Online discussion

Academic Spaces
of Future Universities

Dedicated to the 135th anniversary of the St. Petersburg
Electrotechnical University LETI

Thu, 18 Mar 2021

15:00-17:00 MSK

ZOOM platform

Organized by

Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI"

Nuffic Neso, Netherlands Education Support Office

Supported by Consulate General of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg

International educators and experts will discuss public and learning spaces of the long-biography universities challenged with the ‘preserve VS remove’ dilemma. Recent changes in life styles and education modes made the problem of obsolete and inefficiently used spaces even more acute for technical universities, which use the 19th – 20th century infrastructure. How can we create comfortable, inclusive and motivating environment in a historic campus with the ‘untouchable’ heritage? What spatial solutions are offered for productive studies and research work by modern university innovators? These and other questions will be answered by the best international and Russian professionals, which develop campuses of the Netherlands, Italy, Finland and Russia.

Online discussion opens the program dedicated to the 135-the anniversary of St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI). It includes the International Contest of Young Architects for developing the Four Signature Locations of the University.


Ivar Scheers
Deputy consul general of the Netherlands in St.Petersburg

  • Greeting speech

Vice Rector for International Relations, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI)

  • Opening speech. LETI future campus as we see it: flexible intellectual space

    In 2021 LETI celebrates its 135th birthday. Today the University looks further to its 150th anniversary and plans the future. Like other world technological universities founded in the epoch of industrial revolution, LETI needs solutions to match conflicting challenges: keep and give a new life to its heritage, and create innovative research and learning spaces to educate engineers and researchers for future economy, science and technology.

Head of the Research Group, the SKOLKOVO Education Development Centre (SEDeC), Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

  • Keynote speech. Higher education’s afterdark: old duties, new responsibilities

    Fundamental duties of higher education— to produce, critique, transfer, and apply knowledge— have not changed. But new responsibilities have appeared. For one, the pandemic has exposed universities’ shortcomings, which now must be addressed. Secondly, the forced slowdown created a debt universities must now repay to their stakeholders. Finally, the general fear of repetition has created a demand universities can respond to, an empty place they should occupy. What is the roadmap for “the afterdark”—the world on the other side of the global crisis?

Senior architect, Atelier PRO, guest teacher at Technical University Delft (the Netherlands)

  • Keynote speech. Burden or Opportunity? Can heritage buildings be made suitable for next generations’ education and bring added value for the city?

    Today’s education requires inspiring and flexible spaces to adapt to a rapidly changing society. What this means for educational buildings in general, Russian practice and, specifically, for historical 19thcentury buildings.

    The importance of interdisciplinary exchanges of students is growing. How can space stimulate them? What is the potential of a campus in the urban fabric?

Innovative cases of European Universities

University of Salento (Italy)

  • UniSalento Way: From real to digital lab spaces

    Laboratories and experimental activities are an integral part of the engineering and STEM education. Physical spaces show severe constraints due to the need of a location, equipment and maintenance, compliance with safety requirements and technical personnel to operate and supervise. Solutions can be provided by digital technologies. The University of Salento is developing virtual labs for educational activities of students who can't be physically present. Moreover, UniSalento is developing remote laboratories to diversify research opportunities of PhDs and researchers. These novel approaches are pursued in the Engineering Department strategy to strengthen internationalization and inclusiveness.

Project manager for educational innovations at Utrecht University

Research Manager at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk)

  • XAMK Solution: Building inspiring learning and working spaces on the values of old and new

    Case: Paja Design Studio in an old Russian military base from 1912

    The presentation discusses the values of space solutions integrating the new Paja Design Studio and historical buildings of the campus area originally built as a Russian military base in 1912. The site is located in the City of Kouvola, Finland, which resides half way between Helsinki and St. Petersburg.

Architect, Head of Architectural Environment Design Department in Saint Petersburg State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering (SPbGASU).

  • High-density urban university environment or what is designed by students today.

    Case: Urban campus with strong interaction of research, culture and business functions centered on the recreation zone.

    Young Russian architects develop new formats of urban campuses. SPbGASU Masters have made design proposals for the public-oriented urban campus, which matches learning and research spaces with business facilities and cultural infrastructure including museums and libraries. The enveloping component of the design is the smart recreation zone.

Vice Rector for International Relations, St. Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI)

  • Concluding speech and presentation of Contest LETI Future Academic spaces

    The discussion on academic spaces, which integrate new approaches to learning and creative activities in the university is the impetus for concrete LETI revitalization projects. These projects will grow from the new initiative – International Contest of Young architects LETI Future Academic spaces.

Manager of international projects in St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical Universality - LETI

  • Host of the Discussion