‘We Have Taken an Important Strategic Decision’
On September 17tha delegation from the University of Lancaster, Great Britain, visited the Higher School of Economics. At a series of meetings, the guests learnt more about the HSE’s activities, and were involved in negotiations regarding possible areas of cooperation between the two universities.
Robert McKinley, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Lancaster University, Vadim Radayev, First Vice Rector of the HSE, and Isak Froumin, Acting Vice Rector of the HSE, discussed areas and forms of this cooperation, including master’s programmes, academic exchanges, joint research and experience exchange in university management. In addition to this, the heads of three Faculties of the HSE (Economics, Management and Business Informatics) gave presentations on their educational programmes and suggestions for their joint implementation. Representatives of Lancaster University also spoke to Tatiana Chetvernina, Vice Rector of the HSE, about student career development and creation of conditions for extracurricular activities at the university.
Robert McKinley, head of the delegation from the University of Lancaster, answered a few questions for the HSE News Service.
— What do you think is the most promising and productive thing in this interaction between the two universities?
— I’m pleased to say that the Higher School of Economics and the University of Lancaster have many common areas of activities, and this is a good ground for cooperation. But from the broad spectrum of areas for potential cooperation, we have chosen three themes: economics, management and IT in marketing and economics. We have defined these areas as key ones for our cooperation.
—What spheres will the two universities’ cooperation involve? Will there be joint educational programmes and scientific research?
— We hope that if everything goes well our collaboration will simultaneously develop in several ways. One of the key ones will be the double master’s degree. This double-degree master’s programme will be supported with mutual visits as well as staff and student exchange programmes. As soon as the master’s programme starts working, the next step will be a joint doctoral programme with a double degree which we presume will grow into full-scale scientific cooperation. And along with the academic interaction, some colleagues from administrative departments of the HSE will visit the University of Lancaster this year. They will have the opportunity to see how administrative management is organized at Lancaster, from professional training and continuing education up to the organization of the HR and Accounting departments’ work.
—Does the University of Lancaster have any experience of cooperation with Russian universities or academic institutions?
— On the institutional level we have never really cooperated before. But individually, yes, we have some precedents. Our Faculty of Physics is known to be one of the best in Great Britain, and probably half of its employees are from Russia. So, personal contacts now will be supported with official cooperation between the universities.
—Why did the University of Lancaster and the Higher School of Economics decide to formalize their work together?
— I would say that there were two reasons for this step. Firstly, the University of Lancaster cannot be really global without having links with Russia, and that’s one reason for this important strategic decision. Secondly, the Higher School of Economics is one of the most prestigious Russian universities and I think we’ve chosen a reliable partner.
Andrey Shcherbakov, HSE News Service
Photo by Polina Frolova