OREANDA-NEWS. Dmitry Medvedev: Hello everyone! Please be seated. I've just visited your biathlon academy: it's great! Everything there is good, although they did take my watch off me as a present for a guy to be fair but still it was good. I'm really happy to be addressing you, happy to be visiting you. I feel at the very least a moral responsibility to the processes that are taking place in your university and in the Southern Federal University, because it happened that when your university was established I became chairman of its board of trustees. That is why I am talking to you now, to find out how things really are here, how you feel about things, what's good, what you don't like, what could be changed, and that's why I'm holding a meeting of the boards of trustees of the Siberian and the Southern Federal universities. So that is my agenda for today. I will not make any long speeches because I know that you have interesting lives, busy lives, that your university is very active in sport, that you are ambitious people, and everything else you can tell me yourselves.

And of course I am willing to answer your questions if you have any. I am at your disposal. Go ahead and ask. I will simply point to people who raise their hands and if you could introduce yourselves, so that I know who I'm speaking to. Please go ahead.

Andrei Kolesnikov: Hello! My name is Andrei Kolesnikov, I'm a student in the Institute of Economics, Management and Environmental Management. My question is perhaps not very political or about important issues but it's a matter of concern to me. I, let's say, am a community-minded person, that is I organise things in the university, do interesting things, that is what I like doing. There is a commonly-held opinion that successful people are always involved in public activities. I have two questions. You, let's say, are a successful person, so what do you think: Is it useful to be involved in this type of thing? Should a student do nothing but study and hit the books, or should they do something interesting? And more broadly, what did you do at university? That's interesting for us. Please tell us about yourself.

Dmitry Medvedev: Okay then. Thank you, Andrei. If you want to take me back in time then I'm more than happy to reminisce. I think that every student should be balanced. It's a clichй but it's true. What does balance mean for a student? On the one hand it of course means studying, that's the main thing, I won't argue with that, but life is not just about studying, not at age 20, 45 or at 50. There has to be something else. When I was a student we had a different system. It was very strict and very ideology-driven. At that time the Communist Party was the leadership of our country, I was in the Komsomol, I was a member of the Komsomol. So I won't deny that I remember studying and getting involved in public activities. Why? Not because it was any kind of a stepping stone to a career, even though in reality that's exactly what it was. It was just interesting for me. I was involved in these types of public activities both in my course and in the university. Leningrad University is big, large numbers of students studied there so our Komsomol organisation was on the same footing as the Komsomol district organisation. There was a big field there for working in. What did I get from that?