International Professor Inspired by Passion for Learning at HSE Perm
Professor Felix J. Lopez Iturriaga has been a Leading Research Fellow at the International Laboratory of Intangible-driven Economy at HSE Perm since 2014. Based at the Business and Economics School in the University of Valladolid where he teaches courses in Financial markets and institutions and Investment, he divides his time between Spain and Russia. In 2015 Professor Iturriaga won a grant to research ‘Competitiveness of Russian companies in the condition of import substitution: the role of intangibles’. In an interview with HSE English News service, he spoke about his positive experiences working at HSE and his hopes for developing further international academic exchanges.
— How did you cooperation with HSE begin? Did you know much about HSE in Perm beforehand?
— My cooperation with HSE started almost two years ago. I had become acquainted with Ángel Barajas because of our common academic interests and we had met a couple of times. Then, he introduced me to the HSE staff, mainly Elena Shakina and Dmitriy Potapov. That was at the end of 2013. I was recruited by the ID Lab and I travelled to Perm in June 2014 for the first time.
— How is your working life arranged now with your tight working schedule between the Spanish and Russian universities?
— It is not easy. I usually come to Russia four or five times every year: for the April conference, for the Summer school in June, for the iCare conference in September and a couple of other occasions. It means that I have to manage my academic duties in Spain and my engagement in academic life in Russia simultaneously. But I have good colleagues both in Spain and Perm and they let me to adapt my academic burden to all these engagements.
— What are your impressions of Perm and Moscow?
— Perm is bigger than I expected and Moscow is huge. I have only been in Moscow briefly, but it feels like a vibrant city with plenty of history and interesting sites. Perm is calmer but I like the life in Perm, both in Summer and in (cold) Winter.
HSE students' interest and passion for learning is truly inspiring. I like very much how they pay a lot of attention to the lectures, how interested and involved they are.
— What about the HSE students and teachers?
— Their interest and passion for learning and teaching is truly inspiring. I like very much how they pay a lot of attention to the lectures, how interested and involved they are.
— Just recently you gave a lecture 'Corporate governance and IPO underpricing in a cross-national sample: A multilevel knowledge-based view'. How did it go? Was there a discussion afterwards?
— It was a good experience. I presented the teamwork ‘behind the scenes’, that’s-to-say, how a big research team worked together to have this good publication. Then, we had a fruitful and interesting discussion, or exchange of ideas, about the publication process. The staff who attended the presentation made very interesting contributions to the debate.
— You have a lot of teaching experience. What's the difference between students in Perm and students in Valladolid University?
— I would say that Perm students seem to be more motivated. If my students in Valladolid were given the opportunity to get in touch with a foreign professor, I am not sure that they would appreciate it as much as the Perm students do. The students with whom I have worked in Perm are fluent in English, and it is a pleasure to be able to communicate with them.
— What's next on your research plate?
— Now I am working on three papers with ID Lab members. We are excited about the future possibilities. We are thinking about possible international PhD dissertations for some ID Lab members.
— Are there any discussions of special exchange programmes between the University of Valladolid and HSE?
— It would be interesting to have an exchange program between the universities. We don’t have one yet, but given the close personal relationship it could be the next step.
Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service