‘Everything Suggests That Our Experiment Was a Success, and We Will Continue’: First Graduation of HSE University’s Bachelor’s Programme in Chemistry
On July 5th, at HSE University’s Centre of Cultures, the first graduates of the Bachelor’s programme in Chemistry were awarded their diplomas. The programme was created in 2019 with the support of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Studying at the new faculty, the young researchers have achieved impressive scientific results, with 21 graduates publishing 46 co-authored articles in international scientific journals.
First Graduation and First Results
The Chemistry educational programme combines fundamental training in the disciplines of the chemical, physical and mathematical profiles. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in research project work in the laboratories of partner institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the faculty has opened four new departments to this end. An important advantage of the programme is that students receive knowledge from working scientists, have access to high-tech instruments and equipment, and work under the guidance of individual mentors.
The programme's first graduation is a time to celebrate the graduates’ success, as well as evaluating the results and drawing initial conclusions. Addressing the graduates, Andrey Yaroslavtsev, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Academic Supervisor of the Faculty of Chemistry, recalled how their studies began at the newly opened Faculty. ‘Four years ago, you came to us as green as grass, not yet fully fledged,’ he said. ‘But when I attended the presentation of graduation papers, I truly liked the performances. I saw real scientists with excelllent reports. Everything suggests that our experiment was a success, and we will continue it.’
Cooperation with Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Most of the graduates are already employed at institutes at the Russian Academy of Sciences and will continue their studies on master’s programmes, combining their studies and scientific activities.
According to Vladimir Ivanov, a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, early engagement in research activities, combined with good education in chemistry, makes it possible to raise research leaders. ‘Starting our cooperation with HSE University to create a joint programme in chemistry, we set ourselves the task of training future scientists,’ says Vladimir Ivanov. ‘Our interaction has been very effective. For several years, well-motivated and well-prepared applicants have been entering HSE University’s Faculty of Chemistry. Their professional growth is facilitated by the research and teaching experience at this academic institution, as well as the availability of the most modern synthetic and analytical equipment. Chemistry has been, and remains, predominantly an experimental science, and the sooner students learn to work with their hands, the sooner they will get their first scientific results, Vladimir Ivanov confidently believes.
Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of N. D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of RAS, Head of Department of Chemistry and Materials Sciences of RAS Mikhail Egorov said: ‘After defending their diploma, students come to the workplace in the laboratory and change their status, but in fact they have been working in this laboratory for several years and are full-fledged researchers with a good premise for defending their doctoral thesis and a background of scientific developments. Cooperation between the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and HSE University has great potential’
Research Activity of Chemistry Students
Heads and teachers of the faculty are rightfully proud of their graduates, who represent a bright future for Russian chemical science. Vitaly Kotov, Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry, congratulated the young scientists, emphasising that the path to their diploma was quite difficult.
‘I would like to commend those who completed all four years of study, fulfilled everything that was required of them with honour, and finally received their first degree,’ he stressed. The dean also drew attention to the uniqueness of this graduation course. ‘There are 46 articles in peer-reviewed journals for 21 graduates, of which 21 articles are in Q1 scientific journals on the Web of Science. That is, for each graduate, one Q1 article has been published - this is a unique result. We have brought up such wonderful scientists,’ he said.
The Chemistry educational programme is currently admitting applicants. International admissions are open until August 13. Russian government and HSE scholarships and tuition fee waivers are available.
The graduates were also congratulated by Sergey Shapovalov, Academic Supervisor of the Chemistry programme: ‘You are already independent individuals who have an idea of what you are going to do. May all your potential and desires be realised, no matter what.’
Graduates about Their Plans
At first, Artem Kiselev wanted to go to medical university, but in the 11th grade he learned about HSE University’s Faculty of Chemistry, where one can do research from the first year. ‘There was no hesitation, because I knew that HSE University is an innovative school, and if a faculty is opened at this university, then it will definitely be good,’ says Artem. The winner of HSE University’s Student Research Competition and the All-Russia Mendeleev Competition for Chemistry Students shared that he was very happy to study at HSE University. ‘I plan to stay in science and study at HSE University for my master’s and doctoral programmes,’ he said.
Before entering HSE University, Olesya Belova had only heard good things about it. She recalls that she found it very attractive that a lot of time is given over to practice, work in the laboratory, and research. Olesya loved biology and was afraid that she would not like specialising in chemistry. ‘But it was insanely interesting, albeit hard at times,’ she said. Olesya plans to continue her studies in the direction of Biochemistry on a foreign master’s programme, to which she has already received an invitation.
Ekaterina Sheychenko assures us that, together with classmates, she can talk for hours about her favourite Faculty of Chemistry. She is going to continue her education on the faculty's master’s programme. ‘I wanted to study chemistry at HSE University specifically from the very beginning. When I saw the news that such a faculty was opening, I immediately understood that I would apply there first of all. I know that none of those who have received their diploma today regret the choice they made four years ago.’