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National Research University Higher School of EconomicsNewsAdmissionsHow International Students Can Apply to HSE

How International Students Can Apply to HSE

HSE has recently published information on discounts for international students applying in 2017. Tatiana Chetvernina, HSE’s Director of International Admissions, talked to our News Service about this and various other innovations concerning international students at the University.

We apply the same approach in regards to all of our prospective students, no matter the region and the country they come from. However, since most of our undergraduate programmes are taught in Russian, they mostly attract students from former Soviet and Slavic-speaking countries, for whom learning the Russian language is easier.

In regards to non-CIS countries, at the beginning of this academic year, we chose such target countries as Mongolia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Over the year, we selected the target audience based on several schools in these countries. They already know about HSE, and also have been participating in our Olympiads for several years. The results have been good so far. This pattern of interaction with international prospective students is par for the course for HSE.

Tuition Discounts

The introduction of discounts for international students (both undergraduate and Master’s students) has been quite a major innovation. We’ve done some research, looking at information available on Russian universities’ websites, and I can say that none of them mention discounts for international students. They either don’t have them, or they are well hidden. At the most, Russian universities offer different prices for Russian and international students.

We believe that an opportunity for obtaining a discount will motivate high-achievers to apply for the various programmes at HSE. As for a possible maximum discount, it is primarily available for undergraduate programmes, which usually run for four years and require quite a lot of money for tuition fees.

All international students applying for a discount will be enrolled independently of the planned number of applicants.

Our regulations on discounts offer contest winners in any subject the opportunity to apply for any HSE faculty

Importantly, discounts are offered to international students affiliated with HSE, such as learners who studied as part of the Preparatory Year, as well as taken part in our Olympiads, competitions and intellectual projects. They already understand how HSE works. Furthermore, they know they’ll have to work hard, and that it’s also impossible to simply pay and do nothing. Winners and participants of our contests can receive the largest discounts.

Winners of International Olympiad Competitions can receive the largest discounts for their undergraduate applications. An important rule, which may not be obvious, is that our regulations on discounts offer contest winners in any subject the opportunity to apply for any HSE faculty. This means, for instance, that if someone wins a contest held in Russian, which is subject-specific for humanities faculties, they may also get a 70% discount for the Faculty of Economics. At the same time, it is key for them to understand that if they are weak in mathematics, they won’t only have much of a chance to hold on to their discounted slot, but their space at the Faculty itself. In addition, they must pass a test in two subjects, as well as all other prospective students applying for fee-paying places.

Winners of International Olympiad Competitions for University Students and Graduates are eligible for tuition fee discounts for Master’s programmes.

Studies at HSE’s Regional Campuses

This year, the application rules for international students for state-financed places are the same with respect to all campuses, both for undergraduate and Master’s programmes. As for fee-paying slots, the recent regulation on discounts is only relevant for HSE’s Moscow campus. Our other campuses are guided by their own regulations on discounts (if any). At the same time, the fees for tuition at the regional campuses are lower than in Moscow, even without any discounts. We can say that the Moscow discount system somehow levels tuition fees across all of HSE campuses.

How to Apply

This year, we’ve changed the application and registration system for international students, and almost completely switched to an online format. We introduced this system in November, even though some of the applicants hoped that they could apply like in previous years, directly without having to register on the website. Nevertheless, everybody now understands this is impossible, and, as such, they are changing their approaches accordingly.

At present, entrance exams for international students are presented in two formats. This year’s innovations include long-distance exams in the form of test proctoring. We’ve been holding them since the end of March. This format is relevant for countries far from Russia, as well as those where applicants are ‘scattered’, (e.g., Belarus and Kazakhstan). We might experience certain difficulties in adjusting to this system, as well as altering Examus in regards to contests for school children and the difficulties experienced by the kids themselves. Malfunctions sometimes happen. Or a student’s Internet or electricity crushes, and they end up being quite nervous. Of course, we try to calm everybody down and create the most comfortable environment for the exam process. Moreover, we maintain close contacts with both applicants and their parents. This is a system that will prove to be very effective in future.

In addition to long-distance exams, we organize tests in partner countries, where there are a lot of students interested in studying at HSE, such as in Moldova, Vietnam, Mongolia or Indonesia. Entrance exams are usually held at offices of Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the CIS, Compatriots Leaving Abroad and For the International Humanitarian Cooperation), or at partner universities.

Master’s programme applicants submit programme-specific portfolios and might also be asked to go through an online interview via Skype.

Dates

The application period for quota slots in undergraduate programmes came to a close on May 1, with the exception of the winners of the ‘Vyschaya Proba’ and ‘Vyschy Pilotazh’ contests, as well as other international and national competitions listed by educational programme. These individuals may apply until June 1. Please note that there are only a limited number of places.

The final lists will be compiled by the programme offices by June 2, and on June 7, the International Admissions Committee will hold its final session, where it will consider and grant approval to the recommended quota applicants. After that, the committee will only consider applicants for fee-paying slots.

Detailed information on international admissions is available on the HSE website.