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‘The Expansion of The University Sets Some New Limitations And New Development Tasks’

On November 25th the Academic Council of the Higher School of Economics summarized the university’s work over the last year.

At the beginning of the session, Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the HSE, signed an agreement between UNESCO and the HSE on the foundation of the UNESCO Department on Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Rights at the HSE. This department has been present in Russia since 1998, but under the auspices of another institution – The Griboedov Institute of International Law and Economics. In late 2008 the department needed to change location, and in March 2009 it was reborn at the HSE as a research and methodical center. The UNESCO Department’s work is focused on research of intellectual property, information law and legal regulation of internet activities, as well as the ‘transfer of knowledge in this sphere and promotion of a respectful attitude to intellectual property rights, the right to information and freedom of opinion in Russian society’.

The main part of the session was dedicated to a discussion of the university’s educational work during the academic year 2010/2011, and the report was presented to the members of the Academic Council by Sergey Roshchin, Vice Rector of the HSE. He drew attention to some factors which influenced both educational and methodical processes at the HSE over the last year. ‘This was the first year with new educational standards for our undergraduate programme’ Sergey Roshchin reminded the attendees. ‘In addition to this, we continued to develop original standards for our master’s programmes and also created a unified classifier of competencies. The LMS system has been launched as a pilot scheme. We have also started to teach English as part of our new concept, which is very important, and we have begun development of control and measurement tools according to new standards. In addition to that, the expansion of the university brings both some new limitations and new development tasks. On one hand, we need to ensure the unity of university standards, and on the other hand we need to take into account the variety of the areas and programmes of education which we offer’.

In the last academic year, 256 international students came to the HSE for different educational programmes (this is two and a half times more than in the previous year). Most of them were from the USA, Germany and Great Britain and 37% of them studied in semester to year-long programmes. However, from our side, student mobility remains low: only 46 students studied double degree programmes or studied abroad as part of the international exchange programme in 2010/2011. Despite this, HSE lecturers started going abroad more often. The number of lecturers who participated in continuing education courses abroad has increased threefold (88 people).

The rector also drew attention to another area of the university’s work: ‘Through working with graduates and employers we should develop an interface giving our students those competencies which are in demand in the market, but which, until now, we have not been offering them for one reason or another. This should be a key task for the HSE Career Center and the Directorate for Work with Partners.

Among the other decisions made at the Academic Council session, it is also worth mentioning that the regulation on the European Diploma Supplement has been approved. The HSE has started to give its graduates this supplement starting from the academic year 2010/2011 (excluding those who studied additional education programmes). According to Sergey Roshchin, awarding European supplements is the next step towards integrating the HSE’s educational programmes in the international academic space. ‘There is also one very important indirect effect: we are moving towards bilingualism in the whole process of educational support’ the HSE Rector added.

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service

Photos by Maxim Blinov 

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