‘A Student Coming to Study here Starts to Understand that he is in Demand on the Labour Market’
Alla Bolotova, Dean of the HSE Faculty of Psychology, talked to us about the faculty’s educational programmes, plans and projects, teachers, students and graduates.
- Alla, how would you describe your faculty to a prospective student who has already decided that psychology is his future profession?
- We offer a classical basic psychological education but we also have a special focus as part of the course, which is available in two flavours:organizational psychology or psychology in business, and psychotherapy and counseling. We have our own science-based idea on the practical preparation of psychologists and use of their competencies according to social demand and the constantly changing requirements of the labour market. A student coming to study here gradually starts to appreciate that he is in demand in the labour market, in areas where expert psychologists are needed;in anti-crisis management, human resources counseling and HR assessment as well as specialists in organizational development and strategic HR management.
Our constantly changing society also requires mobility and readiness to changes in communications and advertising, time management and HR audit. Today private counseling and personal psychological support are highly sought after, as well as psychotherapy solutions in times of crisis and extreme situations or in situations involving difficult life choices.
The curriculum of our Faculty helps the students gain extensive knowledge and psychotechnologies in group and individual counseling, become proficient in methods of psychological diagnostics of personality, HR audit, analysis and development forecasting of business organizations as well as in various ways of effective HR and strategic management.
As at the other HSE faculties, psychology students get intensive foreign language training, which allows the successful students to get an international certificate together with a diploma, choose a master's programme or get an internship in West-European universities.
- Does studying at your faculty involve any special forms of education?
- Yes, of course. First of all, we believe it is necessary to teach students how to enable open and trusting communication and master the principles of negotiating as well as practical and professional methods of psychological counseling and HR management. That's why the curriculum includes master classes and practical lessons, various training sessions and courses, as well as research seminars where we help students to master traditional skills and develop a new academic tool set for psychological work, as well as developing their creative vision and ability to resolve different problems and social situations. It has become a tradition to hold master classes and lectures by leading international researchers on various issues of psychological science and practice at the Faculty. Apart from that, our course on Social and Psychological Education not only introduces to the students to new technologies of psychological work, but also teaches them the key principles of new technological development.
- How has the HSE's status as National Research University influenced the work of your faculty? Are there any new projects?
- Yes. We recently set up a research laboratory of Social and Psychological Studies, where the ‘teacher-student'programme has been launched and students are directly involved in research projects. We hold research seminars for undergraduate and postgraduate students aiming to nurture and develop their research skills. The plan of advanced faculty development includes the foundation of more research laboratories, and we are also actively preparing to publish an e-journal on organizational psychology as well as publishing the results of our students'research projects.
- Please tell us about some of the people teaching at the faculty.
- Our teaching staff is unique. All our teachers have extremely impressive qualifications. Among them are world-renowned members of the Russian Academy of Sciences and practicing psychologists heading authoritative counseling centers. We can say that there are a number of scientific schools within our faculty, with members of the Russian Academy of Education such as Ksenia Abulkhanova, Vladimir Zinchenko and Vladimir Shadrikov. Lectures and seminars of our other leading professors, authors of popular scientific works and textbooks also excite constant interest from our students. We also invite internationally recognized professors from abroad to deliver lectures and lead research projects at the Faculty. One example of such a collaboration is the lecture courses and practical classes by Alfried Laengle, Professor at the University of Vienna, who became a staff member at our Department of Psychology of Personality. A guest professor from the University of Cologne, Martin Schuster, teaches a special practical course on psychotherapy for our students.
- Can you tell us about the Faculty's international activities and your partners in international universities.
- We have been carrying out some productive joint work with the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna and the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. I have already mentioned Alfried Laengle who teaches a unique master's course on ‘Personology and Existential Psychotherapy'at our faculty . We have signed an agreement on scientific and creative cooperation with the University of Cologne. As part of this agreement, I will deliver lecture courses in Germany, and from their side Martin Schuster will continue to to teach his course and master class on art psychotherapy here. We have another agreement on cooperation which is about to be signed - with the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and it covers the development of a programme on Psychology in Business. This academic year we are introducing a new international master's programme entitled ‘Measurements in Psychology and Education'which will involve participation of researchers from Massachusetts University, Moscow State University and the HSE.
- How successful are your graduates? What are their career opportunities.
- Our faculty has a comprehensive system of vocational training. We collaborate with such organizations as the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Center of Psychological Counseling ‘Trialog', Association of Family Psychotherapists, Human Factors Company and many others. Many of our graduates receive job offers from the organizations where they went for vocational training as students. By the way, this year three of our master's graduates became young tutors at our faculty. They are the only three teaching staff who don't yet have doctoral degrees, but I am sure that this situation will change, since they are already proving themselves to be excellent researchers.
Over the eight years of the faculty's existence, we have educated many experts who have gone on to work as administrators, HR managers, experts in HR audit and have proved themselves to be highly qualified managers, consulting psychologists in various corporate and public organizations, banks and psychological counseling centers.
Valentina Gruzintseva, HSE News Service