On the reasons for the student’s expulsion

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Question: Dear Madam!

I have learned from the media that a German exchange student Lukas Latz has been expelled from St Petersburg University. You signed the order for his expulsion. Yet, as Lukas Latz reports, you did not explain the reasons for his expulsion and even refused to talk to him. Such behaviour worries me greatly. For, according to Latz, he was just doing research for his master’s thesis at St Petersburg University. I consider the expulsion of Lukas Latz a violation of the principle of the freedom of science. I ask you to reconsider your decision. Or at least, explain the reasons for such a decision, please. I would be most grateful for your reply.

The answer of Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities and Teaching Methods

Thank you for your question.

In conducting its educational and research activities, the University is guided by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the legislation of the Russian Federation, other regulatory acts of the federal authorities, the present Charter, the Internal Labour Regulations, the Internal Regulations for the Main Educational programmes of St Petersburg University and other local acts (See the Charter of St Petersburg University, para 5).

Lukas Latz, a bachelor’s student of linguistics, was expelled from St Petersburg University by Order No 7192/3 dated13 June 2019, pursuant to Sub-Clause (g) of Clause 51 of the Charter of St Petersburg University and the Protocol on Academic Exchange between St Petersburg University and the Free University of Berlin dated 20 November 2018 (On the student’s dismissal).

In accordance with paragraph 2.8 of the Protocol on Academic Exchange between St Petersburg University and the Free University of Berlin, exchange students are required to follow the rules of the host university and the laws of the host country. Any violation of these rules or laws may entail expulsion from the host university. The student was held accountable for committing an administrative offence by the decision of the Administration for Migration Issues of the General Administration for Internal Affairs of the City of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast (protocols No 1298 and No 1299 dated 28 May 2019).

Unfortunately, this situation is not exceptional. In 2018, two Chinese students were expelled after being held accountable for violating migration legislation. Also, in 2018, seven people – citizens of Iran, Uzbekistan, Lithuania, Turkey, Syria, and China – were expelled for submitting falsified medical documents. This year, there have been two similar cases with citizens of Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Compliance with the requirements of federal laws and the University local acts is mandatory for all students and staff (see Bend the rules, please). During 2019, three Russian students have been expelled for similar violations.

In accordance with paragraph 89 of the Charter of St Petersburg University, students are required to:

  1. comply with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation, the current Charter, the Internal Regulations for the Main Educational programmes of St Petersburg University, dormitory accommodation rules, and local regulatory acts of St Petersburg University;
  2. meet the requirements of the relevant educational programme set by the curriculum (individual curriculum), and the general rules of study that have been approved by the Rector or an official authorised by him. These include: attending classes, and completing all types of assignments specified by the working programmes of courses, disciplines (modules) and practices;
  3. follow the established assessment calendar or an individual assessment schedule for continuous, interim and final assessment procedures, in strict accordance with the curriculum and working programmes of courses, disciplines (modules) and practices;
  4. respect the moral and cultural traditions of St Petersburg University, follow ethical standards, and cherish spiritual values;
  5. take care of the property of St Petersburg University; and
  6. perform other duties stipulated in the legislation of the Russian Federation and the local acts of St Petersburg University.

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