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‘We Are Really Moving towards the East’

A double degree implemented by HSE and Kyung Hee University in Economics and Politics in Asia was unveiled at the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. The first enrolment in the programme took place this summer. Participants of the presentation included Lee Jin-hyun, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Korea; Khan Gon, Vice President of Kyung Hee University; as well as representatives from the embassies of China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia in Russia.

As of today, this is Russia’s only joint programme in area studies with a partner university from East Asia. It will train experts in the social, political, economic and cultural life of East Asia; demand for such experts is constantly growing. Today, the programme teaches 78 students, who are equally split in the three specialization fields – China, Korea and Japan – which they choose independently. Next year, the number of countries studied will grow to six and will include Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.

‘I began learning about China about two years ago, and I understood that I wanted to commit myself to it, all the more so because this field is very promising,’ said Anastasia Kolpakova, a first-year student. ‘I heard about the programme quite unexpectedly, but immediately understood that I preferred it to the other universities. What attracted me was the contents of this programme, which includes politics, economics, international area studies, and languages. It provides comprehensive knowledge together with, last but not the least, two degrees. We are taught Chinese from the first days of study, and as I had already learnt it, for me, it’s a little bit easier than for the others. But, in general, our entire Chinese group is coping well with the language.’

According to Sergey Karaganov, Dean of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, the best experts are carrying out research in Asian studies today, which will continue going forward. ‘We are really moving towards the East. In fact, our faculty will be authoring a new concept for Eastern Studies in Russia,’ he said.

‘I believe that the launch of the double degree programme will become a stepping stone to achieving exciting and mutually beneficial cooperation in future,’ said Khan Gon, Vice President of Kyung Hee University. ‘I hope our partnership will blossom into the friendship of young students for both Korea and Russia and will become a bridge for the development of strong ties between these two countries.’

According to HSE Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov, HSE has many partners among Korean universities, and this year, 56 students from Korea study in HSE’s bachelor’s and master’s programmes.

Alongside the opening of the new programme, a professor and student club called Korean Corner was opened at the Faculty with the support of the Korea Foundation.

‘Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Russia, our two countries have expanded cooperation not only in the fields of economics and politics, but also in education and culture,’ said Lee Jin-hyun, Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Korea. ‘Establishment of the double degree programme and the Korean Corner are an important precedent in developing Russian-Korean cooperation in the field of education.’

At the Korean Corner, students can read books on Korean history, politics, statistics and economics in both Korean and English. There are also books on the other two fields of study, China and Japan. Since students of the programme effectively study at two universities simultaneously, from the first days of study they have access to online resources of the Kyung Hee University library through a personal login and password.

The club will host screenings and discussions of films on Korean history and culture. It also features several interesting attributes of the South Korean culture, such as ethnic drums and baduk game. There are also plans to launch calligraphy classes, as well as to make the club a place where professors and students come together to discuss their studies and communicate informally.

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