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Regular version of the site

New Master’s Programme in Population and Development Draws Diverse Array of Students

One of the HSE’s newly launched Master’s programmes – Population and Development – aims to train specialists who can develop solutions to many of today’s economic and social challenges. Taught entirely in English and offering courses in public administration, economics, demography and statistical analysis, the programme has partnerships with universities in France, Germany, Italy and Belgium.

Recently, two international students in the programme – Patrick Whelan, a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland (Canada) and former military pilot, and Ena Redžić, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina who studied Macro Financial Management at the University of Sarajevo – spoke with the HSE news service about their experience studying in the programme, what brought them to Moscow and to HSE specifically, and what they hope to accomplish during their two years of study.

Patrick Whelan

I was researching Master’s programmes in development around the world, and since I've always wanted to spend some time living in Russia, I searched ‘top universities in Russia’ and found HSE among them. When I read about the Population and Development programme I was immediately intrigued and forgot about all of the other programmes. Since this programme is a little different because of the added demography component, I find it a very useful and interesting combination. It gives us the tools to really analyze a population or group to see the effects that policies and development levels are having on it, allowing us to brainstorm and research ways to correct them. I would love to design an actual, practical development programme. Not just research possible solutions, but design a programme that could theoretically be taken and implemented. The experience of turning theory into reality forces us to consider many more variables.

So far, I’ve found Demographic Analysis course most useful. It allows us to see so much more than what we otherwise would, which allows us to apply all other theories to that analysis, helping us to find solutions. I plan to focus on building my research and analytical skills to better understand everything contributing to a specific problem. I will also develop my academic writing skills to be able to effectively communicate what I discover. My future will include a PhD and the creation of my own NGO or programmes. One of my areas of focus will be as a consultant, to help others help themselves. My main goal will be to change education, ensuring that everybody is receiving education, but also that they're receiving the right kind of education to ensure that they're learning how to be happy, healthy and free.


Ena Redžić

I found this programme while researching Master’s programmes in economic development. Specifically, I found it on the website heysuccess.com and was very surprised by the organization of the courses, so I decided to apply. I am extremely happy that I am here. I am very satisfied with the education that is provided by HSE. At the beginning, I wasn’t that interested in the Population segment of the programme, but now I enjoy it even more than Economic development part. For now, I wouldn’t change anything. Since we’ve finished only one semester with fundamental courses, I would say that now students from different backgrounds have general knowledge on what Population and Development studies focus on. Another thing that I like is that the programme is interdisciplinary, which gives me opportunity to focus on specific areas of Development that I want to specialize in. I really like Demography course. Analysis of demographic trends creates new dimensions in the economic sphere, especially in social policy and public economics.

Through constant work on my term paper this semester, and Master’s thesis next year I hope I’ll gain knowledge in writing scientific and research papers. Right now I’m focusing on sustainability of pension systems, which is one of the reasons why I applied to this programme. I still don’t have any specific plans. I know that I would like to work on solving specific social policy problems in order to create equal opportunities for everyone. However, I would like to work on it in the non-governmental sector, either for an NGO or an international organization. 

Anna Chernyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service

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