HSE and NES: Joint Bachelor of Arts Programme
In September 2011 a joint undergraduate programme was launched by the Higher School of Economics and the New Economic School. Vladimir Avtonomov, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Economics, and Konstantin Sonin, Vice Rector of the New Economic School (NES), told us more about the programme.
— What is the status of the joint programme by the Higher School of Economics and the New Economic School?
— What do you expect from the joint bachelor’s programme?
K. Sonin: The NES has already achieved a leading position in master’s economic education and of course we are interested in the creation of bachelor’s courses which, among other tasks, will attract and develop high level students who will then go on to study for higher level qualifications. Strong students come to us from the HSE and the MSU, but generally today in Russia we’ve still not managed to solve the task of creating internationally competitive undergraduate programmes in economics. This joint programme is aimed at bridging this gap. I believe that it would be great if talented students who have the opportunity to study at the London School of Economics, Harvard or Yale seriously considered the HSE as a viable alternative
— What is unique about the joint programme when compared to the existing HSE undergraduate programme?
V. Avtonomov: This programme will be more flexible, it will provide the students with even more opportunities to choose their areas of specialisation when compared to regular HSE courses. The number of compulsory courses will be cut: a student will study no more than five courses a semester, and only economic and mathematical disciplines will be compulsory. The rest of the curriculum will be formed by the student himself: he will have the opportunity to choose courses in biology, psychology, history, philosophy, physics etc. We shall teach the student not only in Russian, but also in English: they will be able to make presentations and write research papers in two languages.
— How have you formed the teaching staff for this programme, was it a competitive procedure?
V. Avtonomov: I believe that the best experts from the HSE and NES will become lecturers on the joint programme, but the final decision will be made by an international academic council consisting of external American and West-European researchers and teachers. These experts will consider the candidates suggested by us and decide which lecturers will work on the programme
— What do you think the future will hold for graduates of the joint programme?
V. Avtonomov: I think that probably many of them will proceed to master’s programmes,either at the NES or the HSE. Our students are more oriented for practical work, in business and well-paid sectors of Russian economy. NES master’s graduates are more oriented for an academic career, but they also have many successful examples of graduates’ careers in large corporations and governmental bodies. The future of the graduates of this programme, like any HSE graduates, depends on labour market trends. For our faculty, every year we are delighted to welcome some of our graduates as new lecturers.
Lyudmila Mezentseva, HSE News Service
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