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Regular version of the site

The City Came Out to HSE Day

Both scholars and musicians will tell you that learning is a lifetime affair. On September 10, 2013, HSE Day took place in Gorky Park for the second time. The event featured Freshman Day, an alumni reunion, and an outdoor lecture centre, as well as many humorous competitions for students and anyone wanting to participate.

‘If I’d come here a year ago, I would never have had any doubts about which university to choose. And now I’m just happy with my choice!’ This message, one of dozens posted on Twitter under the hashtag #hseday2013, reflected well the atmosphere and mood of the Gorky Park festival. The visitors, who included many potential HSE students and their parents, had an opportunity to acquaint themselves with all aspects of the HSE and to see with their own eyes that the HSE is truly an open university.

Representatives from all HSE Faculties and Schools (an open day was organized around their individual booths), as well as the University’s best professors, came out to the park. HSE lectures in Gorky Park are already quite common (although for autumn and winter, they move to Moscow museums), but this time three lecture platforms were in use at the same time – attendees were spoiled for choice! For example, topics included how traffic problems will be solved in the cities of the future and why teleportation would be difficult in an urban environment, and what changes are taking place among Arab young people and the differences in the systems of higher education. Did you know, for example, that the University of Cairo enrolls 200,000 students?

Near the lecture centre, in a pavilion resembling a giant molecule, ROSNANO Company displayed its exposition. Here one could see the latest achievements in nanotechnology (on computer displays connected to miracle microscopes and probes), touch them, and even try to break them, although unsuccessfully. The fittings, made of plastic and basalt, turned out to be as durable as steel. Scholars from the HSE Faculty of Design also shared their discoveries. ‘This is not an attack by killer tomatoes; this is the playground of designers’, one blogger warned on Twitter.

Yaroslav Kuzminov
Yaroslav Kuzminov
An unusual band, 1/2 Orchestra, played in the ‘Openwork Pavilion’ in honor of the 10th anniversary of Professor Wednesdays, a series of classical music concerts organized at the HSE Cultural Centre throughout the year. Musicians playing wind and percussion instruments and carnival characters on stilts created a very special setting around the stage. The central part of the park was given over to ‘HSELand’–a place for sports and entertainment, dance wars, speed dating, and other ‘extreme’ activities. The HSE’s MIEM Yachting Club not only ‘dropped anchor’ in Gorky Park but also raffled two yacht trips off to HSE Alumni Association members. Graduates also organized other activities: in exchange for a business card, they could get a sweet treat from ‘Brusnika’ café (this café will soon join the Association’s loyalty programme). And HSE graduate Grigory Hatsevich presented his project ‘Trust Network’ – a social network built on the principle of friends’ recommendations.

Karaganov came. The real one! And someone stole Yasin and Kuzminov. Cardboard ones’, suddenly posted another Twitter user. Cardboard figures of the HSE Rector and Academic Supervisor were popular at the last HSE Day, and many were photographed with them this time. But, you could see the living, breathing Yaroslav Kuzminov, too: he was spotted both in the lecture hall and on the main stage of the park where a ‘Bremen Town Musicians’ music show was presented as part of Freshman Day.

‘I want to dedicate first-time festival attendees to the HSE’, Yaroslav Kuzminov said. ‘The HSE is a community of people who love what they do, love freedom, and try hard to learn something in their lives; they keep trying till they are old, and greatly dislike showing off’. And, only a couple of hours later, the Rector’s words were surprisingly repeated at a concert by ‘Night Snipers’ which brought HSE Day to a close. ‘Never stop learning’, Diana Arbenina advised the audience.

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service

Photos by Nikita Benzoruk

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