Political Analysis and Public Policy is HSE University's most popular master’s programme among international students. It draws students who have just completed their undergraduate studies as well as people with professional experience.
Nicolas Ballester (Germany)
After having found the master’s program of “Public Policy and Political Analysis”, I enrolled in the hope of entering a demanding and multi-disciplinary atmosphere. Despite of my expectations being very high at the moment of deciding to embark on the adventure of studying in one of Russia’s best universities, these expectations were exceeded thanks to a very engaged faculty and a diverse and rich student body, which formed a fertile ground for research motivations and energetic purposes to blossom and thrive. I could personally hardly pick just a few aspects of student life in the master’s track of Public Policy and Political Analysis, since it is the atmosphere of curiosity and eagerness to learn that I enjoyed the most and that showed itself from different angles in thrilling extracurricular research activities with the professors, student dormitory life in the most international context imaginable and in inspiring classes, in which students’ thoughts are very much welcomed. In general, a very healthy academic mindset and openness for individual ideas exists at HSE. This goes hand in hand with top-quality demands, in what is considered by professors but also by Russian society at large as a privileged opportunity and a daunting challenge. Being a student at the HSE also gave me the opportunity to network in Moscow and to find internship possibilities with ease, which also meant a launch for my professional career. Well-equipped and already missing the colorful and distinguished ambience at HSE, I can take confident steps after the two-year master’s program, which I consider to be a catalyst for ambitious students, not only for its first-rate academic program, but also for the profitable context that the study program allows you to enter, in which pragmatic solutions to career wishes are plentiful and research desires find open ears, inside and outside university.
Over the past few years, I have often heard the same question: "Do you regret leaving MGIMO?" Usually, I answered without hesitation that I do not regret it. I'm just the kind of person who is not used to regret her decisions. However, today I can say with confidence that this spontaneous decision to enter the HSE has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. The Vyshka has changed my inner self: I have become more confident, easy-going, and open-minded. I have also acquired important professional skills, which I hardly could receive anywhere else. However, most of all, I am grateful to my master program for the people I met during these two years - professors and students. I've never met so many smart, friendly and talented people in one place before in my life. Thanks to all of you for being a part of my story. At the HSE, I realized one simple truth: It is not the places that grace the men, but men the places. Thank you again to all of you for these two years.
Alchatib Satria Rizaldi (Indonesia)
To be perfectly honest,
it was not easy for me to adapt to life in Russia. I felt marginalized and a bit bullied. I felt that people treated me as an outsider. At one point of time, I came to believe that I would not last long in Russia, even with my ability to adapt to new situations (which I consider quite extraordinary) given my extensive experience traveling and working abroad. During my time at HSE, I was given endless new experiences with research and received support for my personal development on and off campus. As such, I was given the opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant and a Research Consultant for PPD, which took my academic and professional experience to a new level. For that matter, I am forever grateful for the tutelage and mentorship of Professor Arnab Roy Chowdhury
with whom I spent most of my time during my first year navigating the university as well as figuring out my plans for life after university. I am also grateful to Professor Artem Uldanov
who invested his time and most importantly his trust for garnering cosmopolitanism and progressiveness in me, especially during my research fieldwork in Jakarta. I thank both professors for believing in my ABI (ability, benevolence, and integrity) during my time in HSE. I consider both individuals to be my superlative support system, as well as loyal friends whose words and presence will forever go a long way throughout my career.
You Li (China)
My experience of studying
at HSE University has fundamentally changed my views on many important things in a positive way. Before I went to HSE, I had been studying in America for over 6 years, but the truth is, in political science, one should not study it solely from one perspective. In a world that is increasingly globalized, understanding the basis of non-Western issues and politics is also increasingly important. HSE has top-class scholars from all around the world, and they're extremely helpful for students who are willing to learn. The structure of our programme - Political Analysis and Public Policy - is coherent, diverse, and cutting-edge. After two years of study, I developed a solid foundation for policy analysis, which is the most important asset I have obtained. It has fully prepared me for pursuing my future academic career, and I feel confident that I could be accepted by an exellent PhD programme. Russia is an amazing country - it is rich in history and culture. Although a little challenging at first, I eventually fell deeply in love with this country. The Study Office and the faculty have always done their best to assist students in overcoming these initial challenges and issues, and I am really grateful for all their efforts. I will always appreciate the opportunities that HSE and Russia gave me, and I strongly recommend our programme to any prospective students who are interested in studying in Russia
María José Benítez Hidalgo (Ecuador)
The atmosphere at HSE made me feel that the world is not as big as we might think. My classroom is already an example of how people from completely different cultures can interact and learn by respecting each other’s diversity and believing in dialogue. This is exactly what we need for building up tolerance nowadays. This is the most amazing thing about being part of HSE - to have found a family of colleagues from all over the world who at the same time became my best teachers. They make me believe that we, as a new generation of policy makers and human rights defenders, will achieve our dream of building a more aware, fair, equal, and inclusive world.
Sambhavna Biswas (India)
Research Assistant for Member of Parliament Ninong Ering (India)
The knowledge I gained and the relationships I made during these two years will be of enduring value to me and will continue to bring a smile to my face whenever I think of HSE
Juniar Laraswanda Umagapi (Indonesia)
By being a part of this programme, I hope I can help to bring change to my country
My name is Juniar Laraswanda Umagapi and I am from Indonesia. A year ago, I decided to come to Russia and pursue a master’s in Political Analysis and Public Policy at HSE in Moscow. I am now focused on human rights and global governance. I have learned a lot about public policy while studying in the programme. I work in human rights because I am interested in this issue along with my own background in this field. If asked about why I came to Russia to continue my studies, I would say it was because I wanted to learn more about Russia and see the situation here with my own eyes. With regard to the programme itself, I have discovered a lot of new things while studying here. There are also a lot of interesting subjects that I want to cover in my future career. I really enjoy learning about human rights or subjects related to the humanities. By being a part of this programme, I hope I can help bring change to my country. Studying public policy, attending lectures, making wonderful friends from around the world, and living in Russia’s capital city has been the best experience of my life. As a second year student, I am discovering a lot while studying here, and I still want to learn more about Russia. How public policy relates to politics and global governance is always being discussed in class. The most important thing to remember while studying at HSE is that you must develop your personal network, while also trying to gain as much as experience both inside and outside of the University, as this will help boost your chances of securing future work opportunities. I suggest trying to be competitive and taking part in a lot of competitions, so that you can prove your abilities to yourself. It is also important to set goals beyond getting good grades, and cultivating an extensive international network.
Alejandra Santoliva (Colombia)
I am really happy to be part of the HSE community!
Studying Public Policy at HSE has been a great opportunity for me. I have learned a lot about the relevance of public policy and how it is connected to human rights, which is a passion of mine. Being in contact with teachers and classmates from all over the world while in Moscow has been a unique experience. It is amazing how much you can learn from people who experience realities completely different to your own. Furthermore, HSE offers many opportunities in terms of socialization, cultural exchanges, sports, etc., which have made this whole experience even more valuable. Moreover, the staff at HSE are just amazing and always ready to help! The theoretical and practical knowledge I have acquired so far at the University has helped me to further develop values such as respect and tolerance, as well as cultivate my own character and practical skills.
I am really happy to be part of the HSE community!
Stanislav Myasnikov (Russia)
HSE – a platform for various types of self-development
Study at HSE?
'It’s possible! I came to HSE in 2011 to study in the ‘Applied Political Science’ Bachelor’s Programme, which is now part of the Political Science Department of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The study process is not simple, especially at HSE. I don’t know if people not connected with ‘Vyshka’ even know about this. I often hear people asking, 'Is it possible to study at HSE?’, or 'How do you survive there?’ However, if we are going to be objective, we can see that many students graduate from HSE every year, with some of them even going on to pursue master's degrees here. Others go on to do other things, while others take a gap year. All of this shows that studying at HSE is possible, but only if people take it seriously. HSE is a platform for researchers. The framework of a research university fosters not only research conducted by scholars and professors, but also students, who are, to a certain extent, also engaged in research. Upon arrival, even first years can join research groups or work at laboratories where they can take part in existing projects, or they can also develop new projects. HSE students know that a term paper is not an essay that regurgitates the thoughts and words of others (which is prohibited anyway). Instead, it should be original research, which has been conducted according to specific scientific rules and parameters. In defending a term paper, a student defends his/her own work, which was done over the course of the year, thereby showing the skills acquired and how this new knowledge can be applied.
As a second year bachelor’s student, I realized that I wanted to do something that hasn’t been sufficiently studied by other people. With this in mind, I started studying the issue of paternalism. My focus is both philosophical and psychological, but also applying sociological methods, thereby giving me another wholly different perspective. I conducted a survey among students of five Moscow-based Universities (a sample of 300 people), and then analyzed the data and made conclusions. I continued further and, in the following year, I conducted the same survey in St Petersburg. The methodology my academic supervisor and I developed helped me to accumulate research data for my graduation paper. So, after three years of research, we generated a sample of 900 people who answered our questionnaire. An article eventually appeared in the Socis journal, published by the Russian Science Academy. Publications are very important for researchers, and HSE provides a lot of opportunities for research, as well as publishing results.
HSE – a platform for various types of self-development
2013 was the year right before the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and HSE was one of the universities that provided a base for preparing staff of the Olympic Broadcasting Services Company (OBS), which is the host broadcaster for all Olympic Games held around the globe. I was able to win a contest and be hired as an assistant to the OBS crew working out of the Iceberg Skating Palace. I worked with the Canadian OBS TV team, which filmed figure skating competitions, and the Korean team, who worked on short track speed-skating events. This was a great job experience, working in real time with the knowledge that billions around the world would see the same thing while at the ice rink or in the broadcast van. I also made many friends from all around the world. I think this is a key point for my CV.
HSE – alternative approaches in play
When my bachelor’s studies were coming to an end, I had to focus on choosing the right master’s programme. The programme that interested me when I was a third-year student was ‘Political Analysis and Public Policy‘. This programme name sounds impressive in itself, but when you read further, you learn that it is quite a bit more than it seems: students from countries, lectures in English, internship opportunities, and double degree programmes with the best universities in Europe. According to HSE’s rules, it is possible to get accepted to a master’s programme not only through the standard application process, but also based on your performance in subject-specific competitions for alumni and students. As a third-year year bachelor’s student, I decided to get ready and take part in a competition. I became awardee and even received an invitation for enrollment. However, I transferred while in the fourth year of my bachelor’s. In March 2015, I participated again and was declared a winner. So, this meant I could enrol in the programme without taking entrance exams.
The Department of Public Policy – a unique place
Coming to HSE in September as a master's student, I felt the warm atmosphere of the department. All are together here: professors and students of both years. My mates from undergrad say they do not even know all their master's programme classmates; they do not know the second-year students. At our department we all know each other and are always collaborating. As a member of the Student Chamber, I helped organize Non-Violence Day and Human Rights Day. Lecturers from international organizations gave lectures, and students from other departments visited us. This means we are doing something really important if people are interested. In conclusion, I would like to say that studying at HSE is not only a possibility, but a must!
Hamid Ait-El-Kaid (Morocco)
The opportunities offered here are unmatched — both in Russia and all of Eurasia
My acquaintance with HSE started even before my studies. Firstly, I participated in the winter school for prospective students in February 2014, where I studied public policy. In the first year of my studies at HSE, I participated in various activities that were aimed at strengthening my academic and research capacities, as well as promoted HSE and its Department of Public Policy worldwide. Hence, I took part in the 2015 Winter School where I moderated a team of students among other groups who discussed global problems with a particular focus on public policy. Moreover, I participated as a team leader in a workshop on the impact of civil society on policy-making in BRICS countries, which resulted in a book. Furthermore, I was a member of the Public Policy Student Council before I was elected by first- and second-year students as its head in November 2015. The council’s main duties are conducting educational, research, and extracurricular events. For example, the other members and I have organized Human Rights Day on December 10 two times since 2014. That event brought together experts, practitioners, and human rights activists who work in Russia and abroad. I was the chair of the organizing committee, which managed to make the event successful with more practical sessions dedicated to finding solutions to the refugee crisis through such approaches as simulations of state-to-state negotiations.
During my time at HSE, I worked on expanding the University’s image worldwide through encouraging foreign students to study here. As a result, three students from Morocco participated in the Winter School in 2015, and two of them were admitted into the programme under a special quota. Moreover, fellow classmates and I presented the Master’s Programme ‘Political Analysis and Public Policy’ to prospective Russian speaking students of the HSE Social Science Winter School, which was held in December 2015 in Voronovo. In addition, I invited a Moroccan professor and scholar to give an exclusive lecture through video-conferencing as part of the ‘Human Rights in Non-Western Societies’ course. This was the first academic contact between HSE and a North African research institution. As for my own research and internship work, I had the possibility of spending my internship at three outstanding institutions in Moscow: IMEMO RAS, the Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, and the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I worked on collecting data and conducting expert interviews in addition to weekly workshops held at the department with regard to the issue of ‘protest publics’. Consequently, I successfully defended my term paper entitled ‘Protest Publics as Drivers of Political Changes in Tunisia (2010-2015)’. HSE and the ‘Political Analysis and Public Policy’ programme is a unique platform for engaging studies and high quality research. The opportunities offered here are unmatched, both in Russia and all of Eurasia.
Elena Korotkova (Russia)
I spent my first term in Bologna
I spent my first term in Bologna as an exchange student at Bologna University. It was extremely challenging, as the approach to study and teaching in Italy is different from that in Russia. For instance, some subjects were only held in a lecture format, while others required us to read thousands of pages. So, I had to use all of my self-organization skills. However, I managed to overcome the difficulties and, among other things, learnt to love the culture of the libraries there. Overall, I would say that, despite all of the small (and sometimes not so small) problems arising all the time, I will remember my exchange as one of the brightest experiences ever! In academic terms, the courses I attended will be very useful for my final thesis. Also, in order to get some practical experience in addition to academia, I'm going to do an internship at an UNECE office in Geneva.
Aleksandra Kononova (Russia)
HSE provides students with plenty of opportunities to realize their potential as young researchers
I would say that I acquired a full understanding of scholarly research in all of its nitty-gritty particularities only after joining the HSE Master’s programme. Being a Master’s student means that you must act more like a young researcher than a student. It is not only about attending lectures, but also about carrying out research under the attentive guidance of your academic advisor. Also, HSE is a research university and our Public Policy Department gives us valuable knowledge and skills. Furthermore, the University provides students with plenty of opportunities to realize their potential as young researchers. Studying at HSE’s Public Policy Department has given a significant impetus to my academic work. For instance, I was lucky enough to have two internships at the Moscow Carnegie Center and the British Council in Russia. It was a marvelous chance to collect empirical data for my research, as well as establish useful contacts and get a sense of my career prospects. With this particular master’s programme, I was able to participate in my first international academic conference (International Conference on Public Policy - http://www.icpublicpolicy.org/
). There, I was able to discuss the results of my research on the influence of American think tanks on US foreign policy with respect to the Arab Spring, working with such gurus of think tank research as Kent Weaver and Diane Stone. In addition, I managed to submit an article to US Foreign Policy Analysis Journal and get the approval of its Chief Editor! As a result, I received very detailed and positive feedback from globally recognized scholars along with the likely possibility of future publication.