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‘Enrolling at HSE University Is One of the Best Decisions I Have Made’

‘Enrolling at HSE University Is One of the Best Decisions I Have Made’

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Nargiz Mammadova, first-year Master's student of the Economics: Research Programme, chose HSE University based on the strength of its reputation and its placement in university rankings. In her interview, Nargiz talks about her passion for economics, her impressions of the programme, her career aspirations, and more.

Nargiz Mammadova

Choosing HSE

Exactly a year ago, I was looking for Master's programmes that offer not only full state scholarships but also prepare students for PhD programmes with advanced courses. Russian universities are not that popular in Azerbaijan, and graduates prefer to study in Europe, especially in Italy, Germany, the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

In view of this, my groupmates were strongly against my decision to apply to HSE and accept the offer. However, all of my professors and especially Dr. Elkin Nurmammadov, Dean of the School of Business at ADA University, encouraged me to enroll at HSE University as he truly believes that HSE is one of the best universities that can help me achieve my professional goals. I would say it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life so far.

HSE is among only a few prestigious universities that offer a research-focused programme in economics, which is a stepping stone for Ph.D. studies

Being the highest ranking university in Russia in economics, HSE not only offers a wealth of opportunities to implement one’s analytical toolkit in an array of research-oriented classes but also offers specialized courses that add extra flavor to the Economic Research Programme, which, in turn, optimizes your career prospects.

The economy has always held its vital role by ensuring the security, stability, and welfare of states throughout human history

Therefore, studying economics in depth is as vital as its proper implementation, considering the challenges, interdependence, and flexibility of modern economies. This has been my main motive in choosing my study path both as an undergraduate and a graduate student.

Studying Online

At the moment, I am in Baku and all of my classes are online, which has its advantages and disadvantages, yet I have to say that the former dominates the latter. The advantage is that I can participate in 2 different internship programmes, one at the Embassy of Pakistan in Baku as an economic analyst and another in the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) in Budapest (remotely) as a research intern while attending my classes online from my cozy home office. All lectures are recorded so that you can watch them at any time that pleases you. You can also arrange an online meeting with your professors to ask as many questions as you like without having to visit their office. The only drawback is that you cannot visit breathtaking Moscow.

I received and still receive support from Ms. Oxana Budjko who is always there for students and answers all questions in the blink of an eye. She has been a great help in navigating certain aspects of the programme.

The First Semester

It was quite tough and full of challenges I would say, and indeed, that was expected as we were dealing with, and are still dealing with, advanced level courses that are more math-related and proof-oriented. The most difficult course that made me even consider dropping out of the programme was Advanced Microeconomics. During the lectures and seminars, I felt like I was in a dark endless tunnel in the middle of nowhere.

Fortunately, I have great study buddies among my classmates. We work on homework assignments and study for final exams together

Our professors, such as Dr. Okulicz, are helpful, too.


I am incredibly motivated to study macroeconomic diagnosis, macroeconometric forecasting, and the evolution of economic growth models. On this basis, I find ‘Advanced Econometrics’ with Cemal Eren Arbatli the most interesting, productive, and useful in terms of my career interests.


My childhood memories are full with the poems by Pushkin and among them, ‘The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish’ («Сказка о рыбаке и рыбке») has a special place in my soul as it gave me an everlasting life lesson when I was just a 6-7 years old.

I learned to be grateful, satisfied, and happy with whatever I am initially given and yet always try to be the best version of nobody but myself. I am in a competition with her—the person who I was yesterday   

I have always wanted to be like the little fish of the story. Like her, I have my own golden rules which even I do not have a right to break: mutual respect to people from all walks of life and an appreciation of each and every bit of endeavor are two main ingredients of a meal known as ‘collaboration’ that you can share with your loved ones, friends, and groupmates.

HSE University welcomes applicants from all over the world and offers not only different levels of study, but also different formats in English and Russian, online and offline. International applicants can apply for Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in a separate admissions process for foreign applicants and receive scholarships with full or partial tuition fee coverage.

Master’s applicants have the opportunity to get a preliminary assessment of their portfolio and communicate with their programme of choice online.

Admissions to HSE’s Bachelor's and Master’s programmes are now open. International students can apply online. To learn more about HSE University, its admission process, or life in Moscow, please visit International Admissions website, or contact the Education & Training Advisory Centre at: inter@hse.ru, or via WhatsApp at: +7 (916) 311 8521.

See also:

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12% of Middle-aged Female Russians Look After Both Children and Parents at the Same Time

Economists at HSE University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) have assessed the situation of women from the ‘sandwich generation’ — those who have to take care of both their children and elderly parents. The results were mixed: women in this situation often fail to eat regularly, neglect medical check-ups and are more likely to be overweight, but at the same time suffer less frequently from chronic diseases, smoke and drink less and generally show a higher level of life satisfaction. The preprint of the study is published in the Munich Personal RePEc Archive.

Defenders in Football Underrated in the Transfer Market

Having analysed the statistics of players in the German Bundesliga, researchers from the HSE University Laboratory of Sports Studies found that the impact of defensive actions by players during a football match is much greater than contribution of such actions to their market value. The results of the study were published in the journal Applied Economics.

Graduate Admissions Webinars: PhD Programme in Economics

On February 1, 2023, HSE University will open admissions to its doctoral schools. The Doctoral School of Economics has held a webinar for prospective students, which attracted participants from various parts of the world. Materials and feedback from the webinar, as well as information on applications, are now available on the Faculty of Economic Sciences website.

HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences Co-Authors Intercontinental Monograph

The monograph Russian and Western Economic Thought has been published under the editorship of the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences and the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart (Germany). Written by a selection of respected experts, the monograph examines the interrelations and mutual influence of Russian and Western economic thinking. The book is edited by Prof. Vladimir Avtonomov, HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences, and Prof. Harald Hagemann, the University of Hohenheim.

Incompatible Alternatives: HSE Researchers on the Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-first Century Economy

Ambivalence and a combination of contradictory principles are vividly manifested in the actions of government, its individual agents and institutions, as well as the everyday practices of economic subjects and citizens. The participants of the HSE Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology seminar discussed the book The Ambivalence of Power in the Twenty-First Century Economy: Cases from Russia and Beyond, recently published in the UK. Prepared by researchers from HSE University and foreign universities, the book focuses on the study of ambivalence in Russia and beyond.

The Informal Economy and Post-Soviet Transition

The informal economy is a global phenomenon found in both developed and developing countries. There remains no consensus among academics about how the informal sector impacts overall economic growth. Elena Kalmychkova and Alexander Lipanov of Lomonosov Moscow State University and HSE University examined the informal economic sectors of former Soviet republics and found that regardless of any potential negative impact, these informal economies eventually helped people adapt to a post-transition free market environment.

Russians Feel Disappointed with Their Income if Their Reference Group Average is Higher

Researcher Anastasia Dubnovitskaya of HSE University has studied the impact of social comparison on the level of Russians' pay satisfaction. The study used data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey — HSE University (RLMS-HSE) from 2002 to 2018. It turned out that the main contribution to Russians' pay satisfaction is the difference between their actual pay and the average wages of the reference group — people with similar characteristics. The size of one's own wages was of secondary importance.

Anti-lectures, Cake and Soap Bubbles: HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

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Eurasian Barriers: Obstacles to International Economic Integration in the Post-Soviet Space

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