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HSE Event Series Explores Past, Present, and Future of Russia-South Korea Relations

HSE Event Series Explores Past, Present, and Future of Russia-South Korea Relations

© Organizing Committee for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea

HSE University’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs hosted a series of events dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of Korea. During the week, an international conference was held, followed by a presentation of the new Master’s programme ‘Economics, Politics and Business in Asia’, as well as a student Korean-language Olympiad.

HSE University began offering courses in Korean Studies and the Korean Language in 2011. A year later, following a visit of a representative delegation from HSE to the Republic of Korea, HSE University quickly began to establish collaborative relations with a number of Korean universities. Today, the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs alone interacts with more than 10 of Korea’s leading universities. Teachers from HSE University are recognised experts in Russian-Korean relations. Students take courses taught by Korean professors, participate in winter and summer schools, and regularly travel for internships. In turn, Korean students have shown interest in HSE University — the ‘Doing business in Russia’ course is particularly popular, and it is planned to create a separate track for the students after the pandemic.

September 30, 2020 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, and several hundred events were scheduled in both countries in honour of the occasion. The coronavirus pandemic has changed both their schedule and format, with some taking place online and some moved to 2021. This also affected the planned week of events at HSE University from October 19 to 23: the international conference and the opening of the Master’s programme were held online. The only event that retained its traditional format was the Russian Student Olympiad in Korean Language.

The first event of the Russia-Korea week was the international interdisciplinary conference ‘Russia and Korea: International Agenda’, attended by researchers from more than ten countries around the world. In total, the conference lasted more than 26 hours and received more than 1,000 live views in real time alone. It was opened by Andrey Kulik, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea, Lee Seok-bae, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the Russian Federation, and the heads of HSE University and Kyung Hee University.

The second event was the grand opening of the Master’s programme ‘Economics, Politics and Business in Asia’, which is being implemented in cooperation with Kyung Hee University (Seoul) and welcomed its first cohort this year. The students of the programme have already passed the first set of exams, which allowed them to evaluate their strengths as Asia specialists. As participants of the presentation noted, the programme will provide students with valuable experience and enable them to take prestigious positions in business, government bodies, transnational corporations, leading research centres and other organisations. Moreover, the demand for highly qualified Korean-speaking specialists who have a firm grasp on economy, business, and international relations of the Asian region is growing every year.

The ‘Economics and Politics in Asia’ double degree Bachelor’s programme is now in its third year at HSE University in cooperation with Kyung Hee University; last year a social project for schoolchildren ‘School of Regional Studies: Generation next’ was launched. This year, opportunities for students to learn Korean and take other Korean courses have expanded significantly. This is thanks to the support of Kyung Hee University and King Sejong Institute Foundation (a Korean Government project to support Korean students and teachers abroad), which has opened an office at HSE University. About 100 students are enrolled in the School of Regional Studies and tuition is free.

The week of events ended with the VI Russian Student Olympiad in Korean Language. The Olympiad is held every two years with the support of the Korea Foundation at different venues, and this year it was hosted by HSE University. Students from leading Russian universities with Asian studies programmes participated in the event. The Olympiad consisted of written and oral rounds, where students made presentations dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The winners were awarded a yearlong internship in Korea’s leading universities and valuable prizes.

Denis Shcherbakov, Deputy Head of the HSE University School of Asian Studies, Academic Supervisor of the ‘Economics, Politics and Business in Asia’ programme

Denis Shcherbakov, Deputy Head of the HSE University School of Asian Studies, Academic Supervisor of the ‘Economics, Politics and Business in Asia’ programme

Russian researchers are interested in Korea primarily due to its geographical proximity, the history of our relations, and the growing influence of East Asian countries in general. In recent years, modern Korean culture, K-POP, has gained momentum, but it should not be forgotten that traditional Korean culture is in no way inferior to its neighbours in East and South-East Asia, both in terms of its long history and diversity. The increasing development of Russia’s economic and political connections with the countries of the Asian region opens up new prospects for our cooperation with Korean universities, and it gives regional studies graduates great opportunities for professional development both in Russia and beyond.

On November 28 at 12:00, the ‘Economics, Politics and Business in Asia’ Master’s programme will hold an open house event. Everyone is welcome. You can register here.

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