HSE University Rated Highly by International Students
The majority of foreign students at HSE University feel at home, are happy with their study experience and would apply here again if given the choice. They would also recommend HSE University to others. These are the results of a survey of international students published in the latest edition of the That's So HSE newsletter.
There are currently over 5,000 international students at HSE University, including around 4,000 studying at the Moscow campus. At end of the last academic year and the start of the current one, about 1,000 of these students were surveyed about life at HSE, their studies and their experiences of adjusting to the university.
Students come to study at HSE University from countries all over the world, including CIS states, France, Italy, the USA, Brazil, Nigeria, and Vietnam. The majority of students surveyed were from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (18%), Ukraine and Belarus (8%), and China (5%).
The majority of international students rated the educational process at HSE University at 4 or 5 out of 5. Seventy percent of respondents awarded high marks to components of the educational process such as core studies and elective tracks, usefulness in future employment, programme organization and the ability to implement student initiatives. Even the challenging issue of distance-learning arrangements was rated 4 out of 5 by 66% of the students surveyed.
Notably, 76% would apply to HSE University again if given the choice (14% of respondents were undecided), and 81% would recommend the university to their friends.
‘The fact that 81% of people would recommend HSE University is clearly a good sign. Eleven percent were undecided, while only 8% had negative views of the university,’ notes Ivan Gruzdev, Director for Internal Monitoring and Student Academic Development at HSE University. He added that there will always be some students who expect something different from the university, and while this is reflected in the ratings, it’s important to note that this is a small proportion of students.
International students were also overwhelmingly positive about their feelings towards the university, with 94% replying that they felt safe in university buildings. 79% said that the staff of their programme offices were eager to help solve their issues, 77% said that they felt comfortable around their fellow students, and 67% said that they believe that their lecturers are invested in their academic success. Overall, 77% believe that the university has lived up to their expectations.
Ivan Gruzdev, Director for Internal Monitoring and Student Academic Development, HSE University
‘Overall, the responses from international students regarding the conditions and atmosphere created by HSE University show that the university is succeeding at orienting and integrating international students. They’re as happy here as our Russian students—and in some cases, even happier. Regarding areas for improvement, students from outside the former Soviet Union were generally more critical than those from CIS countries and the Baltics. This might be due to greater cultural and linguistic differences, as well as higher expectations among these students. I believe there is more we can do in this area.’
At the same time, students from other countries cited difficulties adapting to the university and to Russia, as mentioned by 47% of students from neighbouring countries and 56% of those from further afield. Very few students from former Soviet countries felt there was a language barrier (only 3%), while only 27% of those from outside the region felt that language was an issue. Respondents felt that their adaptation was helped most by other foreign students (40%), university staff and programme offices (39%), and their Russian friends (33%).
International students get information about university life mainly from social media, with 83% of respondents subscribed to HSE University’s accounts. The most popular source was the university’s VK page, which 57% of respondents follow. Other sources of news for international students include mailshots, programme offices and other students.
Only 19% of those surveyed were members of student, volunteer, charitable or other organizations. Fifty-two percent said that they had never attended any extracurricular events, with the main reason for this being a lack of time (in 45% of respondents).
With over 5,000 international students studying at the university, this kind of feedback is vital, explained HSE University Deputy Vice Rector Marina Kozak. ‘It is important that we know whether international students feel comfortable at the university, how they rate the educational process, and whether they take part in student projects,’ she explains. These kinds of questions help HSE University staff to continue developing the services offered to international students, improve the learning process and create all the right conditions to provide high-quality education.
Marina Kozak, Deputy Vice Rector, HSE University
This survey helps the International Admissions Office to improve its promotional channels and get a better idea of how international students feel about HSE University. Reputation plays a key role in whether students recommend a university to their friends, so it’s great to see that the majority of students would recommend studying at HSE University. This is a testament to the effectiveness of our continuous support, our involvement in the admission process, and the teaching quality of our programmes, and shows that our efforts to build a client-oriented approach have paid off.
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.
When applying to a Bachelor’s programme, including five English-taught programmes in Moscow, it is possible to submit international certificates you have received in English and mathematics, such as IELTS, TOEFL, A-Level and other international exams and they will be recognized by HSE University, so taking entrance exams in relevant subjects will not be required.
Undergraduate applicants can test their chances of admission now by taking mock tests. Master’s applicants also have the opportunity to get a preliminary assessment of their portfolio and communicate with their programme of choice 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. The staff are happy to advise applicants and their parents via e-mail at email@example.com, by phone +7 (495) 531 00 59, or WhatsApp +7 (916) 311 85 21, as well as on social media in Russian and in English: Vkontakte, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram.