‘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.
How has higher education influenced the evolution of nations since the Second World War—and vice versa? Stanford professor Mitchell Stevens and Institute of Education researcher Ekaterina Shibanova have tried to answer this question in a special issue of the European Journal of Higher Education. They invited renowned historians, political experts, sociologists and economists to develop ‘a consensus on the role of higher education in political and social history after 1945.’ The special issue was created with input from researchers from Canada, Luxembourg, Russia, Germany, France, the UK, and Sweden.
A group of researchers representing four countries summed up the results of the Supertest, a large-scale study of the academic performance of engineering students in Russia, China, India, and the United States. It is the first study to track the progress of students in computer science and electrical engineering over the course of their studies with regard to their abilities in physics, mathematics, and critical thinking and compare the results among four countries. The article about study was published in Nature Human Behavior.
How does academic dishonesty of students correlate with honesty in further work? A group of scientists, including Evgenia Shmeleva, Research Fellow at the HSE Institute of Education, conducted research answering this question. During an open online seminar of a research group dedicated to ‘Academic Ethics in the Educational Context,’ Evgenia Shmeleva presented ‘Does Academic Dishonesty Seep into the Workplace? Evidence from a Longitudinal Study,’ which was prepared jointly with Igor Chirikov (University of California at Berkeley-HSE University) and Prashant Loyalka (Stanford University-HSE University)
According to the findings of HSE researchers, up to one-quarter of school graduates in Moscow enrol in low-quality universities despite scoring highly on their Unified State Exam, the final school exam and a standard university admission mechanism in Russia. This academic mismatch limits their life opportunities and often stems from unequal starting conditions in the family and at school.
World Bank—HSE University Webinar Examines the Costs of School Closures During the Covid-19 Pandemic
On May 21, the joint webinar series, ‘Education under COVID-19: Problems, Solutions, Perspectives, Research’ began with a session about the effects of school closures under the pandemic. Harry Anthony Patrinos of the World Bank presented the results of a model that he and a team of researchers developed in order to predict the extent to which the closures may reduce learning and lead to future losses in labor productivity and earnings for today’s students. The webinar was moderated by Isak Froumin (Head of the HSE Institute of Education), while Professors Tommaso Agasisti (School of Management, Politecnico di Milano) and Sergey Kosaretsky (Director, HSE Centre of General and Extracurricular Education) served as discussants.
On March 17, the Institute of Education hosted its annual seminar dedicated to issues in education. This year’s seminar addressed the topic, ‘Higher Education during an Epidemic: The Possibilities of Digital Technology’. For the first time in eight years, the seminar participants—representatives of Chinese, American, and Russian universities—participated in the event remotely.
The Faculty of Humanities is now accepting applications to its new Master’s programme, ‘Germanica: History and Modernity’ for the fall of 2020. The programme gives students a wide-ranging knowledge of the German-speaking regions of the world—Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The programme is taught in Russian and German. Applicants’ proficiency of German will be verified upon admission. Professor Petr Rezvykh, the programme’s Academic Supervisor, discusses the features of the programme.
Ruoqi Cao, from Harbin, China, graduated from HSE University’s Masters’ programme in International Business. She is now working on her PhD at the HSE Institute of Education, where her research focuses on the influence of higher education on the economics of the regions in Russia and China. She has shared with HSE News Service her story of coming to study and work in Russia.
The tenth International Russian Higher Education Conference (RHEC) has commenced in Moscow this week and will last until October 25. This year’s conference focuses on ‘Contributions of Higher Education to Society and Economy: Global, National and Local Perspectives.’
American SemyonovAward Recipient to Look at Higher Education’s Relation to Civic Engagement in the Russia
Radomir ‘Ray’ Mitic just completed his PhD at New York University and will be joining the Council of Graduate Schools as a postdoctoral fellow this coming fall in Washington, D.C. This summer, he received an HSE SemyonovAward Research Internship to research civic engagement among Russian university students at the Institute of Education at HSE University. Last week, he participated in the International Summer School of Higher Education at HSE – St. Petersburg, and now he is conducting field research in Moscow. HSE News Service spoke with Ray about his research, his impressions of the two Russian cities, and his future plans.