‘My Time in the Summer University Was Such a Discovery’
The Summer University at the Higher School of Economics, which brought 42 students from 11 countries together for six weeks, has ended. Students of all ages who studied at the university spoke about their impressions of the HSE, the unexpected knowledge they gained, and about continuing education in general.
The Summer University was divided into four thematic blocks – Society and History, Political Science and International Relations, Economics, and Culture – from which students were able to select courses that interested them. Depending on the length of courses, students received anywhere from 2 to 12 credits for their home universities. The programme was taught in English, but it also included Russian language courses.
‘This was a pilot year for the Summer University, and we are very pleased with the results,’ said Oksana Chernenko, Director of the Centre for Special International Programmes. ‘Many of our students have expressed a desire to continue studying at the HSE and to study Russian more intensively. “Beginning Russian” was a very popular course among our students. Next year we plan to increase the number of courses, offer an additional week of study and hold Summer University weeks on our campuses. The first of these weeks will definitely take place in St. Petersburg.’
Priha Amen Saeed, Pakistan, 20 years old:
— My thesis research was devoted to the Cold War, and, I would like to develop this further as an academic. Right now I’ve completed the third year of my Bachelor’s programme, and about a year and a half ago, I slowly began to choose a university where I could continue at the Master’s level. My time here at the HSE’s Summer University has been such a discovery.
I was greatly impressed by the lectures given by Maxim Bratersky, Sergei Medvedev and other HSE instructors. After only three or four days, I already decided to apply to an English-taught Master’s programme at the Higher School of Economics, most likely Political Analysis and Public Policy. Another advantage of studying at the HSE is that the programmes are less expensive than similar ones in Britain or the U.S. Finally, since Russia was one of the leading countries during the Cold War, I think that there’s a lot I could draw on here for my research. I also want to write on Russia’s imperial symbols, since I believe that your country is gradually returning to its imperial-era traditions.
This is my first time in Moscow, and I’ve simply fallen in love with the city. The most interesting thing I’ve discovered is that despite the fact that everything is different on the outside, on the inside people are the same as what I’m used to at home. Everyone told me that people are very rude in Moscow, but that’s not true at all. The world, including my homeland, has the wrong impression of Moscow and of Russia as a whole. I’m very glad that I’ll be able to dispel several myths.
Lars Grönberg, Denmark, 65 years old:
— At the University of Copenhagen, I study and teach modern Russian history. I recently began teaching Russian economic geography as well. Of course, I find it very interesting to learn what Russians themselves think about their country’s recent history, in particular how Russian professors interpret various events, how they present to students, what their opinions are, their assessments, forecasts, etc. That’s why I came here. I must say that it’s been very education for me.
I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, even more than I expected. I knew that during the Soviet era the universities separated research and education, and I’m pleased to see that the HSE has brought these two components together. The HSE has very strong instructors, and the education system is very similar to what one finds in well-known American universities. Having returned to Denmark, I will push my friends and students to go to the HSE Summer University next year. I will tell them that the HSE is a European university where they will feel at home and where the quality of education is very high, so they won’t feel disappointed.
Sanjay Kumar Rajhans, India, 40 years old:
– I have great memories from the Summer University, where there was such a family atmosphere. I didn’t even feel as though I went abroad. The teachers and administrators did everything possible to keep us interested and make us feel like real students. I believe that the Summer University was run extremely well.
I first learned about the Higher School of Economics by reading articles that HSE professors had written in The Moscow Times and other international publications. I remember really liking an article by Professor Konstantin Sonin and thinking that the Higher School of Economics is a serious university. Now I’ve started a Master’s programme at the HSE in international relations. I’m planning to spend time studying Russian more intensively. I hope that I will be in Russia for a long time, as I feel an unusual connection with your country. I feel comfortable in Russia; it’s almost like a homeland for me. I really like talking to Russians, the majority of whom I find to be very intelligent and spiritually developed.
Anastasia Chumak and Sergei Nagaev, HSE news service
In early August, this year’s HSE Summer University comes to a close. For the first time, the school welcomed a group of Russian students from Far Eastern Federal University.
Every summer, HSE’s International Summer University attracts students, graduate students, post-docs, and professionals from around the world who wish to spend several weeks in Moscow to deepen their knowledge in a variety of fields. With the programme entering its second month, HSE News Service sat down with several students to talk about their impressions of it so far.
On June 24, HSE University held an opening ceremony for its International Summer University. Newly arrived students from 32 countries around the globe including Germany, the US, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and others were welcomed by First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev and Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov.
Every year, HSE Summer University creates new opportunities for its participants - both students and researchers. The programme is becoming more and more versatile and the range of fields of study is constantly growing. In 2018, about 200 international students from all over the world took part in the Summer University. This year, participants are invited to choose from a larger pool of courses and even travel to Siberia.
On August 16, the HSE Summer University officially came to an end. The graduation ceremony was an opportunity for participants, teachers and programme administrators to celebrate yet another successful season – and the Summer University’s fifth birthday.
The HSE Summer University is off to a strong start this year, and one of its programmes – the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Mathematics – has already been met with considerable enthusiasm by participating students. Designed for undergraduate students majoring in Mathematics or related areas, participants work on research projects under the supervision of distinguished mathematicians.
HSE’s Summer University officially opened on June 20. Now in its fourth week, the Summer University is in full swing at three of HSE’s four campuses– Moscow, St Petersburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Participants continue coming to Russia for courses on topics such as politics, history, economics, and Russian and Eurasian cultures. Most courses last two to four weeks and all of them are taught in English.
In its fifth year already, the HSE Summer University was officially opened on June 20th by Vice Rector, Ivan Prostakov. Over the next 8 weeks, HSE will provide almost 200 students, PhD candidates, postdocs and professionals from all around the world with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in a wide range of fields. Many of the courses, all of which are taught in English, focus on areas such as politics, history, economics, and Russian and Eurasian cultures.
The fourth HSE International Summer University has drawn to a close. The programme continues to grow and evolve. This year over 160 students from 46 universities came to HSE to take courses in International Relations & Politics, Computer Science, Russian Studies, Economics, Culture & History.
On July 21, students from Seoul National University presented their projects devoted to politics, economics and social sphere of Russia. Every year, within the framework of HSE Summer University, a group of South Korean students comes to Moscow to learn the Russian language and take 'Understanding Modern Russia' course. At the end of the course students prepare presentations based on the knowledge they have gained and their own research results.