‘All of You Carry the Name of the University’
On June 3, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov met in Berlin with university alumni living in Germany, as well as with students and postgraduate students who are currently continuing their studies at Humboldt University. During the meeting, they discussed the development of the Higher School of Economics, differences in approaches to the educational process at universities in Russia and Germany, and the prospect for transferring certain Western practices to the realities of Russia.
Kuzminov thanked the graduates for wanting to help the university after graduation, as well as for establishing HSE's reputation abroad. ‘All of you carry the name of the university. When they say, “a person graduated from Stanford” or “someone graduated from Moscow State University”, they’re not talking about the walls, but rather about the smart, educated, successful people who have been through the university. Only alumni themselves can promote the university’, he said.
Olga, a graduate of the Business Informatics programme, said that at 16 years old she selected HSE ‘by its name’, and she has never regretted her choice. She now works with start-ups in Germany and believes that in many ways the success of her career is connected with her having made the right choice of university. ‘I am very interested in working with start-ups, especially here, because Berlin is Europe’s start-up scene’, Olga said. ‘It is very interesting to work in a small company where you can make a significant contribution. My education combined with my experience has resulted in me being able to see what I am doing, which is in contrast to the situation in large corporations, where it is difficult to make a connection between the work of an individual and the end result of the work’.
Olga’s colleague, Yegor, also a graduate of the Business Informatics programme, works with technology start-ups. According to him, German education in the area of business informatics places a heavy emphasis on management; the advantage of HSE graduates is their technical prowess.
If Russia requires what other countries do not, then we lose. It’s possible to come up with different excuses for this, but the share of foreign students won’t increase as a result.
Ruslan, who transferred to HSE from Bauman Moscow State Technical University to work on his Master's thesis, is continuing his studies at Humboldt University. Ruslan says that HSE should take the best practices of foreign universities when it comes to building a career path for young foreign specialists, investing money in their training; then, when they return home, they will become ambassadors of good will and will be able to promote the university through their own example.
Among the requests made by the graduates was to strengthen group work for students. Compared with universities in the US and Europe, there are very few joint projects at Russian universities. The graduates say that this must change given the importance of team experience. Kuzminov supported this suggestion: ‘Indeed, our entire educational tradition is very individualized. The so-called project pedagogy that you describe is widely used as early as primary and secondary school in many countries. I think that we will also be making changes in this respect’.
The graduates lamented the difficulties their German friends face when it comes to submitting paperwork to take courses in Russian universities. Many give up on their desire to study in Russia as soon as they are required to collect a huge number of documents. A decision has been made to compare the systems for registering foreign students in different countries and to assess Russia’s experience in this context. ‘We are talking about the positioning of Russia in the international global education market. If Russia requires what other countries do not, then we lose’ said Kuzminov. ‘It’s possible to come up with different excuses for this, but the share of foreign students won’t increase as a result’.
Apart from the serious proposals and suggestions for changes at HSE, time was also found to share warm memories. The graduates passed along a special thanks to Tatyana Zakharova for her strong support during their studies. The conversation lasted more than two hours and ended in what has already become a traditional series of selfies with Kuzminov.
Closer cooperation between Russian universities and companies could lead to a technology breakthrough for the Russian economy. Yaroslav Kuzminov discussed possibilities for such collaboration, and the obstacles associated with it, at the Gaidar Forum at RANEPA.
In mid-June 2017, the town of Pushkin near St. Petersburg, Russia welcomed the Fifth International Summer School on Higher Education Research, a joint initiative between the HSE Institute of Education and Peking University’s China Institute for Educational Finance Research. This year, the Summer School focused on higher education and social inequality.
HSE has become one of three Russian universities to receive maximum points for the implementation of the Russian Academic Excellence Project. These results were announced following a meeting of the Council on Enhancing the Competitiveness of Leading Russian Universities among the Global Rresearch and Education Centres.
On March 17, 2017, a regular meeting of the Russian Academic Excellence Project 5-100 Council on Competitiveness Enhancement of Leading Russian Universities took place in Moscow. HSE representatives told the Council, which includes international experts, about the University’s achievements following the implementation of the first half of the Project. They also discussed their upcoming development plans.
‘Over the Last Two and a Half Years Five Russian Universities Have Joined the World’s Top-100 in Various Subjects’
HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov updated the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the implementation of the Academic Excellence Project 5–100. He also suggested extending the project until 2025 and setting the objective that at least one Russian university be included in every subject-specific ranking by 2025.
University rankings, which increasingly impact both universities' development strategies and state policy in higher education, was one of the main topics discussed at the meeting of the HSE's International Advisory Committee.
The meeting of International Advisory Committee starts December 6. Three newly appointed members of IAC have shared with HSE News Service their views on the role of external consultants in the development of universities, described their reasons for joining the committee and spoke about HSE’s academic reputation and the challenges the university faces.
On October 19, the rectors of 21 top Russian universities met to discuss Russia’s position in international university rankings. These 21 universities are all are members of the Global Universities Association, the main purpose of which is to create a network for and inspire collaboration among schools participating in the widely discussed Project 5-100. Slated to last eight years, this project was established under Russia’s Presidential Decree No. 599, which aims to improve the standing of Russian universities among the world’s top schools and research centres.
On March 18th and 19th, the Council on Enhancing the Competitiveness of Russia’s Leading Universities met in Moscow to discuss Russia’s role on the world academic stage. As a result, the Council recommended that the Ministry of Education and Science allocate subsidies to three groups of universities in 2016. HSE made it into the first group.
On March 3, 2016, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov gave a talk about possible future scenarios for Russia's higher education at the All-Russian Research Centre for Aviation Materials (VIAM) as part of the Syncletos at VIAM series of meetings with prominent guest speakers such as academics, government officials and politicians.