‘Application will be Open until September 1st’
This year a new master’s programme is being launched at the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs –International Relations in Euroatlantic and Eurasian Communities. Sergey Karaganov, Dean of the Faculty, and Maxim Bratersky, Programme Coordinator and Professor at the Department of World Politics, told us about the new course.
—What was the reason for opening the new master's programme?
—What are the specifics of this programme and will it change after the transfer to your Faculty?
Maxim Bratersky:As far as we know, this is the only programme in Russia, and probably even Eastern Europe, where foreign and Russian students are studying cheek by jowl. One year of education is spent in the British campus, and the second year here in Moscow. All other double degree programmes I know are built another way:Russian students go abroad for a semester or a year, but nobody comes to Russia in exchange. So, while usually the Russian side just ‘exports'students, our student exchange is equal. In addition to this, we created this programme together with our British colleagues, not just adapted it for ourselves. We invented something new, built a new programme and are going to develop it.
S. Karaganov: I should also say that we are happy to include this programme into our Faculty, despite the additional effort it requires since we consider it to be a pilot scheme which could result in a series of similar programmes not only in this Faculty, but across the whole university. We are not going to monopolize HSE international master's programmes, but there are some signs that it could grow into a bigger project on international economics and politics. We are establishing connections with some new interested partners. I think that within year I shall be able to speak more specifically about this.
—Who does the programme teach? What diplomas do the graduates get?
—Specifically, what competencies will the programme graduates have?
M. Braterskiy: The focus of the programme is international relations in different perspectives:economic, political and sociological. We want our graduates to understand how this body of problems is viewed from the West, what tools they use and what conclusions they come to. At the same time, they should understand how these issues are seen and analyzed in Russia and how the Russian and Western approaches can combine.
For historical reasons, there are some areas where the Russian school of international relations is not very strong. For example, it was not really involved in theory elaboration, and we prefer our students to be taught by people who created the theoretical basis in this sphere. There are also some problems with quantitative and qualitative methods of research. Until recently our researchers considered such methods applicable for economists or sociologists and thought political scientists did not need them. And we are grateful that our British colleagues lent a hand. In time, we will, I'm sure, reach the necessary level of quality, but for the time, their help is essential.
S. Karaganov: Adequate analysis of world politics and international corporations is generally impossible on the basis of only education in a single country. If you look at the most successful experts in this field you inevitably see people who studied abroad. Recently I talked to Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore and current Minister Mentor, and he told me he didn't understand how people who have never studied or lived abroad could be appointed ministers - they cannot adequately evaluate the situation. Our students should also gain international competencies, understand the global phenomena they analyze and the global institutions which will be the framework of their activities.
—How many students have already graduated from the programme and how many have enrolled this year?
S. Karaganov: The first graduation took place three weeks ago, and its number was very small. Now we are about to welcome the second-year students who have already studied a year in Kent - there will be about ten of them. Enrolment for the next academic year will be open until the end of the summer. We do not know the exact number yet, but we are planning to take about twenty students, out of whom 4 or 5 will be Russians and the others will be international students.
—How is the enrolment coordinated between the HSE and the University of Kent?
M. Bratersky:These processes are parallel. International students apply through the website of the University of Kent. Russian students apply in Moscow and also fill in a special form on the University of Kent's website. I should point out that the application deadline for this programme has been extended until September 1st.
Student admission is based on competition procedure. As part of the selection procedure, certificates confirming the academic achievements of the applicants are scrutinized. High level English skills, confirmed by an international certificate, are a must. IELTS is the best, but if for some reason an applicant doesn't have time to take the test, American TOEFL is also acceptable. We have also negotiated with our British colleagues that in extraordinary cases our Faculty's Department of Foreign Languages can organize a suitable exam.
—Who reads lectures in the programme and how are the graduation theses defended?
M. Bratersky: The teaching staff consists of two parts. The first are our British colleagues, headed by Richard Sakwa, the most prominent expert on Russia in England, and author of a number of very good books, including those on several active Russian politicians. He is a member of the Valdai Club and a very authoritative person. On our side, the course is taught mainly by young and middle-aged teachers. Academic supervision is carried out by Russian professors. All master's theses will be written in Moscow, but defended twice:at the HSE and at the University of Kent.
Lyudmila Mezentseva, Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service