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Winter Lessons at HSE

On 31st January to 2nd February 2015 HSE held its annual International Winter School. The Department of Public Policy and Master Programme in Political Analysis and Public Policy headed by professor Nina Belyaeva took part in the event. The Winter School welcomed participants from Germany, France, China, Japan and other countries.

During its presentation the Department of Public Policy decided to switch away from the usual lecture format and involve the participants in a lively debate on global issues. First and second year students on the Master in Political Analysis and Public Policy programme acted as moderators. Sanjay Kumar (India), Anastasia Galina (Russia), Indra Prasetya (Indonesia), Hamid al Said (Morocco), Ekaterina Uzoikina (Russia), Ilona Stadnik (Russia) took the opportunity to implement their skills and knowledge, acquired at the HSE, at the HSE International Winter School by leading discussions on wealth distribution, the environment in connection with health and disease, representation of gender rights, migration and poverty.

First year Master’s student at the Faculty of Social Sciences on the Political Analysis and Public Policy programme Ekaterina Uzoikina is a student councillor, she dreamt about this kind of Winter School when she was applying for her Master’s last year. She liked the approach when a lecture is combined with working in groups and students and teachers talk together and discuss things in an informal way to solve problems. 

Ekaterina explains, ‘Our programme organised creative group work where, with students, we researched the most pressing international issues — wealth distribution, environment, migration, education and child-related problems, discrimination and the representation of women. The last of these interests me most as I have been studying Asia for a long time and it is a real issue there. As it turned out, I was lucky enough to be the moderator for a group that was trying to find ways to solve these very issues of discrimination and women’s representation’.

What was real fun and a pleasant surprise was that the participants were proactive with bringing forward their ideas, brainwaves and skills and details to sort out the problems that have entangled and engulfed us all.

However it was a discussion about migration and wealth distribution that provoked the most interest among the Winter School participants. In general all the classes were united by a single idea — a question that everyone was called upon to consider — ‘What is wrong with the world?’

Sanjay Kumar, a first year Public Policy Master’s student at the Department of Public Policy in the School of Social Sciences, felt it was important to look at and discuss different views in detail. He said that, ‘What was real fun and a pleasant surprise was that each one of the participants was proactive with bringing forward his/ her ideas, brainwaves and skills and details to sort out the problems that have entangled and engulfed us all.’

A special feature of the Winter School is the way the participants don’t just spell out their skills and knowledge of a particular area but actually put them to use and improve them by learning how to be a good moderator, to lead a discussion and put forward their arguments and defend them.

 

Ekaterina Uzoikina, first year Master’s student of the Political Analysis and Public Policy programme 

When you are surrounded by students from all over the world, each with his or her own views and opinions on everything, it’s important to stay cool, not to get anxious, but show a good example, dive into the discussion, encourage others to say what they think. I loved the way international students got involved in our events, weren’t shy to share their ideas, were confident when they had to speak in public, and talked enthusiastically over breakfast, lunch and dinner about the problems we had to solve.

 

 

Sanjay Kumar, first year Master’s student of the Political Analysis and Public Policy programme 

The Russian students were on both sides, as the guest prospective students as well as the most hospitable host volunteers, to make the students feel quite at home. And, hey presto! We felt at home and time literally flew by in those three days. The regime was intensive and yet pure joy, with spotless arrangement and the delicacies of Russian cuisine were offered lavishly. The credit shall go to the entire team of HSE administration, their very dedicated managers and above all the Professors who besides presenting the Programme  gave a nice lecture on the subject of their specialization that was educative yet most lucid and one can safely bet each one of the participant students got enriched through these lectures and gained new insights.

Thanks to the Winter School, a lot of international students are seriously considering study at HSE. It gave them a chance to see how they liked the advantages of studying in an international community.

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