It is truly prestigious for every higher education institution to host overseas professors. For example, within last three years the number of international students in our university grows by 10% annually. The number of foreign professors who come to deliver lectures is also significant.
The best points about having foreign professors are that they have another culture, another teaching approach and programs content. They significantly expand views on teaching and relevant research activities. We also shouldn’t forget that overseas professors can contribute to transfer of advanced foreign industrial experience.
According to the results of the Academic Staff Selection Commission more than 35 foreign professors are going to start their work at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University within the nearest time.
Professor of the University of Lancaster (UK), George AGGIDIS, joined our friendly Polytech family. He was invited as a lecturer for the international Master’s degree program in English – ‘Power Plant Engineering’. Professor AGGIDIS has a PhD in engineering and teaching and has been engaged in research activity more than 30 years.
His lectures in Polytechnic University are dedicated to the aspects of renewable energy, fluids, and ocean energy. In an interview Professor from Great Britain told why he has come to Russia and what helped him to feel in St. Petersburg at home. Also he told that he was impressed by Polytechnic students and what was his goal as a teacher.
‘I have never been to Russia. It is definitely exciting experience to combine work and getting more insights into Russian culture and mentality. I’ve dealt with engineering during my whole life. I have been to many countries – China, America and European countries with the aim to explore energy and engineering solutions. I thought it would be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and to share my experience in this area.
Russian people are friendly and polite. Your students seem to be very well-organized and disciplined. It helps to maintain a qualified educational process. They really listen to me with interest, and ask sometimes unconventional questions. It shows their engagement with the subject field.
The group is a really international one. It makes our discussions rather exciting due to the large number of different opinions. My experience shows that multicultural teams work better and easily find a solution to any problem’.
During the International Polytechnic Winter School at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University professor Jari BACKMAN from Lappeenranta University of Technology gave lecture on Turbomachinery.
‘I have enjoyed teaching here in Russia very much. It’s a bit different than at home (in Finland), but also you learn to see how the basic things are taught. That’s very interesting. What for my impressions about teaching here – well, every time I’m very glad when it is over (laughing). It’s the same thing that every time when it’s at first, you are being nervous if it’s going well; sometimes you are very worried if you made some mistakes, and if you make some mistakes, you become angry with yourself. But secondly and thirdly, everything becomes much more familiar, the better you know the students, the better you know what you are going to teach, what you are pointing out, and to point out a bit different things every time. So it makes things very rewarding. The level of the knowledge of the students is varies a lot. So therefore it’s always interesting to try to find the way how you try to teach so that everybody gets happy with a teaching.
I prefer problem-based learning, and also not to have so much contact hours, but to have those contact hours very efficient.’
Professor Nathaniel TRUMBULL from University of Connecticut also came to SPbPU to take part in International Polytechnic Winter School. He gave the lecture on Nuclear Engineering.
‘I like teaching here in Russia, it’s excellent! Especially I feel like I’m teaching them globally. It’s an opportunity to interact with faculty, researches and foreign students, and Russian students as well. The infrastructure here is excellent for research data bases and experiments. In my work I try to discuss more crucial topics, and watch learning films from different parts of the world, to watch different sides of the science through the films and in pictures.’
– We are doing all our best to attract more visiting professors on the international labor market, leading scientists with PhD acquired abroad, who significantly contribute to streamlining education at our university, – said Vice-rector for International Relations Dmitry Arseniev.