HSE University Strengthens Ties with Netherlands in Agricultural Research and Education
On November 9, 2021, HSE University signed a memorandum of understanding with Wageningen University & Research, a major university in the Netherlands and one of the leading agricultural research institutes in the world. Participants of the signing ceremony included HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board Professor Louise Fresco, and Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug.
In his welcoming speech, HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov noted that international cooperation has been a main priority of the university since its founding in 1992, adding that one of the university’s first international partners was Erasmus University Rotterdam. ‘Today, HSE University cooperates with ten universities in the Netherlands in a wide range of research and educational fields. Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is our first partner in the field of agricultural research and education, which are new and highly important fields for our university,’ he said.
Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug congratulated attendees on the signing of the memorandum, which will serve as the basis for research and educational cooperation between the universities. Mr Plug said that student and academic exchanges will promote greater mutual understanding, and that cooperation will lead to fruitful new projects and research.
Since 2018, researchers and experts of the HSE University Institute for Agrarian Studies (InAgRes) have developed long-term, productive relations with WUR at international conferences and symposia. The expert centres host a large number of promising agricultural research projects that serve as the basis of the memorandum.
The document covers a variety of areas related to issues and future opportunities in agricultural production and sustainable development in rural regions of Russia. Topics of interest include reducing losses, recycling agricultural waste products, developing higher agricultural education, and more.
Professor Louise Fresco, President of the WUR Executive Board, highlighted Russia’s huge agricultural potential and its important role in international relations and tackling climate change. Professor Fresco also noted that modern sustainable development requires input from the agricultural and food industries. ‘The issues of food supply, agriculture, climate, stability and sustainable development are very closely linked. We work on these issues in many parts of the world, and we are ready to share our experience and knowledge with our colleagues from Russia.’
Professor Fresco noted that WUR strives to produce high-quality research and education, and has been the top agrarian university in the Netherlands for 17 years. She also highlighted the importance of ‘valuing what we do,’ not only in terms of economics and intellectual property rights, but also in terms of what the university can give back to society.
During the ceremony one of the key cooperating academics from WUR, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, Associate Professor, Global Food System Sustainability at the Environmental Policy Group of Wageningen University & Research, reflected on the different cooperation initiatives implemented together with HSE University in joint projects and events that developed across several departments of WUR in life sciences specializations and units, such as in transitions to sustainable food systems, urban-rural development, social and environmental sciences, agro-economy, sustainable farming systems, food waste and food loss etc., as well as in education and training programmes. On her side, Prof. Evgenia Serova, Director of the Institute for Agrarian Studies at HSE University gave examples of several important events organized together with the WUR colleagues during the last three years to exchange knowledge between different researchers, policy makers and educators. Ms. Serova noted that the Institute for Agrarian Studies recently celebrated the three-year anniversary of its establishment as part of the university, and that it has shared close ties with Wageningen University & Research from its inception. The development of the cooperation initiatives between WUR-wide organization and the InAgRes at HSE University has been reinforced by the international relations unit of WUR for Central & Eastern Europe, coordinated by Dr. Vanya Simeonova-van der Grift, and by key academics from InAgRes, such as the Head of department of Rural Development Studies of InAgRes, As. Prof. Dr. Alexey Naumov and Nadezhda Orlova Head, Department for Economics of Innovation in Agriculture. The MoU will serve as a solid basis to extend this cooperation and continue and develop new bilateral and broader international initiatives between the different teams.
At the end of the signing ceremony, Nikita Anisimov said that HSE University is also open to discuss cooperation possibilities with counterpart faculties and research centres in such timely fields as biology, biotechnology, geoinformatics, climate change, sustainable development and more. He also invited Professor Fresco and other colleagues from Wageningen University & Research to visit HSE University.
Pivot to the East: A Comprehensive Study of the Cultural and Civilisational Centres of the Non-Western World is the Top Priority
China and the Chinese world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and Africa are gaining new significance in Russia’s foreign policy. However, we do not know enough about the Eastern countries. It is necessary to change the priorities in education, starting from grammar school. Prospects for the development of domestic Oriental studies in the context of the new stage in the development of the system of international relations were discussed at a round table at HSE University.
Russia has recently launched an organic farming initiative; a new Law on Organic Products came into effect in the early 2020. An important first step in assessing the potential for this subsector has been to identify the most suitable locations for its development. According to researchers of the HSE Institute for Agrarian Studies and the RAS Institute of Agrarian Economics and Rural Development, provinces located in the country’s northern non-black earth areas – in the Northwest and in the Northeast of Russia’s European region – have the best potential. The study is published in Agriculture Digitalization and Organic Production.
Robert Romanowski was a ‘Digital Professor’ at HSE University in November 2021. In his interview for the HSE News Service, he talked about the specifics of online teaching, his course on Strategic Branding, and the skills that are essential for marketing professionals today.
There is major potential for economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries. Particularly, Russian organisations and universities can help transfer competencies and knowledge in the fields of agriculture, energy, industrial production, environmental management, climate change, and public administration. Experts and representatives of African embassies in Russia discussed these issues at the round table ‘Russia-Africa Sharing Knowledge’ hosted by HSE University.
As part of an international project conducted with the participation of Roscosmos and the European Space Agency, a team of researchers used differential tractography to analyse dMRI scans ofcosmonauts’ brains and found significant changes in brain connectivity, with some of the changes persisting after seven months back on Earth. The paper is published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits.
HSE University-Perm and the Training Centre of the Uzbek Ministry of Finance Sign Cooperation Agreement
HSE University in Perm has become the first academic partner of the Training Centre under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The parties have signed a cooperation agreement in education and research.
The majority of Russians would not agree to being fitted with microchip implants for any purposes—medical or otherwise. A joint study conducted by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Applied Network Research and Aventica found that respondents believe the risks of personal data leaks and misuse to be too high.
The 10th International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by HSE ICEF, took place on October 29–30 online. Vladimir Sokolov, Head of the International Laboratory of Financial Economics, which hosted the conference, talks about the participants, the key presentation topics and how they will impact the global economy.
The UN Climate Change Conference is taking place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow. The conference focuses on preventive measures against the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of rising average global air temperatures. Igor Makarov, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change, will be taking part in the Glasgow conference. In the following interview, he speaks about the pressing problems Russia and the world are facing, and the research HSE scholars are doing on climate change.
HSE University and Coursera are bringing together the world’s leading researchers, professionals, education and technology leaders, and business community representatives for the fourth international research conference eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit 2021 (eSTARS). This topic of this year’s summit, which will run from December 1–2, 2021,is ‘Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System’.