Minorities in Asia and Africa in Focus
HSE St Petersburg initiated and organised an international conference on Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World. Academics from Russia, South Korea, South Africa, Turkey and Armenia gathered for the event on 9th and 10th October.
The conference was organised by the Centre for Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African studies at HSE St Petersburg.
Director of HSE St Petersburg, Sergey Kadochnikov opened the conference and Professor Sang Chul Park of the Korean Polytechnical University, who moderated the plenary session, gave a welcoming address.
The participants discussed approaches to studying racial, ethnic, religious and other minorities, the current situation these groups find themselves in Asian and African countries, their participation in politics and social and economic life and current racial, ethnic and religious conflicts they are involved in.
There were presentations on defending the rights of Shiite children in Bahrain, the deportation of Greeks from Istanbul in 1964 and on violence against women in Iraq. The participants discussed the results of research on probably the most serious issues in the Middle East today — the religious ideas and practices of Islamic State and the Arabic language as one of the instruments this terror organisation uses to mobilise support.
Evgeny Zelenev, Director of the Department of Asian and African Studies said it is essential the academic community focusses attention sharply on minorities in Asia and Africa.
‘Our practical aim is to bring together an international team to do further research in this area. It’s vital to bear in mind that minorities often form powerful social groups. And in many cases their political, economic, social and cultural self-determination turns passive political unions active. This process is often accompanied by problems and conflicts. These conflicts are particularly intense and have most significant consequences for the groups involved and the international community in the East which is why it is so important for us join forces today to examine and describe them.’
Alexander Poddiakov, Professor at HSE School of Psychology, Leonid Ionin, Professor at the Department of Theoretical Economics, Evgeny Zelenev, and Gerrit Olivier, Professor at the Department of Political Science (University of Pretoria) discussed the development of theoretical and practical approaches to the study of racial, ethnic, religious and other minorities, and conflicts in sociology, psychology, philosophy and political science during the plenary session ‘Minorities and Conflicts: Research Questions and Theoretical Approaches’.
During the session ‘Small Social Groups in Multicultural Societies’ the participants learned about the current status of minorities and their participation in the political and socio-economic life of several countries in the East – the Kurds in Turkey, the Zaidi in Yemen, the Yazidis in Iraq and Koreans in Japan.
Gerrit Olivier and his fellow professor from South Africa Deon Geldenhuys, gave papers on racial and ethnic discrimination after the end of Apartheid and about the possibility of creating cultural autonomy. Professor Sang Chul Park talked about Korean policies for attracting migrant workers. Professor Vahe Boyajian of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, presented the results of his field work on ethnic minorities in Iranian Balochistan.
On June 18, the third International Partners’ Week ‘Academic Agility: Preparing Students for an Uncertain Future’ began at HSE University. The event brings together representatives of more than 30 universities from 16 countries, including France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, the USA, Finland, the United Kingdom, and China. They have all come to Moscow to learn more about the kind of learning experience HSE University can provide, as well as to discuss practical challenges and solutions regarding international mobility.
On June 3-4, a conference entitled ‘Beyond Post-Truth: Media Landscapes in the “Age of Insecurity”’ was held in St. Petersburg. The conference was jointly organized by the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) at HSE University, the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe at GWZO Leipzig, the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, and Justus Liebig University Giessen.
This May, HSE and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI, Republic of Korea) signed a cooperation agreement on science and advanced technology research. This agreement was signed by Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, and Dr. Hwang-Hee Cho, STEPI President.
This year's theme of the International Partners Week held this past May at HSE St. Petersburg was ‘Nurturing Global Citizens for a Global World’. Participants gathered to discuss common issues that universities face in regard to internationalisation, exchange approaches to implementing the Global Citizens concept, visit the university’s facilities, acquaint HSE SPb students with universities overseas, and, of course, enjoy St Petersburg’s White Nights.
On May 23-24, following the Days of the International Academy of Education held earlier this week, the General Assembly of the International Academy of Education took place at HSE University Moscow. The assembly brings together education researchers and experts from all over the world, and this is the first time that the biannual meeting was held in Russia. Over the course of two days, members discussed joint projects and publications and met newly inducted members who had the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their research. Members also took part in small group discussions on a variety of topics, including digital literacy and math education.
On May 20, the Days of the International Academy of Education commenced at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Experts from all over the world engaged in identifying global education policy trends will hold a series of meetings, master classes, seminars and open lectures. They will share their experience with Russian researchers, instructors and education policy makers over the course of three days.
This year, the HSE Faculty of Law is launching new extended programmes in Common Law, for which graduates will receive a degree from the University of London. These programmes are open for first-year students, as well as for other students and professionals.
The Higher School of Economics has become a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). It is a key partner of UNESCO and the oldest global association that aims to provide quality and affordable online education to students around the world. Today HSE is the only representative of Russia in ICDE.
The agreement establishes a student- and academic-exchange programme and the opportunity for joint educational and research project development. The agreement was signed on April 8 with the participation of representatives of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
From February 25 to March 2, HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs hosted an academic module of the University Consortium, an inter-regional training programme for outstanding students that aims to promote mutual understanding, balanced analysis, and genuine dialogue among the US, EU, and Russia.