In late 2010, new university awards were introduced for HSE staff members who had made outstanding contributions to the development of education, research, organization, infrastructure, reputation and international relations at the Higher School of Economics. The award procedure was laid out in a new amendment to the HSE Regulations on Awards.
Applications to award a Gold Honour Award and Honour Award 1st and 2nd Class can be initiated by HSE administration; by academic councils of faculties, campuses, and departments (except for campuses and faculties and their departments); by student assemblies representing a faculty or a particular class year, by the HSE Student Chamber, and by student councils of an HSE faculty or campus. The final decision on awards is taken by the HSE Academic Council following a vote of its members.
Traditionally, staff members who already have an HSE Letter of Honour can aspire to an Honour Award 2nd Class; those who have been awarded with an Honour Award 2nd Class can aspire to an Honour Awards 1st Class; and those who have been awarded with an Honour Award 1st Class can aspire to a Gold Honour Award. However, in exceptional cases staff members can be nominated for badges of honour outside this sequence by the HSE Rector with the consent from the Board of Tenured Professors. This special procedure was used to nominate several HSE staff members at the first ceremony where Badges of Honour were awarded.