Population and development beyond Classroom
The ‘Population and Development’ programme at HSE University primarily trains students to become specialists in providing solutions to practical development problems. Thus, through occasional meetings with field experts, and Project Workshop seminars, we take our students beyond the classroom; we give them a supportive platform to undertake university-wide projects or their original (individual or group) projects tailored towards sustainable development. Please stay glued to your screen as we take you through some of our latest in this regard.
On the 16th of March 2020, some of our first year students met with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations at the UN House in Moscow. They were taken through the history, operations, achievements and challenges of the FAO. It was an interactive and enlightening session. At about the close of the meeting, they were informed of vacancies for internships at the FAO.
Now putting theoretical knowledge into practical application is something we take very seriously at the Institute of Demography. In this light, we present to you three of our first-year students who are working on some practical original (self-initiated) projects as part of an essential requirement for the Project Seminar course: Moses Fodo (from Ghana), Marina Ianchenko (from Russia) and Goodnews Israel Oshiogbele (from Nigeria). What next? Of course, you want to hear from them!
Hi! I am Moses Fodo, from Ghana. You can call me, “the friend of orphans in Moscow.” The Population and Development programme at the Higher School of Economics has been an exciting experience thus far. What I find exciting is that there is no limit to what I can think of learning and doing both academically and practically. Besides, our professors are readily available for support and advice. I feel like I have here everything I need to thrive. Back in Ghana, I was running an orphanage outreach project - I love to reach out to orphans. So arriving in Moscow initially felt like I was going to have to starve. But this programme has given me a reason to continue in Moscow what I started in Ghana, thereby making me feel at home. Presently, I just concluded the first phase of my practical project named, ‘Addressing the Needs of the Less Privileged: a Clarion Call for more Social Workers for Moscow Orphanages.’ I and my volunteer partners have collected around 900 neatly used wears (clothes and shoes), and have distributed them for free to about 200 orphans living in over four orphanage homes in Moscow since February 2020. We look forward to more achievements soon. Please take a look at some of my project photos. Thank you.
Hola! I am Marina Ianchenko, from Russia, a multicultural enthusiast, and a big fan of foreign languages. No wonder some of my international friends call me ‘the United Nations Marina.’ Ha-ha! Honestly, I have always been keen on cultural exchange opportunities for students. Hence, I participated at the HSE Summer School in Poznan, Poland, in summer and fall of 2019. Erstwhile, I had a chance to work in the sphere of hospitality during the Summer Work and Travel USA programs, 2016-2018. So when the opportunity arose to engage in a practical project under the Population and Development programme requirement, I decided to organize a series of free multicultural social events for Russian and international students. Next, I shared the idea with my colleague, Goodnews Israel Oshiogbele, who surprisingly told me he was already developing a concept on the social integration of international students. That was how we merged our ideas, formed a team, and went further to get the Study Office’s approval of our project. Our main objective was to make international students’ social integration and Russian students’ adjustment to cultural diversity a little bit easier by uniting them through our various social gatherings. At this point, I leave the rest of our project story to Goodnews. Merci.
Hello! My name is Goodnews Israel Oshiogbele; I am a Nigerian and a colleague of Moses and Marina. For me, coming to Moscow could be likened to Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming to America’ film wherein Akeem’s sojourn was in the hopes of finding a woman to marry. But unlike in Eddie’s movie, my case was in the hopes of finding a world-class university for my desired Master’s education – Population and Development. Nearly a year down the line, I can’t but admit that I’m in love with the Population and Development programme at the Higher School of Economics (HSE University). I love the robustness as well as adaptiveness of the bridging, elective and compulsory courses offered within the programme. Juxtaposing my 3 years of managerial experience in the public and private sector in Nigeria with the prospects of these courses, I feel rest assured that I am on course to, someday, play a significant role towards good governance in my country. Now like Marina already mentioned, we are working on a social integration project in Moscow using social events as avenues for Russian and international students to close various inequality gaps, network and build lasting professional relationships within cross-cultural sustainable development partnerships. Thus far, engaging our participants comprising Russian and over 40 international students, we have organized some tours and festivities including a visit to the State Darwin Museum on 16 January 2020, the Global Fest by AIESEC Russia which was attended by representatives of over 118 countries of diverse cultures on 9 February 2020, and the Maslenitsa celebration outing on 1 March 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic and attendant lockdown put a stop to all such social activities in Moscow, we eagerly look forward to a coronavirus free society soon so we can hopefully continue to unite the vast community of students in Moscow, Russia. Below are some of our project photos. Thank you.
Finally, having heard from some of our students, we encourage you to consider the ‘Population and Development’ programme. It offers a unique opportunity for you to not only study about population and development issues but also develop your thoughts and materialize your dreams about the theory and practice of sustainable development and public administration.