Viktor Nikitin, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Business Informatics, and his Deputy, Irina Lesovskaya, told us about the specifics of the education at the Faculty.
- Please compare education at your faculty with curriculums of your competitors - universities of the same profile. Are there any principal differences?
Viktor Nikitin:Our faculty was the founder of education of business informatics in Russia. We integrated information technology, management, economics and law. We train, on one hand, IT managers, and on the other hand - system analysts who work in large and medium-sized companies working in the area of corporate information systems. We also train a new class of experts which is now not very noticeable, but vital in the market - I mean ‘enterprise architects'. They are specialists responsible for the re-engineering and improvement of business organizations and business processes. Our graduates successfully work in consulting companies, as well as companies like Microsoft, IBM, SAP, KPMG and Accenture. We are a resource centre for the leading business and IT consulting companies in our country, since our interdisciplinary approach to education gives our graduates a unique quality. The graduates themselves confirm it:we stay in touch with them and they are very appreciative of the education they received here. And we get similarly high evaluations from employers. It is not for nothing that today at the Faculty departments of vocational relationships work with such companies as Microsoft, IBS, SAP, IDS Sсheer Russia, LANIT, 1C and Stek. All these companies are market leaders. These relationships are of mutual benefit for the faculty and for the companies, and they significantly expand our students'opportunities early in their study. Apart from this, work placements, internships, research and project works with these leading companies give students and graduates real chances for employment and career growth.
- The Faculty of Business Informatics is a member of the European Research Centre for Information Systems (ERCIS). Could you give us more information about this - what is this centre and what does membership mean for the faculty?
Viktor Nikitin:This is an Association for European universities who train experts in information technologies. It brings together universities similar to ours (giving education at the interface of economics, management and IT) and the Computer Science departments of more traditional universities. Membership in this organization brings primarily an exchange of ideas, experience and information, as well as joint research projects, student exchange and participation in international seminars. In addition to this, we are involved in the EU Tempus project in double master's degrees with the Munster University, Germany, and the Mediterranean University in Marseille, France. Our students spend the first year of study in Marseille or Munster and the second year of the programme in Moscow, and at the end they get master's degrees from both universities.
- Have any new forms of education appeared over the last year at the Faculty?
Viktor Nikitin:There is a course entitled ‘Organization of Sales and Information Technology Markets', organized jointly with Microsoft. It has an active form of education. We create groups of students, 8 people in each, and a real task is set before them. For example, they have to analyze the activities of an existing Russian company:detect their business problems, suggest solutions for these problems and decide what information technologies should be implemented in this company. This project activity is very productive;it is carried out in a form of presentations before a ‘board of directors', and invited experts and specialists act as directors on this board. All presentations by our students have always received the highest marks. Moreover, based on the results of these contest presentations, the students receive invitations to become interns in Microsoft or even start working there. This form of education is very popular among students, who often say that thanks to such training, which didn't seem very interesting to them in the beginning, they have discovered new exciting ideas. And what is more important, these skills are in high demand in today's labour market. Preparation of contracts, analysis of company activities, and detection of critical areas which need the administration's attention - all these things are vitally important for the business. Here we quite productively combine theoretical knowledge in economics with IT management and practice.
- What else do your students do, apart from academic classes and project work placements in partner companies?
|Irina Lesovskaya, Deputy Dean of the HSE Faculty of Business Informatics|
Irina Lesovskaya:We think that developing the intitiative of our students is the most important thing to add to the traditional forms of education, since these professional contests involve a practical mastering of knowledge and skills and allow our students to obtain invaluable experience in solving real problems and tasks. It is an extracurricular form of education, but it is closely connected with the contents of our education and is a practical realization of students'accumulated knowledge. Moreover, such contests are perfect training for team working. The time of individuals is long past:today large projects are acheived through team effort. Now future champions are developed through our Optimum Club which was created at the faculty a year ago. The main trainer is Maksim Khivintsev, the leader of the Russian team, winner of last year's world GMC championship. We are proud that our students are so talented and full of initiative. We hope that students who will enroll in 2010 will uphold the best traditions of the Faculty of Business Informatics.
Valentina Gruzintseva, HSE News Service