'HSE ICEF Has a Diverse Team of Enthusiastic People'
As described by one of the original ICEF team members, Oleg Zamkov, ICEF Deputy Director and Academic Head of HSE and University of London Double Degree Programme in Economics, the success of ICEF was in choosing the right moment for the start and finding the right people, both academics and administrators. It would also be unimaginable without the advice and support from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), especially Richard Layard, who helped design several key elements of the curriculum for double degree programme, Richard Jackmanand Amos Witztum who made a significant contribution to ICEF idea implementation.
Today, ICEF is proud to be academic home to over 20 international researchers with PhD degrees in economics, finance and social sciences, representing different countries and continents: Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Argentina, Australia, and India.
Emiliano Catonini, Assistant ProfessorWhen I applied to ICEF, I was interviewed first at the conference which both I and ICEF colleagues attended, and I got invited for a presentation of my research and lecture to Moscow. I saw that ICEF was a good place to work at because they really invested the time and effort in understanding my work, which can be very technical at times and even though they work in a different area of economics and finance. This spoke to me of a good and lively research environment which strives towards excellence, and this impression came to be true. I teach two courses that I like, namely Game Theory for ICEF Bachelor programme and an Advanced Microeconomics course for Masters’.
We have many people at ICEF who do great research in different fields and students who are interested in doing more than just learn during the classes, so we try to pull these two resources together in order to get students do quality research. We can show to the students where the research frontier is, but the direction in which to cross it is to be found by them. They acquire the tools to do something new, both at the very practical and technical level. Our students pursuing PhD studies and academic careers at the best academic institutions will help ICEF to have a stronger connection with the rest of the world not only through our faculty members, but also through our students as ambassadors of ICEF and its research reputation.
Udara Peiris, Tenured Associate ProfessorGiven that I had the privilege to teach very motivated and brilliant students at Oxford, I was looking for a similar environment with students who have the potential to be world leaders in whatever they do. My PhD advisor, Prof Dimitrios Tsomocos, is a long-time friend of ICEF, and I had come across several ICEF graduates in the UK, so I knew how strong they were. It was very important for me because I did not want to be in a place where I had to simplify what I taught but wanted to be in a place where students would be pushing me to learn more and be at the cutting edge. I think that leadership of HSE and ICEF has a great strategy for making them a premier research institution, and it gives me a lot of confidence in the research potential of ICEF. I feel that this environment will support and encourage me to pursue my research interests and ultimately grow with the university, and, in turn, help it grow.
I've been involved with Advanced Research Programme at ICEF, which is a project we set up three years ago, and ICEF Director Sergei Yakovlev was very supportive and encouraging of this endeavor. We wanted to encourage ICEF students to think seriously about going on to PhD programmes, because they are definitely among the best in the world, but more importantly, to start seeing their institution as a place where you learn how to learn.
The Advanced Research Programme holds several meetings and conferences for the students around twice a year where they present their research and get feedback from other students and faculty. They work closely with ICEF faculty and do quite outstanding research, which would be suitable for a PhD thesis. Even if they go to work in the industry, these analytical skills will be useful.
Kosmas Marinakis, Assistant Professor
ICEF is a very good part of HSE, which is a good university – it has goals, it has people who look ahead and try to make the university better. I am glad to play my part in promoting ICEF and HSE through research, thus contributing to its advancement. I like that we are an active group of researchers, and we have a very good research climate, and ICEF cares about the results and actively tries to help us. I was lucky to have mentors from top European universities which were brought to ICEF and who help us improve on both teaching and research. I would say that it is difficult to find better students than the ones at ICEF. I’ve taught in top universities in the U.S. and Europe, but ICEF students are amazing. One would have to teach at Harvard or similar level institutions to get a comparable level of students.
Alexei Boulatov, Tenured Full Professor
First of all, I liked the spirit and atmosphere, as ICEF has a diverse team of enthusiastic people. The endorsement of ICEF by London School of Economics was quite important for me, too, and I think for many it matters a lot.
The idea of ICEF was to create an institution that fits the best international standards of education in Economics both in terms of curriculum and procedures, and academic governance structures are crucial for developing such a project. It was very important to me that ICEF has been cultivating such academic self-governance.
Carsten Sprenger, Assistant Professor
When I arrived at ICEF in 2007, there was a plan to develop it further into an institute that combines economic research at best international standards with high-quality teaching. We felt that we could have a comparative advantage in the area of financial economics. Research requires resources, such as data, research assistants, and most importantly a network of scholars who can give advice or could become collaborators on some projects. One way to attract good scholars was to establish an annual conference. Together with Christian Julliard from the LSE, the academic director of the Laboratory, we have been organizing such a conference every year since 2011.
As far as the topics are concerned, every faculty member has his or her own research agenda, and we are few people whose research overlaps only to a small extent. Rather, it has been a vehicle to get access to those resources that we need and to connect us to the international network of researchers. Grant funding allowed us to bring visitors for research collaboration, such as Professors Dmitry Livdan from University of California at Berkeley, Norman Schuerhoff from University of Lausanne and Bart Taub from the University of Glasgow, and many seminar speakers.
In addition to the faculty members, students also benefit from the laboratory: those who worked as research assistants got hands-on experience in data work, econometric analysis, programming and bibliographical search, to name a few skills. Moreover, all students benefit from the availability of databases, many of which were acquired by HSE upon the initiative of members of the Laboratory, and use them for their Bachelor’s and Master’s final research papers.
Read more articles about ICEF in The HSE Look July 2017 issue
The HSE Look continues a series of interviews with international postdocs about their research. For the latest issue we’ve talked with Iain Ferguson, Research Fellow at the International Laboratory on World Order Studies and the New Regionalism, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, about his work and exploration of Moscow and other cities.
International faculty at HSE are involved not only in research and teaching, but some also combine it with active participation in the city’s public discussion spaces. The HSE Look, the university's newsletter, has talked to Jan Surman, Research Fellow at Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI), about his research interests and Cultures of Critique project.
Natalia Lyskova is spending her 2nd year as a postdoc at HSE Faculty of Physics working in a Joint Department of Space Physics with the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences. The HSE Look talked to her about the ongoing research and upcoming plans.
On September 13, 230 graduates of ICEF-UoL Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes received their diplomas. The history of HSE's collaboration with the London School of Economics of the University of London spans more than 20 years and demonstrates the integral role that international cooperation between universities plays in academic, research, and cultural development. The graduates of 2018 are sure to continue this tradition.
This spring we found out that it takes 56,000 LEGO bricks to build an eight-meter-high model of the Titanic and that after more than half a decade, people still aren’t sick of putting together simple pieces of plastic. Sergey Kozlov, a graduate of ICEF and currently LEGO’s operations director in Seoul, told Success Builder why he likes moving, why the Christiansens’ family business doesn’t fire people, and whether or not he gets to play with LEGO bricks at his desk.
The HSE Look has talked to Anna Blyakhman, Deputy Director of HSE Nizhny Novgorod and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Management, about the educational programmes offered at the campus and its international students.
As the second-oldest HSE campus after Moscow, HSE Nizhny Novgorod has over 2,700 students, over 300 faculty members, and offers 9 BA programmes and 11 MA programmes, as well as several double-degree tracks. In addition to its educational activities and research, the university also serves as a forum for the city’s cultural life and carries out several projects aimed at ensuring the public good. Valery Zusman, Director of HSE campus in Nizhny Novgorod, talked to The HSE Look about the challenges and successes of global outreach projects at HSE Nizhny Novgorod and its proactive approach.
HSE has campuses in four cities, and HSE St. Petersburg opened five years after the main campus, in 1997. It has over 4200 students, over 300 faculty members and 100 researchers who focus on different frontline issues in economics, business, humanities, law and social sciences. Sergey Kadochnikov, Director of HSE in St. Petersburg told The HSE Look about what the university has achieved, about its international and domestic partners as well as its development plans.
Olga Balakina graduated from the ICEF master’s programme in 2011, and in May she successfully defended her PhD thesis in finance at Bocconi University, Italy. This autumn Olga continues her academic career at one of Northern Europe’s oldest universities, Lund University, Sweden. Olga spoke to the HSE news service about her memories, chocolate, and non-stop work.
The HSE International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) is turning 20. The college celebrated its anniversary with a gala at the Pushkin Museum and with its largest graduating class ever.