Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) has developed a unique learning format within the framework of international educational programs – a Students Project Marathon based on joint students project activities. It is a format of interaction between partner universities, consisting of the development of joint projects by students, postgraduates, and professors.
The Project task meets current scientific and technological topics, is in demand by the industry, and corresponds to the key directions of the world science development. The project results are evaluated by members of the expert commission – professors of both universities, representatives of customers, investors, and external experts.
The first International Students Project Marathon started in 2019, the final forum was held at Polytechnic University, where participants from SPbPU and its strategic partner Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) presented their projects to experts commission. In total, six international teams took part in the innovative international project in 2019. Students, postgraduate students, young scientists, and teachers for many months have been working on serious problems from various research spheres. As one of results of implementation of Students Project Marathon-2019, the scientific group, which implemented a research project in the field of material science, published a number of joint publications, participated in international conferences, and still continuing their joint work in the field of Friction Stir Welding. Several master students from this group became PhD students and now prepare to be supervisors of the new projects next year.
Students Project Marathon continued despite the pandemic and new participants from all over the world joined the Project. In 2020 and 2021 new projects were launched and not only in technical fields (energy technologies, material science, electronics, and telecommunication), but also in the field of Humanities. More partners joined the Students Project Marathon, such as strategic partner of SPbPU, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM, Spain), University of Cadiz (UCA, Spain), and Amity University of Kolkata (India). In 2021 the marathon remains almost the only way to acquire new competencies and international experience.
“We can say that the Students Project Marathon has been ‘put to the test’ by the coronavirus pandemic. We received strong support from our foreign colleagues and partners – universities in Spain, Austria, Brazil, and other countries. The past year has shown that the marathon can adapt to almost any format of interaction without losing effectiveness,” commented Lana Kalikina, coordinator of the Students Project Marathon at SPbPU.