‘I Gained Real Knowledge About French Law, Not Just a Line on My Resume’
HSE has hosted its graduation ceremony for students of the international programme French (European) Economic Law, which the university carries out in conjunction with long-time HSE partner Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin gave out the diplomas, as did Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne leadership, a first in the programme’s history.
The French (European) Economic Law/Master de Droit économique français (européen) programme was launched in 2013 as part of the HSE International Institute of Administration and Business (IIAB). A diploma from both HSE and Paris 1 Panbtheon-Sorbonne (Master 1) allows students to continue their studies in the Master 2 programme at the Sorbonne. It also improves their chances of receiving a scholarship from the French government. The three-year programme is completely in French and features lectures by French professors from Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. Additionally, large law firms that are members of the IIAB supervisory board hold workshops for students. The programme is open to both specialists who have already received a law degree, as well as undergraduate students who have been in the law programme for two years or more.
The director of international relations at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, Annie Soriot, congratulated the programme’s graduates, noting the long history of cooperation between Paris 1 and HSE (25 years, including 13 years in the field of law). ‘We really value our friendship, the dual-degree programme, and the contribution both French and Russian instructors have made in creating a new generation of specialists who understand the subtleties of French and European law as a whole. I am certain that our graduates have a bright future both in Russia and abroad,’ Soriot said.
HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin handed out diplomas at the ceremony. He emphasised that Paris 1 was HSE’s first international partner, while the French (European) economic law programme is one of the few at HSE that is in French. ‘It’s important that despite the steady development of the English-language environment at HSE, the university is not only maintaining connections with our French partners, but continuing to actively develop them as well,’ he added.
Continuing with the topic of the schools’ multiyear cooperation, HSE Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov drew attention to the graduates’ excellent performance and expressed hope that the partnership would continue on for the two universities.
The director of the HSE International Institute of Administration and Business (IIAB), Irina Maltseva, noted that the programme is open for not only HSE students, but those from other universities around Moscow as well. Each year, students enrol from the Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, MGIMO, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, and more. In addition, Maltseva thanked all partners of the programme for their direct participation and work on the attestation commission.
David Lasfargue, who is a famous lawyer, the head of the international law firm Jeantet, and a representative of the IIAB attestation commission, said he was pleasantly surprised by the topics of students’ theses, their professional development, and by how well Russian lawyers understand the subtleties of French law. This is a huge achievement for the entire teaching staff, particularly Samuel Hutchinson.
In closing the ceremony, Faculty of Law Dean Evgeny Salygin talked about the revival of the French language within the HSE Faculty of Law and also expressed his hope that HSE and Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne would continue working together in the future.
Below, graduates share their thoughts on the programme, as well as their plans for the future.
I began learning French as my main foreign language while I was a student at the Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry of Economic Development. I continued practicing my French by presenting papers at international conferences, which is where I met a representative of HSE’s programme, Samuel Hutchinson, who lectures for freshmen in the programme and also holds different seminars. As a lawyer with a degree in international private law, I found it particularly interesting learning about and comparing French and European economic law. Another big plus of the programme is that it’s all in French and features lectures by Paris 1 professors, as well as workshops by representatives from the industry and practicing French lawyers. In my opinion, studying in a foreign programme in Moscow in parallel with my bachelor’s (I also studied at the Academy of Foreign Trade at the time) is a unique opportunity for every student to expand their knowledge and receive a prestigious international education. I now work for the Moscow Exchange and actively apply my knowledge while regulating relations at the international level. As for the future, I want to continue studying in the Master 2 programme at the Sorbonne.
The programme’s value comes from the French legalese you learn, the contacts you make while studying alongside your international colleagues, the French instructors, and the opportunity to receive a scholarship from the French government to continue studying in the Sorbonne’s Master 2 programme. It’s really great that the programme can be combined with your bachelor’s, and I was also lucky enough to go to Paris for six months as part of an exchange programme between the HSE Faculty of Law, where I studied, and the Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.
I found out about the programme while applying for undergrad, and it inspired me to start learning French in the HSE Faculty of Law. After two years, I had been quite successful at learning French, partially thanks to a summer programme at the Alpine French School in Annecy, which also works with the HSE IIAB. Studying in the professional retraining programme was exciting and productive, but it wasn’t easy and I had to work hard. French professors from the Sorbonne gave lectures in Moscow on property, corporate, and international criminal law, as well as on the law of obligations and many other fields. Samuel Hutchinson worked with us to painstakingly dissect the characteristics of French law. Over the course of three years in the programme, I gained real knowledge about French law, not just a line on my resume (though this is prestigious in itself). The programme helped me get a job as a lawyer at the Moscow office of one of France’s leading law firms, KAMS, where I currently work.
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The agreement provides for academic and cultural cooperation between the universities, student exchange, and joint research. HSE University and the University of Bergen have been partners in educational initiatives for eight years. The partnership began when the HSE Faculty of Law signed an agreement with the Norwegian university.