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Online Courses, ESG, Digital Competencies, and More: New Opportunities at HSE University in 2022

Online Courses, ESG, Digital Competencies, and More: New Opportunities at HSE University in 2022

© HSE University

HSE University is set to significantly update its range of bachelor’s and master’s programmes for the next academic year, with changes coming to course content and various organizational aspects of the educational process. HSE University Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin spoke about the changes that await students joining the university in the 2022/23 academic year.

HSE University is a leading research university—a versatile, multidisciplinary institution with strong science and technology departments. It is part of the global academic community and plays an active role in solving the challenges facing Russia up to the year 2030.

Sergey Roshchin
© Daniil Prokofiev / HSE University

In 2021, HSE University joined the Priority 2030 strategic academic leadership programme and was awarded a grant for ‘Research Leadership.’ We also won a state competition to establish a research centre in the field of AI. In addition, work continues at the university’s Human Capital Multidisciplinary Research Center, a new world-class research centre.

Our participation in these nationally significant projects and our responsibility to meet new challenges present new tasks for us to accomplish. We must not only train specialists across the sciences, but also teach them to use their professional competencies to conduct broad analysis of economic, social and human processes and to develop modern technologies. The experience gained through remote operations during the pandemic allows us to more actively apply digital tools to the education process, use them to expand our range of online programmes, and strengthen the links between our campuses and with other universities.

Having reviewed our strategic priorities and areas for development, HSE University will embark on a wide-sweeping transformation of our educational programmes in the 2022/23 academic year, which I’ll speak about in more detail.

Digital Competencies and Digital Transformation

First and foremost, we want to focus on developing students’ digital competencies. This doesn’t just mean the study of computer science, data analysis, artificial intelligence and so on—it also means the application of such tools in various subject areas and the provision of staff for the digital transformation of industries. For this reason, the university is launching new educational programmes in the digital sphere.

At the undergraduate level, we have the Economics and Data Science undergraduate programme, which places an emphasis on applied mathematics and information science for economists. We also have a programme in Sociology and Social Informatics aimed at sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, and public administration specialists. This programme also has a strong focus on data analysis tools.

While the digital transformation of the university’s law programmes may seem unexpected, it is perfectly natural given the technological developments in the field. The Digital Lawyer Bachelor’s programme is aimed at training specialists in digital law and the use of digital technologies in the legal field, while the Legal Tech Master’s programme will focus on the application of AI, data analysis, and the automation of legal processes.

© Daniil Prokofiev / HSE University

There will also be a dedicated digital technologies track for students of the humanities. The HSE Graduate School of Business already runs a very successful programme in Marketing and Market Analytics (which includes training in digital marketing), and our Nizhny Novgorod campus will also run a Bachelor’s in Digital Marketing.

Human Behaviour

Another area of development for our educational programmes is research and specialist training in the field of human behaviour.

HSE University devotes great attention to the development of cognitive science. The Bachelor’s in Psychology includes a track in Cognitive Psychology and Psychophysiology conducted using research from the HSE University Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience. In 2022, we will launch a new Bachelor’s programme in Cognitive Neurobiology at the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology.

This is an important addition to the university’s existing efforts to develop cognitive science research and train specialists in the field. Cognitive science is a very current discipline that investigates cognition and the workings of the human mind. Collaboration between neurobiologists and psychologists helps to combine studies of the mind (the work of neurobiologists), with those of consciousness (the work of psychologists).

Climate Change and Sustainable Development

We are also developing in the fields of climate change, environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), and low-carbon and sustainable development. We are launching three new master’s programmes in these subject areas.

One such programme is the master’s in Low Carbon Development at the Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technology, which will be run in partnership with the University of Tyumen. The course will also utilize the capabilities of Russia’s first carbon test site, which is located at our partner university.

The other two programmes are the Master’s in Management of Corporate Sustainable Development at the Graduate School of Business (which deals with ESG) and the Master’s in Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. The latter will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the role of ecological problems in the development of global economics and industry markets.

Film and Egyptology

In addition to those educational programmes that are relevant to the university’s participation in Priority 2030 and our expansion of research into AI and human capital, we will continue to develop fields related to other important areas of modern knowledge.

HSE University has established a Film Institute to train undergraduates in film production (under the field of Media Communications) and acting. The modern film industry involves more than just ‘film’ in the classical sense—it also encompasses television production and much more. There is a high demand in the industry for new kinds of specialists, including those who work with modern digital technologies.

The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies is adding two programmes to its existing lineup: Egyptology and Korean Language, Literature, and Culture. The launch of the Egyptology programme is a particularly significant step for Russian humanities overall. In the past, Russia had a strong academic tradition of Egyptology, and we at HSE University consider it our mission to revive it.

One Programme, Two Subjects

In the new academic year, HSE University will also offer double-major programmes (programmes in two different areas of study). This is unusual in Russian higher education, as programmes have always been centred around a single field (or specialization), as reflected in your final diploma. Now, educational programmes can include two or more different fields—an innovation that is now enshrined in law. There is demand for this kind of approach; it allows students to choose, for example, one field dedicated to subject knowledge and another focused on competencies.

The Bachelor’s programme in Economics and Data Science (which I mentioned earlier) will cover two subject areas: ‘Economics’ and ‘Applied Mathematics and Information Science.’ The Logistics programme offered by our St. Petersburg campus has been renamed ‘Digital Platforms and Logistics,’ and will also cover two subject areas: ‘Management’ and ‘Applied Mathematics and Information Science.’ The Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design is launching a double-major programme in Creative Industry Management centred on the fields of ‘Media Communications’ and ‘Management.’ And these are only some examples. What’s more, the duration of study for double-major programmes is the same as for other programmes.

It is vital to avoid a system where students can only progress along a rigidly defined subject path from the moment they start university. Several years ago, HSE University introduced elective minors, which are available to all bachelor’s students in addition to their main field of study. And now, with the introduction of double-major programmes, we continue to develop our range of programmes to give students the opportunity to personalize their educational path.

© Daniil Prokofiev / HSE University

While there are currently no plans for new programmes at the Faculty of Humanities, we are gradually moving towards a broader bachelor’s programme in the humanities. Starting from 2022, the study programmes in philosophy, cultural studies, history, philology and other humanities will be interlinked, allowing students of one field of study to gain a blend of knowledge and competencies, as well as change their field of study if desired.

One Programme, Three Сampuses

We are conducting significant modernization of the economics and management programmes at our campuses in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Perm. Instead of applying to separate programmes, students in the 2022/23 academic year can take the combined International Bachelor’s in Business and Economics (which covers the fields of ‘Management’ and ‘Economics’). The programme will place an equal focus on management, business analytics and economic analysis. During the course of their studies, students will be able to decide whether to study one major or two.

I would like to point out that this programme is another broad bachelor’s programme. It utilizes the combined resources of teachers from all three campuses and the possibilities of modern technology. Students will gain extensive experience of project work in cooperation with our corporate partners in all three cities.

Online Programmes

Online programmes are another key area in the development of educational programmes at HSE University.

In 2021, the university enrolled students on eleven programmes conducted entirely online—two bachelor’s and nine master’s programmes. Five of them were taught in English and organized in cooperation with Coursera. This year’s enrolment demonstrated that there is a demand for such programmes—we operate the biggest online bachelor’s (the Design programme offered by the Perm campus) and the biggest online master’s (Digital Product Management from the Graduate School of Business and the Netology platform) in Russia.

The number of online programmes is set to increase again in the next academic year. We have seen that for many students, the costs associated with moving to a new city to study are significant, and the students are willing to study online. One of our priorities for the implementation of online programmes is to ensure high quality and the ability to offer education to talented young people across the country.

Our two existing fully online bachelor’s programmes—International Legal Management offered by our Moscow campus and Design offered in Perm—will be joined by programmes in Economic Analysis (Moscow) and Digital Platforms and Logistics (St. Petersburg).

We are also adding four new online master’s programmes: International Legal Management, Cybersecurity (in partnership with Netology), Strategic Communications Management, and Legal Tech (also in partnership with Netology).

Online master’s programmes can be suitable for both recent undergraduates and those who are now working, but are looking for further training in light of new technological developments. Online master’s programmes are a good opportunity to receive additional training, gain up-to-date competencies, and combine work with study from anywhere in the world.

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 admissions are now open.

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. You can check the number of full-tuition scholarships available for master’s programmes here.

When applying to a Bachelor’s programme, including six 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

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 inter@hse.ru, 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 (for Master's applicants), Telegram (for undergraduate applicants), and Instagram