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Language of Generations Project Wins 2016 KIvO Award

On September 12, the winner of the 2016 Innovation in Education (KIvO) award was announced at the EdCrunch International Conference on New Educational Technologies. Taking home the prize this year was The Language of Generations, a social project that pairs up senior citizens from Russia with foreign students who are learning Russian.

The project’s team consists of three individuals, two of whom are currently getting their master’s at HSE – Svetlana Pavshintseva is in the Public Administration programme, while Andrei Lisitsa is in the Computer Systems and Networks programme and also responsible for the project’s tech side. The third member of the team, Kirill Golubev, just graduated from the Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law programme. This summer, The Language of Generations, also known as LinguaLink of Generations, won a grant for more than 300,000 rubles from the Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

The purpose of the project is to help Russian pensioners develop an active social life and to show younger people the value that the older generation’s experience and knowledge can offer. This can be done using foreign student’s interest in Russian language, history, and culture. Through the project, students are given online language practice with native speakers, while older Russians are able to communicate more.

The project made it through to the semi-finals of the KIvO competition, and according to the project’s creators, they were able to rethink a few things during the KIvO summer school. The project was initially envisioned as a social project, but through the help of KIvO experts, it was decided that the project’s educational component would be emphasised, and the team began looking at its commercial prospects. It would be free for students and seniors to communicate with one another, but distance-learning foreign language courses can also be organized if the senior citizen is a professional teacher, and in this case the course would cost money. ‘We are talking about social entrepreneurship,’ Svetlana Pavshintseva comments. ‘If students are going to pay for a class, this money should go towards the project’s future development, which includes its non-commercial components as well.’

The main prize that the winning team of the KIvO competition gets from the HSE Institute of Education is a grant to intern in any country around the world. The 2014 winner was Diana Kolesnikova for her project My Story, and Diana has already completed her internship in California. Airat Bagautdinov won in 2015 for his project Moscow Through the Eyes of an Engineer, and he has not yet used his grant. This year’s winners are planning to travel to São Paulo to learn more about the CNA Speaking Exchange, which is a project that allows schoolchildren to communicate online with American senior citizens at nursing homes in Chicago.

The Language of Generations project is now undergoing testing (the creators’ parents have even tried it out), and the full project is expected to launch in October of this year. The project will see the participation of students from different countries and senior citizens from various regions around Russia. This mostly includes Moscow and the Republic of Bashkortostan, the latter because of a partnership with the republic’s regional senior citizen resource centre called My Years, My Wealth, the head of which is HSE Associate Professor Gulnara Minnigaleeva.

It is no surprise that the jury selected the Language of Generations project, notes Alexander Sidorkin, who is the director of the Institute of Education’s Department of Educational Programmes. He adds that the project is unique in that it helps solve a very serious social problem, loneliness among the elderly, using contemporary technologies. There are not always enough foreign language tutors who are prepared to work with students one on one, and it is an excellent idea to use urban pensioners here as a resource, especially since many of them are very well educated and capable of teaching. Professor Sidorkin believes that the Language of Generations project might be able to partner with another project from the KIvO final – the Bilim project (bilimis the Kyrgyz word for ‘knowledge’), which is a series of programmes that help immigrant children learn Russian and adapt to their new environment. This project also received recognition at the KIvO competition and won the people’s choice award.

See also:

Two HSE University Teams to Compete in ICPC Finals

Students from both HSE Moscow and HSE St. Petersburg have made it to the finals of the ICPC-2020 World Programming Championship. They were among the best teams at the semi-finals stage of the championship, which took place last weekend in St. Petersburg.

2019 Winner of the Innovations in Education Competition Announced

The 2019 Innovations in Education Competition, organized by HSE University’s Institute of Education and the Rybakov Foundation, received more than 600 project submissions. First prize went to a St. Petersburg-based team for a project that aims to combat bullying against hearing-impaired children. The winners received an internship grant valid in any country in the world courtesy of the Institute of Education.


applications from 15 countries and 151 cities have been submitted for the 2019 Сompetition of Innovations in Education, which is a 20% more than last year. This time, the three most popular categories were Continuing Education and Training (238 applications), School Education (218), and Gaming and Interactive Technologies (126).

Russian Schools Are Changing Rapidly, But Not Always for the Better

According to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) entitled Measuring Innovation in Education 2019: What Has Changed in the Classroom?, Russia ranked among the top three countries where schools are changing most rapidly.

Nanolab VR Application Wins Education Innovation Competition

This is the first project in the five-year history of the competition that is not directly related to social issues. The project’s authors will receive a travel grant and the opportunity to present their start-up anywhere in the world.

Changes in Education Start with Innovations ‘from Below’

On June 5th, the results of the Competition of Innovations in Education (KIVO–2018) were announced. The competition was organized by the HSE Institute of Education together with the Rybakov Fund. Out of 503 applications, the jury selected 28 projects. Their authors will take part in an innovation accelerator summer school, which will take in Moscow in late June. The competition finals will be held in autumn.

Olympiad Victory Takes Student from Vietnam to HSE

Thuy Tien Huynh, a 21-year-old from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, has long been interested in Russian language and culture, classic Russian literary works, movies, and music from the Soviet era. While searching for opportunities to study abroad in Russia as a student in the faculty of Russian Linguistics and Literature at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Vietnam, she came across information on the HSE International Olympiad and decided to give it a shot.

First International Data Analysis Olympiad Held in Moscow

On April 4, the winners of the First International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO) were announced. The event was organized by the HSE Faculty of Computer Science, Yandex, and Harbour.Space University (Barcelona) with the support of Sberbank. Magic City team from St. Petersburg took out first prize, a team from the Ukraine came second, and the Apex team from Belarus came third.

IDAO Online Round Results. Next Up, the Final

On February 20, the first online stage of the International Data Analysis Olympiad (IDAO) was completed. IDAO was organised by the Faculty of Computer Science of the Higher School of Economics in partnership with Harbour.Space University (Barcelona), Yandex and with the Gold sponsor, Sberbank.

Open Doors Competition Gives International Students Opportunity to Study in Russia

Registration is now open for the Open Doors: Russian Scholarship Project, Russia’s first competition for international students applying to Master’s programmes. With registration open until January 15, 2018, the competition consists of two remote stages: a portfolio contest and an online contest. The first stage will take place from December 1 to January 15.