HSE Academic Council Meets for the Last Time This Academic Year
The meeting was held in person for the first time in over two years. It was attended by Sergey Kravtsov, Russian Minister of Education, and Dmitry Smyslov, Vice President of VK. The Council discussed HSE University’s breakthrough projects in engineering and artificial intelligence and elected new distinguished and tenured professors.
The Academic Council voted for a programme to develop an advanced engineering and mathematical school of info-communication technologies, which HSE University plans to establish in partnership with VK. HSE Rector Nikita Anisimov said that the programme had recently been submitted for a competition by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. The results of the competition have not been announced yet, but the university understands that state support for advanced engineering schools is oriented more towards regional universities. However, HSE University plans to implement this programme even if no federal funding is granted.
The HSE Rector called the advanced engineering and mathematics school ‘a meaningful start-up from HSE University,’ stressing that the heads of VK—Vladimir Kirienko and Dmitry Smyslov—are both HSE graduates. ‘It is very important for the university that its alumni come back to implement new projects, collaborate with the university, and help it become better and better,’ Nikita Anisimov said.
Dmitry Smyslov said that joining such a HSE project is a great honour for VK and that the company is ready to participate both in the educational process and research activities, potentially including many areas (development technology, artificial intelligence, different business niches, etc). Students are expected to be involved in solving specific problems from their second year of studies, which will help train real future professionals. Many VK employees are willing to teach, thus building bridges between the company and the university.
Fedor Ivanov, a MIEM Senior Research Fellow, will be leading the project on behalf of HSE University. He emphasised that the school will contribute to national security by creating an independent information and communication environment. In the long term, it is not about import substitution, but about import independence, ie the development of proprietary solutions and technologies used to transfer and manage content in social networks, as well as the development of secure info-communication systems, neural network hardware and software platforms, and more.
The Academic Council was also presented with a report on the work of the HSE Artificial Intelligence Centre. Its head, Alexey Masyutin, reminded the audience that the centre was created in 2021 following quite a rigorous selection process—36 organisations applied to the competition, with six going on to be named winners. Important additional criteria included work experience (each organisation presented a portfolio) and projects completed in cooperation with industrial customers.
Alexey Masyutin said that the HSE Artificial Intelligence Centre works in 25 areas and is the biggest project among the winners of the competition (the other centres are focused on industry-specific and highly specialised solutions). The centre is creating breakthrough software based on artificial intelligence analytics. This software will be used for the integrated solution of applied tasks in business and the social sphere.
All four HSE University campuses are involved in the project. The core of the project is the Faculty of Computer Science, but there are many shared developments with other departments, including the HSE Faculty of Law and the HSE Institute of Education. Sberbank, Yandex, and MTS are the project’s industrial co-financing partners. ‘All developments are aimed at import substitution, ensuring Russia’s technological security and sovereignty,’ emphasised Alexey Masyutin.
The Academic Council decided to make changes to ‘Lesson for Teacher’, a team-based interdisciplinary competition held by HSE University since 2020. The competition, which is aimed at identifying and supporting teams of talented educators, will now be named after Lev Lyubimov, one of HSE University’s founders.
Since the early years of HSE University, Professor Lev Lyubimov had developed its relations with schools, including those outside Moscow and St Petersburg. Professor Lyubimov was also one of the HSE Lyceum’s founders, devoting some of his academic works to school issues. In the new academic year, the content of the competition will focus on Prof. Lyubimov's pedagogical model. There will be new nominations reflecting the directions set out in his works (developing meta-disciplinary competencies, critical thinking, learning independence, etc) and new criteria for selecting leaders. The community of finalists is expected to be involved in supporting schools in difficult social conditions.
Russian Minister of Education Sergei Kravtsov awarded the K.D. Ushinsky medal for achievements in education to Professor Viktor Bolotov, HSE University Tenured Professor. The Minister spoke about the key challenges currently faced by the Ministry, including retraining teachers and organising education in the DNR, LNR and other territories, providing students in schools and colleges with verified internet content, and developing a system for assessing the quality of education. The Minister then answered questions from members of the Academic Council.
HSE Vice Rector Lilia Ovcharova asked whether regional disparities in teachers' salaries would be eliminated. Sergei Kravtsov replied that the issue was being addressed. Anastasia Likhacheva, Dean of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, asked whether more attention was going to be paid to Asian regions in school history and geography courses. Sergei Kravtsov acknowledged the importance of an Asian focus and said that three years ago, Russia launched the Unified State Exam (EGE) in the Chinese language.
HSE University President Alexander Shokhin said that the applicable regulations of the Russian Ministry of Education set constraints on combining the state final certification and independent qualification assessment of vocational college graduates. Sergei Kravtsov assured him that the Ministry supports the development of such an exam practice and offered to discuss the necessary changes in the regulatory framework.
The Academic Council awarded a number of HSE University Honour Awards—in particular, the Gold Honour Award was awarded to Yaroslav Kuzminov, HSE Academic Supervisor. Sergey Karaganov and Vitaly Kurennoy were named Distinguished Professors of HSE University, and ten new HSE tenured professors were elected. They are Natalya Gronskaya, Olga Dragoy, Evgeny Zelenev, Maxim Kagan, Katerina Polivanova, Alexander Sergeev, Tamara Teplova, Sergey Tumkovskiy, Maria Falikman and Evgeny Feigin.
Summing up the meeting, Nikita Anisimov noted that he had been HSE Rector for almost a year. He recalled that when introducing the new Rector to the faculty, Yaroslav Kuzminov suggested that the university pay particular attention to the development of science and engineering. They have been the focus of the past year, and they are on the agenda of the Academic Council’s final meeting. Nikita Anisimov invited his colleagues to ‘hold the line and develop our university.’ ‘Our staff, students, and professors are the future of our university. Thank you for being with us, and thank you for your work,’ he concluded.
On June 29th 2012, the latest regular session of the Higher School of Economics Academic Council took place at the HSE. The agenda included information on the launch of new faculties and departments, approval of certain regulatory documents, as well as the results of the voting process for the teaching staff competition.
On November 25th the Academic Council of the Higher School of Economics summarized the university’s work over the last year.
On October 28th 2011, a session of the Academic Council of the Higher School of Economics took place at the HSE, The event began with an award ceremony: Claude Blanchemaison, Professor at the Paris-Dauphine University, former French Ambassador in Russia and a long-time friend of the HSE, was given the title of HSE Honorary Professor.