Faculty of Communications, Media and Design: Projects and Plans
— How did the Faculty change after the merger of different Schools?
— The Faculty of Communications, Media and Design is very diverse, and while it makes the management process more challenging, it also offers a lot of potential for collaboration. We have three Schools – Media, Design and Integrated Communications, which are very different in terms of their structure, teaching, and research.
The School of Media is almost a faculty in miniature, offering 5 educational programmes, with three of them – for graduate students. It has a rather traditional academic model of studying, which we greatly developed in the last five years. The School of Integrated Communications is an innovative approach to a new academic track, similar to communication studies abroad. Their domain is everything that is related to strategic communication management, conflict resolution rather than to mass media and media communication. A very unique case is the School of Design, which offers very practical, hands-on education in different areas of design – and that is what they are renown for in the professional community, rather than for academic publications. It is not easy to combine such diverse and sometime diverging interests, but we negotiate and come up with solutions which try to take different interests into account.
The School of Media is almost a faculty in miniature, offering 5 educational programmes, with three of them – for graduate students. It has a rather traditional academic model of studying, which we greatly developed in the last five years
— What are the current challenges?
— It’s difficult to build joint learning tracks, and we’ve only started developing faculty-wide courses which can be chosen by undergraduate students from any track. We have several joint courses for graduate students, for example, on strategic media management for the students of media and integrated communications. It was initially designed as a practical course, but more than 90 students signed up, so I had to change the format of classwork, and students present five stages of a project over one module.
— Is there a joint supervision of students by different schools?
— That depends on the topic and the programme, but we are expanding the option for cross-School collaborations. Some of the projects each School is offering will be available for all students of the Faculty, provided that they have the required skills and knowledge. One of the large-scale projects is a mass media which is run by students, and there are plenty of opportunities for participation and for suing resources of the Media Centre.
The School of Integrated Communications is an innovative approach to a new academic track, similar to communication studies abroad. Their domain is everything that is related to strategic communication management, conflict resolution rather than to mass media and media communication
— What about international student mobility opportunities?
— We have several active partnerships, and we are exploring on how to attract more exchange and full-time international students. The majority of the Faculty’s exchange agreements were “inherited” from the School of Media, and several practice-oriented opportunities are cultivated by the School of Integrated Communications.
We have a partnership agreement with KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) which also has a programme on media management, and each year we get a lot of applications from students who want to go there. This year KTH won an Erasmus + grant and two students from HSE can receive scholarships to study there for a semester; we’ve recently finalized the selection process.
Another long-standing partnership that the Faculty has is with the Cologne School of Journalism in Germany. A group of about 20 students from Cologne comes to visit HSE, and the other way around. Our students spend one week learning about the mass media in Germany and visiting major editorial offices in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Bonn, such as Deutsche Welle, Tagesblatt, etc.
The School of Design offers very practical, hands-on education in different areas of design – and that is what they are renown for in the professional community, rather than for academic publications
Speaking about new initiatives, we are currently discussing how to harmonize the curriculum for a double degree programme with Iona College (New York state, USA) and drafting the agreement. If we successfully launch the programme, students will be able to go to Iona College for their 4th year of studies (provided that they cover the tuition costs) and get their bachelor degree from two institutions.
We also have a three-party agreement with Science Po in Lyon together with Public Policy Department at HSE, and we have a rather rigorous selection procedure, so that this academic exchange and internship really benefits the students.
Apart from exchanges based on partnership agreements, we also offer tuition-based programmes related to our professional education degrees. New York Film Academy has an office in Moscow, and offers courses jointly with HSE, as well as an opportunity to go for a two-week workshop to New York. Centre Factory, a Lyon-based film school, also provides an opportunity to participate in producing movies, which are later shown at the film festival in Lyon.
— Do you invite international lecturers to the programmes in Moscow?
— We’ve started inviting visiting professors in 2011, and we think that it’s very important for students to be exposed to international professors and professionals from the media industry as well as to Russian ones. Of course, we had to make English a requirement for students, because even if they know other languages, some of their courses will be taught in English.
For example, last year we invited Barbara Giudice who was teaching the students about audial environment, how to make different types of audio materials, etc. This year Tatiana Rakhmanova held a series of lectures and workshops on documentaries and film production (see The HSE Look issue from May 2016).
Now that the research commission of the Faculty of Communications, Media and Design can allocate funds for inviting visiting professors, the process became at once easier and more difficult. We can be more flexible than the central commission and accept applications on the rolling basis. We support different types of visits, ranging from 2-3 weeks which supplement a specific course, to 2-3 days of a practical workshop. However, now the responsibility rest with us as well, and it is difficult to make decisions when we cannot support all the applications, because we need to keep different interests balanced and make sure that it is a joint decision of the commission.
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