HSE Gears up for Staff and Student Conference: A Look Back at the University’s International Activities
On March 20, a conference of HSE staff and students will take place at HSE. It will consider the university’s development programme and elect the new Academic Council. The previous conference took place five years ago, in 2014, and the university has changed a lot since then. HSE News Service talked to some of the university leaders about what has changed in their area of responsibility over this period.
Today, Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov answers some questions about HSE’s international activities.
How are HSE’s international activities today different from five years ago?
Today, HSE’s international activities are substantially more intensive than five years ago. Here are just a few of the figures: today we are implementing about 700 international agreements (three times more than in 2013); we employ 168 foreign professionals (eight times more); 3,500 students study at HSE (that is a fivefold increase); we have 57 double-degree programmes (1.6 times more); and we have 39 international research laboratories (twice as many as previously).
These numbers mean that today, we have international cooperation in almost all areas of our studies and research, at all faculties. The geography of our internationalization has also been changing quickly over the last couple of years: we are more actively developing collaborations with universities in China, Korea, Japan and Indonesia. This is a natural process related to geopolitical change, although our cooperation with Western partners hasn’t weakened at all. Furthermore, we must understand that in today’s context, academic exchange with Western European countries and the U.S. has become an important ‘diplomatic’ tool in maintaining dialogue between Russia and the West.
What has been the main achievement over this time?
The most important achievement is that HSE has become recognized internationally. Our reputation has become an important factor of our progress in international rankings; we are getting partnership offers; our lecturers, researchers and experts are in demand on international platforms.
Speaking about more ‘specific’ achievements, it is, undoubtedly, the change in international enrolment. I’m not just talking about the growing numbers, particularly over the last two years (we went, by the way, from 14-16 to 7th place among Russian universities in this respect). We’ve managed to change the international admissions system. While before 2017, only 10% were enrolled as fee-paying students, today their share is 40-45%.
What problem is yet to be solved?
Internationally, we are still seen as a university specializing in social sciences and economics. We should further the internationalization of our natural science departments more actively and promote the ‘HSE University’ brand, since the name ‘Higher School of Economics’ no longer reflects the reality and hampers our positioning as a large multi-disciplinary university.
What would you say to yourself and your colleagues if you were to go back to the time when you were first starting your work at HSE in this area?
I came to this position in summer 2016 and, honestly, I hadn’t expected that I would have to change so much and that so many things would be changing around me. I would probably say to myself and my colleagues that we should view constant change as something ordinary.
What is HSE’s main international goal for the next five years?
The main goal is to become as much of a ‘global university’ as possible. This concept doesn’t have a precise definition, but it is more than just a university with a developed network of international partners, English-taught programmes, international students and staff.
We’ll be developing partnerships with regions where our presence is clearly insufficient, particularly with Asia and post-Soviet countries. We’ll be gradually moving into Latin America and Africa. We’ll be developing our ‘institutional’ presence, which may evolve in various forms: from opening additional campuses to offering HSE’s programmes at international universities, which becomes an interesting and promising case taking into account our success in e-learning. This resource is yet to be utilized in terms of our global positioning.
Finally, we need to simply take more advantage of the opportunities for development contained in our everyday and professional communications with international staff, partners and students. Representatives from over 70 countries are already present at our campuses. Probably, to become global, we should fully recognize this fact.
The conference agenda has been approved by the Academic Council and includes the following items:
- Review of the report on the ‘HSE Development Programme for 2009–2015 and up to 2020’ and discussion of its progress since 2014;
- Discussion of the key points in the HSE University Development Programme up to 2030;
- Election of the HSE Academic Council;
- Election of a representative body representing the interests of HSE staff.
When and where will it take place?
The conference will take place on March 20, 2019, at 1pm, in the HSE building on 57 Trifonovskaya Ulitsa, Moscow (Conference Hall).
Photos by HSE University
On June 18, the third International Partners’ Week ‘Academic Agility: Preparing Students for an Uncertain Future’ began at HSE University. The event brings together representatives of more than 30 universities from 16 countries, including France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, the USA, Finland, the United Kingdom, and China. They have all come to Moscow to learn more about the kind of learning experience HSE University can provide, as well as to discuss practical challenges and solutions regarding international mobility.
On June 3-4, a conference entitled ‘Beyond Post-Truth: Media Landscapes in the “Age of Insecurity”’ was held in St. Petersburg. The conference was jointly organized by the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI) at HSE University, the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe at GWZO Leipzig, the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, and Justus Liebig University Giessen.
This May, HSE and the Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI, Republic of Korea) signed a cooperation agreement on science and advanced technology research. This agreement was signed by Leonid Gokhberg, HSE First Vice Rector, Director of the Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, and Dr. Hwang-Hee Cho, STEPI President.
Alexander Shokhin and Evgeny Yasin were reelected for another five-year term by the members of the HSE Academic Council.
This year's theme of the International Partners Week held this past May at HSE St. Petersburg was ‘Nurturing Global Citizens for a Global World’. Participants gathered to discuss common issues that universities face in regard to internationalisation, exchange approaches to implementing the Global Citizens concept, visit the university’s facilities, acquaint HSE SPb students with universities overseas, and, of course, enjoy St Petersburg’s White Nights.
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On May 20, the Days of the International Academy of Education commenced at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Experts from all over the world engaged in identifying global education policy trends will hold a series of meetings, master classes, seminars and open lectures. They will share their experience with Russian researchers, instructors and education policy makers over the course of three days.
The department is being created in collaboration with the Institute of Geography at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and will focus on problems of geoinformatics, climate change and socio-economic development. The department’s first educational programme in geography at HSE may open in 2020.
This year, the HSE Faculty of Law is launching new extended programmes in Common Law, for which graduates will receive a degree from the University of London. These programmes are open for first-year students, as well as for other students and professionals.
The Higher School of Economics has become a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). It is a key partner of UNESCO and the oldest global association that aims to provide quality and affordable online education to students around the world. Today HSE is the only representative of Russia in ICDE.