HSE International Advisory Committee’s 2014 Meeting
For the first time at HSE’s St. Petersburg campus, the annual meeting of HSE’s International Advisory Committee (IAC) took place on May 23-24. As is tradition, the discussion focused mainly on the HSE’s development as an international university.
The committee was created in 2010 to support the implementation of HSE’s development programme and to create recommendations for the university’s internationalization and international advancement. The IAC is made up of outstanding world experts such as Harvard University Professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics Eric Maskin; the Director of Boston College’s Centre for International Higher Education, Philip Altbach; Professor of Political Science at Harvard University, Timothy Colton; Provost and Professor of History at George Mason University, Peter Stearns; and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Daniel Treisman.
At the meeting, committee members were presented with the university’s most important development plans aimed at improving HSE’s structure and strengthening the international integration of the university. On the first day of the meeting, IAC members became acquainted with the reconstruction of HSE’s facilities on Vasilievsky Island. Members also participated in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) and visited a student celebration. The director of HSE’s St. Petersburg campus, Sergey Kadochnikov, then opened the first session with the report 'HSE’s St. Petersburg Campus: New Opportunities for HSE’s Internationalization.' In his report, Kadochnikov tried to show why it is specifically HSE’s St. Petersburg campus that can become an international 'hub' for education, research and innovation activities by using all the advantages of Russia’s northern capital. The session concluded with a discussion of the issues associated with the IAC’s future development and with the IAC’s cooperation with HSE leadership.
The second day of the meeting was opened with a report by First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev called 'HSE Structural Transformation: Merging Faculties and Decentralization.' Radaev presented a new concept for the university’s structural divisions. This concerns merging existing faculties and divisions into large faculties that consist of departments, institutes and academic programmes in order for them to operate more independently and more efficiently allocate resources and management functions. In this way, HSE’s structure will come to be more consistent with the practices of leading universities. Both general and specific issues were discussed at the meeting, including the similarities and differences between Russian innovations and world practice, the types of divisions and their authorities, as well as the timeframe and ways of implementing the changes.
On the second day of the meeting, IAC members were also presented with the report 'Faculty Contracts and Research Productivity. International Laboratories as the Main Booster of Academic Integration,' by Vice Rector Maria Yudkevich. In the report, Yudkevich outlined HSE’s requirements for the university’s employees as concerns research activity. She also described several specific actions in activating this activity, including a new system for evaluating and motivating academic employees. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov continued the discussion of this topic, and also confirmed the need for innovation and supplemented the report with his own comments.
The reports presented by HSE leaders aroused a keen interest in members of the International Advisory Committee. All meeting participants took active participation in the discussion and assessment of the timeframe and functional scope of carrying out these ambitious plans for the future. During the closing sessions, IAC experts gave important recommendations for each of the issues addressed.
By Elena Lisovaya
Photos by Nikita Loktionov and Anastasia Stepanova