New Structure of the HSE
The Higher School of Economics will undergo a number of structural changes in spring 2014. ‘Big’ faculties, which will provide educational programmes, are being created as part of the university. The faculties will include departments and schools, as well as research centres and departments of continuing education. The new university structure is part of the roadmap aimed at improving the HSE’s global competitiveness.
‘Big’ faculties will be similar to colleges or higher schools. They will consist of departments and will manage educational programmes, and in a key feature, the programmes won’t be tied to departments institutionally.
The HSE already includes the first of these ‘big’ faculties – the Faculty of Economics. On February 7, 2014, the Academic Council approved the creation of the second ‘big’ faculty – Communications, Media, and Design. It will be organized on the basis of the Faculty of Media Communications, Faculty of Design, and the School of Integrated Communications.
These enlarged departments will provide more academic freedom for instructors than the old departments did. And while the structure of the Faculty of Economics includes departments and smaller sub-departments, there will be no smaller sub-departments at the new Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design.
A Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design will be created at the Higher School of Economics. It will include the Faculty of Media Communications, Faculty of Design, and the School of Integrated Communications. The new Faculty will be headed by Professor Andrey Bystritsky.
The new faculty will offer practice-oriented programmes and instructors (adjunct professors). ‘Such colleagues have totally different criteria of academic proficiency’, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov explained, ‘They don’t write academic papers, but their reputation is based on public acknowledgment of their projects’.
Bringing together creative professionals at one new ‘big’ faculty will allow the HSE to develop a unified staff policy, including financial incentives for outstanding professional achievements, which will be similar to academic bonuses for research papers.
The Faculty wil l include a Media Department, Department of Integrated Communications, and School of Design.
Departments will be aimed at research and staff development. Some of them will have their own educational programme, and will be called Schools. For example, there will be a School of Design as part of the Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design. Design work means uniting both project and educational components, which requires a higher level of autonomy.
All the structural changes are taking place alongside the introduction of renewed HSE educational standards. As a national research university, the HSE is able to develop its own educational standards, different from the federal ones which are obligatory for other higher education institutions. These new standards will decrease the teaching load on lecturers and are in line with the practices of other leading international universities, where there are less classroom hours, more consultation, independent student work and responsibility. In order to implement these updated standards, the number of assistant lecturers will be increased, who help the instructors by providing consultations for students and checking their written assignments. Staff from the HSE research departments will be more actively involved in the academic supervision of students, academic practices, and research seminars.
Over the next two or three years, there is much serious work to be done in terms of developing the HSE staff. One of the key parts of the HSE programme of development is continuing education for instructors, including academic writing skills in foreign languages.
Boris Startsev, Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service
From October 26-27, a regular meeting of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100 was held in Kaliningrad. The academic institutions involved in the project presented the results of their work and plans for the upcoming period of their respective roadmaps.
A cooperation agreement was recently signed between HSE and Politecnico di Milano (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering) to jointly embark on a large-scale study entitled Efficiency, Performance and Impact of Higher Education Institutions (EPI). According to the agreement, the IOE Laboratory for University Development will act as the principal R&D venue for this initiative, while Dr. Tommaso Agasisti, Associate Professor at Politecnico di Milano and one of Europe’s most renowned experts in education economics, will take up overall project supervision.
The Higher School of Economics is among the top four universities ranked by the Council on Enhancing the Competitiveness of Russia’s Leading Universities. HSE is the only university participating in the project to have kept its leading position in the ranking. The university’s Vice Rector, Maria Yudkevich, who also presented HSE’s Roadmap at the Council’s meeting in Tomsk, talks about how the university was able to achieve this and describes what HSE has set as its priorities in the next stage of the fight to enter the list of the world’s strongest universities.
On October 30th at a regular ‘Topical Research and Development in Education’ seminar at the HSE Institute for Educational Studies, Alastair Blyth, Policy Analyst at OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments, talked about ‘Changes in perception of spaces for self-education, innovation and knowledge exchange’.
On October 18th 2011, as part of the preliminary programme of the 3rd International Conference of the Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers, Professor Nian Cai Liu, author of the world-renowned Shanghai University Ranking, gave a lecture at the HSE.