HSE and University of Luxembourg: Expanding the Collaboration
In October the HSE Faculty of Law and the University of Luxembourg Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance signed a cooperation agreement . Evgeniy Salygin, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Law, spoke to us about this.
- How long have the HSE Faculty of Law and the University of Luxembourg Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance been cooperating?
- Our faculties have been cooperating since 2007 through the ‘Master of European Law'programme as part of an initiative by the HSE French Centre. The programme aims to prepare high-class experts in European legislation and justice. Fifth-year students of the Faculty of Law have the opportunity to go to the University of Luxembourg to get specialized knowledge in ‘EU judicial system'and ‘European financial and banking law'. I'd also like to mention that the programme receives active support from the Ambassador of Luxembourg in Russia and the Luxembourg Ministry of Education and Culture which awards scholarships for our students.
- Upon graduation, do the students get a Master's degree from the University of Luxembourg?
- They get a ‘double degree'of Master of European Law and Master of Financial and Banking Law from the universities of Luxembourg and Strasbourg (France). The education has an applied nature with obligatory practical training in such European institutions as an EU court of the European Court of First Instance, the European Court of Justice, the European Commission and special law offices. An obligatory requirement for the programme participants is knowledge of English and French legal languages.
- So, all these things have taken place without an agreement with the University of Luxembourg?
- Yes, we have been collaborating without a contract, although every year several of our students have been receiving Master's degrees of the University of Luxembourg. So, on one hand, the fact of signing the agreement is important for us as a result of a fruitful three years of cooperation. On the other hand, according to the Dean of the University of Luxembourg Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, a cooperation agreement provides a special level of relations. And I cannot disagree with him. In total, we are planning to sign five agreements. Now we negotiate not only the opportunities of student exchanges, but double degree programmes. The agreement expands the frames of our collaboration. It includes not only education of undergraduates, but also postgraduate students which means joint leadership in scientific research. Plus there will be teacher exchange, teacher training, along with joint workshops and conferences.
- What is the term of the agreement?
- The agreement is for five years with the option of automatic prolongation. The next step of our cooperation will be a visit of teachers and managing staff from the University of Luxembourg faculties for a fact finding trip to the Higher School of Economics and our Faculty.
- Why is the Luxembourg side interested in our university?
- They are attracted by the different Master's programmes we offer our students. In Europe and in particular Luxembourg students are very mobile. Of course, their students could successfully study in their local university, but they encourage mobility. This is why students usually spend one semester studying abroad during the last year of their education. For example, the University of Luxembourg itself accepts students from many countries of Western Europe and French Canada as part of student exchange programmes.
- What opportunities does the HSE Faculty of Law offer to international students?
- We are interested in a two-way exchange. That's why we have already started launching courses in English language lasting at least one semester. The second step is in my view, even more important, but at the moment it is only a plan - it is the launch of a two-year Master's programme at the Faculty. It would allow international students to study one year at their local university and the second year here. And at the end they would receive two degrees. For this purpose, we need not only to create half-year courses of English for baccalaureate students, but also a one-year part of the Master's programme in English. This is what we are aiming for, and only then will a real two-way exchange be possible.
- And what are your immediate plans?
- In the near future our teachers will go to the University of Paris X-Nanterre, where ‘Russian Week'will take place. One year later, next November, colleagues from France, from Universities Paris I and Paris X, will come here. With the support of the Centre for cooperation with France, Canada and Francophone countries of Europe we are also planning to start a double degree programme together with the University of Paris X, so that international students can also get a Master's degree from us, since there are Russian-speaking law students in Paris X.
The joint programme with the University of Paris I has a special place at our Faculty. HSE students have an opportunity to listen to a course of lectures by guest professors from the University of Paris I, which will allow them to receive an M1 degree - the first-year Master's diploma. After that they can continue their studies in Paris on the second year of the Master's course (M2), and get a full degree of a Sorbonne Master. As part of this programme, a guest teacher from the University Samuel Hutchinson also holds workshops on French law for our students. The programme requires a high level of French, and hence starting from this year at our Faculty, French will be taught from the first year.