Number of International Students at HSE is Growing
August 5 marked the final deadline for applications from international students to HSE English-taught Master’s programmes starting September 2015. This year saw a radical growth in applications from abroad, with more than five times the number of applications from last year. At a minimum, every region doubled in terms of applications when comparing the 2015 cycle to the 2014 cycle. In Africa and Asia, the increase was even more staggering. Out of the roughly 800 international applicants to HSE English-taught Master's programmes, 196 students were accepted. The growth in the number of full-degree international students studying HSE is fundamental to the university’s overall development as a global university.
'HSE is a young university, and in the broader international arena, it’s only now beginning to be recognized as a premier institution for study,' notes HSE Vice Rector Sergei Erofeev. ‘Of course in certain academic spheres abroad, like economics or Russian studies, HSE is already well-known and respected. But our efforts now are focused on presenting the full picture of HSE’s educational programs to the international audience. We’ve established a variety of channels for spreading information about HSE around the world and have improved on our side how we work with international applicants.’
The jump in the number of applications is a result of many factors, including improved HSE’s admissions website and application process, online advertising, recruitment fairs, and alumni and faculty acting as HSE ‘ambassadors’. While most applicants reported learning about HSE online, roughly one third learnt about the university through HSE students, graduates and professors, professors at their own institutions, or friends.
Students from Europe and North America –two regions that are strategic priorities for HSE - generally come to HSE for short-term programmes, like Semester in Moscow or Summer University. Even despite political circumstances and other obstacles, the number of applications from these areas significantly increased. ‘For many, studying in Russia may seem unrealistic or unattractive,’ says Sergei Erofeev. ‘We want to change that – the positive effects of studying abroad are indisputable and in Russia students gain experience with a culture that is likely very different from the one that they are familiar with. The education is top-notch and Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod are all incredibly dynamic places for study. Moscow has a reputation for being too expensive, but between no or low tuition costs, affordable dormitories, and generally lower prices due to the value of the ruble, international students are starting to catch on to the myriad benefits of studying at HSE. We know that there’s even greater interest in studying in Russia and at HSE – it’s just a matter of reaching the right students with the proper message. We continue to refine our strategy and approaches and look forward to welcoming a growing number of international students in the coming years.’
The highest number of applications came from Ghana, Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia and USA. The three most popular programmes were System and Software Engineering, Political Analysis and Public Policy, and Financial Economics. Candidates this year were much stronger than in years past. ‘HSE is becoming an even more attractive destination for pursuing a Master’s degree and, correspondingly, competition among applicants has become even greater,’ Sergei Erofeev said, adding that only one quarter of applicants was accepted. The most competitive programmes are International Relations in Eurasia, Financial Economics, Mathematics, Cognitive Sciences and Technologies and Global Business.
In addition to English-taught Master’s, a considerable number of international students will be enrolled this year in Russian-taught programmes. In the future the number of international students pursuing degrees in Russian is bound to grow further as there is a special Preparatory Year that is designed for preparing international students to study in Russian. This year scholarships were offered to international students and general admissions are still open until August 15.
International Spring School on Human Rights Debates Issues of Religion, Identity and Freedom of Conscience
In May, the HSE Voronovo Learning Centre hosted the International Spring School on Human Rights, a five-day educational retreat organized jointly by the HSE Department of Public Policy, the University of Bologna and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The Master’s programme in System and Software Engineering aims to provide students an opportunity not only to acquire the knowledge and experience they need in their chosen profession, but also to help them generate a systemic view on bringing resolutions to the difficult professional challenges they are certain to face in the future. Academic Supervisor Dmitry Alexandrov talks about programme features and international students share their experience of living and studying in Moscow.
Samira Verhees, a Ghent University alumna and doctoral student at the HSE School of Linguistics, spoke about her Caucasian studies.
The Master’s programme in Big Data Systems at the Higher School of Economics focuses on the value aspect of big data for large enterprises and the implementation of big data technology in enterprises. Two current students of the programme share their thoughts about what drew them to HSE to study big data, what they hope to gain from the programme and what advice they would give to prospective international students.
In March 2016, the School of Business Informatics (Faculty of Business and Management) at HSE was visited by a delegation from France’s University of Évry; in late 2015, a student exchange agreement was signed between HSE and this university. The delegation brought 19 students from the Master’s programmes in the field of big data at the University of Évry to Moscow.
‘Texts and Places: Introduction to Russian History, Language and Culture’ (I testi dei luoghi: introduzione alla storia, alla cultura e alla lingua russa), an international Spring School at HSE organized jointly by Julia Ivanova, leading research fellow at the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, and the University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro, took place from March 15 to 23.
Nicholas Howell is a PhD student at University of Oregon. He came to HSE Faculty of Mathematics on the invitation of his research advisor Vadim Vologodsky to do research during two months. In his interview Nick talks about his time in Moscow.
One of the HSE’s newly launched Master’s programmes – Population and Development – aims to train specialists who can develop solutions to many of today’s economic and social challenges. Taught entirely in English and offering courses in public administration, economics, demography and statistical analysis, the programme has partnerships with universities in France, Germany, Italy and Belgium.
Hamid Ait-El-Kaid is a second-year student from Morocco of the Master's programme in Political Analysis and Public Policy. His first exposure to HSE took place during a Winter School for prospective students in February 2014. After learning about the Public Policy programme, he decided to apply to HSE.