Since 1996, HSE’s official mascot has been the crow. The first illustration was created by artist Anna Arenstein and over the years many different designs have been introduced. You can find the crow on HSE souvenirs and awards and sometimes even in the streets of Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Saint Petersburg, or Perm.
HSE has its own traditions and annual events, which allow everyone to enjoy the University’s atmosphere and spirit, despite the fact they are held predominantly in Russian.
Since 2013, HSE has held themed graduation parties at different venues around Moscow. From caps and gowns to speeches and concerts, it is a classic graduation ceremony that is followed by a massive party for all graduates.
The first HSE Day was held in September 2012 to celebrate HSE’s twentieth anniversary. Held in Moscow’s iconic Gorky Park, the annual event marks the beginning of the academic year and combines Freshman Day with an alumni reunion and faculty open houses. While the specific programme changes every year, HSE Day introduces new students and guests to the university through music, sports, lectures, seminars, games, and competitions. HSE students and faculty are actively involved in organizing the event and many activities are led in English. Over the years, HSE Day has become a tradition not only for members of the university but also from the greater Moscow community.
HSE’s main prize was first awarded in 2001. The prize categories have changed over the years but always recognize the best teachers, researchers, and graduates, as well as people who have made significant contributions to the university’s development. Winners are determined by a vote of a jury and receive a golden crow statuette.
Usually, the Prize is awarded in the following categories:
- Achievement in teaching: awarded to full-time teachers and postgraduate students at HSE for exemplary work in activities including introducing new courses, textbooks, or teaching materials
- Achievement in research: awarded to full-time teachers, research associates, and postgraduate students at HSE for outstanding research and teaching activity
- Alumni success in academic activity: awarded to HSE alumni for outstanding research and teaching activity
- Alumni success in professional activity: awarded to HSE alumni for outstanding work in public administration or business
- Contribution to the development of HSE University: awarded to full-time teachers and employees at HSE for professional achievements that have further developed HSE’s capacity to train qualified specialists
- For kindness and personal involvement: awarded to full-time employees at HSE for demonstrating exceptional support and care towards colleagues and students
- Silver Nestling: awarded to current undergraduate, graduate, and continuing professional education students at HSE
What came first, the chicken or the egg? In the spirit of this eternal question, since 2004, HSE has awarded prizes for the best student projects and achievements in different areas, including sports, charity, and volunteer work.
Since 2007, the HSE Alumni Association has awarded prizes for outstanding achievements in different professional spheres. All members of the HSE community – students, alumni, and staff – can vote for candidates on the HSE Family website.
There are several categories of HSE Alumni Awards:
- Public Service:awarded for achievements in public service
- Corporate Business:awarded for achievements at corporations and major companies
- Fourth Estate:awarded for achievements in media communications and public relations
- Private Business:awarded to founders and owners of private businesses
- Philanthropy:awarded for significant contributions to the development of charity and social impact projects
- Beautiful Debut:awarded to young alumni (within 5 years of graduation) who have made outstanding achievements in any of the categories above
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. 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.