HSE Endowment Fund Exceeds 1 Billion RUB
As of September 30, 2020, HSE University’s endowment fund reached 1,054,203,380 rubles. According to data from 2019, HSE University ranks among the top three state universities in Russia in terms of assets.
Created in 2007, the HSE Endowment Fund was one of the first university endowment funds to be established in Russia. Donations to the fund can be made by both legal entities and individual donors (which collectively totaled 131 as of September 30, 2020). The organization invests these funds, after which the income received is directed to HSE development programmes and projects.
The HSE Endowment Fund is a specialized non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to form endowment capital and to use and distribute income from it to the benefit of HSE University.
Alexey Novoseltsev, HSE Vice Rector, Member of the Presidium of the HSE Endowment Fund
We consider the endowment, first of all, to be a tool of direct support for specific programmes and projects, the financing of which is invariant to current financial priorities and economic conditions. For example, the HSE April Conference is an event that must have its own sustainable budget no matter what, and the conference’s target capital guarantees this. The endowment also makes it easier to experiment with new ideas. Many years ago, it allowed the University to launch a grant project aimed at getting HSE alumni who now work at top foreign universities involved in academic life at HSE. The amount of income from the endowment is already comparable to some target university programmes, and for certain laboratories and faculties, it is becoming a noticeable part of their budgets. I am sure that as the experience of working with endowment capital expands, its role will increase.
The fund's own income during its operation has exceeded 300 million rubles, more than 70% of which has already been transferred to the university. This amount includes over 45 million rubles allocated for professorial positions, about 40 million rubles for grants in support of student mobility at international partner universities, more than 25 million rubles in support of the April Conference, and about 18 million rubles for athletics and infrastructural development at HSE. The fund has also allocated funds for holding Olympiads, obtaining electronic subscriptions and databases for the HSE Library, providing support for comparative social research, hosting visits to HSE by alumni working as researchers at leading universities in the world, and more.
Vladimir Samoilenko, HSE Vice Rector, Director of the HSE Endowment Fund
There are two sources that facilitate the growth of the HSE Endowment Fund: new donations and income reinvestment. Until recently, the endowment was replenished mainly with the support of members of the HSE Board of Trustees. In 2017, the Outstanding Alumni Endowment was formed, and in 2019-2020, separate endowments of faculties and individual divisions began to be created. We see an interest in utilizing this mechanism and expect that the number of donors will expand substantially. The challenge for the fund’s governing bodies is to balance current consumption and build opportunities for future HSE generations. Now that the fund's assets have grown and expectations for returns on the stock market are declining, maintaining this balance will require more attention. The bodies of the fund strive to preserve the capital’s real value while reinvesting up to 50% of the earned income.
An Endowment for the Development of the International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) has been created within the HSE Endowment Fund to provide financial support for the ICEF’s long-term projects. Thanks to the endowment, the ICEF will also be able to direct more funds to research and expand the range of opportunities for the professional and personal growth of its students.
The Centre will include a swimming pool, a climbing wall, a gym, as well as dedicated space for basketball, tennis, badminton and other sports. The plan is to build the three-storey venue of almost 12,000 sq.m in under two years.
The HSE Endowment was created in 2007 and includes donations from individuals and companies. As of today, it comes to over 550 million roubles. It is only surpassed by the endowments of four other leading Russian universities – St. Petersburg State University (1.036 billion roubles), MGIMO (1.5 billion roubles), European University in St. Petersburg(1.64 billion roubles), and SkolTech (4.387 billion roubles).
Following a long history of cooperation between HSE and VTB24 bank, a programme has been launched to fund financial research through a university endowment. This entails the establishment of a VTB Chair position as the logical outcome of this programme.
The funding will be allocated on a competitive basis. The first round of applications has already started and will run until October 15, 2016.