: the basic principles of the Bologna Declaration, including the competence-based approach to assessing the quality of specialists training; increased academic freedom of Universities for curriculum development; the presence in the educational program of disciplines at the student's choice; increase in self-study, taking into account labor discipline in credit units.
From September 1, 2011, all Russian universities switched to a two level system of training: Bachelor - Master.
FTU organize BSc and MSc programs in such specialties : Economics; Management; Manufacturing machinery and equipment; Operation of transport and technological machines and systems; Standardization and metrology; Information systems and technologies; Energy- and resource saving processes in chemical engineering, petrochemicals and biotechnology; Chemical technologies; Biotechnology; Forestry science; Technology of sawmills and wood processing industries (Forest engineering, Wood processing); Landscape architecture; Techno sphere safety.
Two years ago FTU started training masters under the specialized FORPEC program (Forest Policy and Economics). The program is intended for training of both Russian and foreign students in English language by the teaching staff of FTU, other Russian higher education institutions, as well as teachers invited from the leading forest universities of Europe.
The training is organized according to the modular (block) structure. In contrast to the semester structure with examination session, students study one subject at a time and the examinations are arranged immediately after the completion of the course. The “labor intensity” of the subject is evaluated in credits (1 credit equals academic hours, including student’s independent work).
The new curriculum complies with provisions of the Bologna process both by formal characteristics and conceptually. It meets the modern trends of forest management, and fits the concept of sustainable forest management that implies a rational use of forests with simultaneous preservation of their ecological, economic and social benefits in the conditions of market economy.
Experience of implementation of the FORPEC MSc program shows that the use of competence-based approach to the formulation and implementation of educational programs increases the student’s interest in learning, stimulates the production of new knowledge, which, in turn, positively affects the quality of development disciplines. This also contributes to the organization for FORPEC students an inclusive education in various universities of EU and world.
The key issue of the “Magna Charta Universitatum” adopted in Bologna is the quality of education that is ensured by numerous measures, one of them being the competency building approach to formation and implementation of educational programs. The traditional qualification approach identifies the requirements to the present knowledge and skills of implementing them in the conditions of a working manufacturing enterprise.
The competency building approach is aimed at developing the students need for continuous self-education, the skill of using their knowledge and skills in real situation. Its application presupposed development of the students professional, instrumental (ability for analysis and synthesis, decision-making, communication in the native and foreign languages), interpersonal (ability to work in a team, including an international team, ability for criticism and self-criticism, etc.) and system abilities (ability for self-education, for practical application of knowledge, initiatives, creativity, etc.). These competences are developed by including modern teaching forms in the educational process, such as role games, presentations in certain areas of subjects, active independent work involving gathering and analysis of information from various sources with obligatory decision-making from the student’s position on certain disputable issue. An important element of this system is international collaboration involving students exchange during their studies for practical training, study of particular subjects in foreign higher educational institutions as well as involvement of foreign teachers to teach our students.
"Forest business school" of FTU organizes courses for secondary education and courses for adults on the following topics: Gardening and landscape construction; Economics and management in forest sector; Accounting and audit; Technology of timber production; Expertise and certification of forest products; Information support of timber production; Management and entrepreneurship in timber companies; Information systems and technologies; Technology of wood processing; Design and engineering of wood; Standardization and certification; Machinery forest industry; Service of transport and technological machines and equipment in chemical wood industry; Safety in techno sphere; Process automation and production in forest complex; Chemical technology of wood processing (Technology of pulp and paper production, Technology of boards and plastics; Hydrolytic and microbial technology industries; Wood chemical industry technologies and biologically active substances); Environmental protection and rational use of natural resources; Environmental safety (Environmental safety for managers and specialists of environmental services and control systems; Environmental safety while working with hazardous wastes).
Now in FTU the following programs of postgraduate training are given: system analysis, management and information technologies in forestry sector, chemical technology, technology and machinery in forestry and forest industry, wood sciences, plant protection, sylviculture, selection and seed production, forestry, forest inventory and management, economics and management.
The University provides education for foreign students since 1953. More than 3 thousand foreign specialists from 47 countries have been educated in FTU. Many of them have nowadays leading positions in forest enterprises, scientific and educational institutions of forest complex. Actually St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University is training more than 500 foreign students from 42 countries of Asia, Europe, America, CIS and Baltic countries. There are students obtaining education in their country and students entering the University on a common basis. There are students in full and part time education, post-graduates, trainees, commercial students and students of Russian language courses.
International activities in the University are implemented by the Department of International Relations with its International Educational Programs Unit and Congress Unit, and International Center of Forestry and Forest Industry.
University has 36 bilateral cooperation agreements with foreign partners-universities, scientific research institutions and companies. In the SPbFTU a large attention is given to the development of academic mobility. Academic mobility is realized in several directions: study mobility, teacher’s mobility, administrative mobility. There are different forms of academic mobility: bilateral short-term and long-term student exchange programs, training courses for foreign students, lectures given by foreign teachers in FTU, joint seminars of foreign and Russian teachers, lectures of Russian teachers in foreign Universities, "schools" for teachers involving leading Russian and foreign specialists, development of double diploma scheme for MSc and BSc students in different faculties, MSc program of Cross-Border University (CBU), MSc program on forestry and forest policy and economics (FORPEC), MSc programs EUROFORESTER, SUFONAMA and MScEF, "summer" and "winter" schools organized for foreign specialists, students and teachers of foreign universities and schools, and also for foreign citizens, who study Russian language.