HSE Doctoral Graduates Receive Their Certificates
This year, 117 students graduated from doctoral programmes at the HSE campus in Moscow. On November 1, they received their graduation certificates. Some of them also defended their theses under a new procedure that was introduced at HSE this year, while the others will do this within the next year.
This is the second graduation of HSE doctoral students for whom the doctoral programme has become not only thesis preparation, but the third level of graduate education. Many graduates have completed or nearly completed their dissertations, and will defend them within a year. The dissertation defence at the university now follows a new procedure, and applicants will earn a PhD from HSE.
‘The doctoral programme is an amazing institution that is evolving thanks to your desire and motivation,’ said Sergey Roshchin, HSE Vice Rector, as he addressed the graduates. ‘The Russian word for ‘doctoral student’, aspirant, derives from Latin and means “a willing person.” In the contemporary world, full of thrilling options, the choice of research, analysis and academic career is a hard and bold one. You have not only made this choice, but achieved a result by receiving a certificate of your doctoral studies’.
Sergey Roshchin mentioned that this year, HSE University was granted the right to assign academic degrees based on its own standards, which are different from the common Russian practice and are much more in line with the academic initiation standards common for the globalized world. In the near future, the doctoral graduates will earn an academic degree and step into their ‘academic lives.’
‘In this life, you always have to achieve results and demonstrate these results to others, share them and check yourself at the same time,’ Sergey Roshchin believes. ‘This is how the academic community develops: through dialogue, discussion, criticism, and mutual recognition.’
‘As you’ve completed the doctoral programme, you’ve expanded the range of options for your future development,’ said Olga TretyakDoctoral School of Management. ‘Our task as teachers was to provide you with wider opportunities and perspectives than we’ve had in terms of education, learning, and your future academic careers.’
Without Discontinuing Work
Nikita Savin, Senior Lecturer at the School of Integrated Communications, graduated from the Doctoral School of Political Science, and has almost completed his thesis. While he was a bachelor’s student, he came up with the topic on ‘The concept of political in deliberative democratic theory.’ He wanted to work on his thesis under the supervision of Boris Kapustin
Mikhail Pokhoday, graduate of the Doctoral School of Psychology and Research Assistant at the Centre for Cognition & Decision Making, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Great Britain at Northumbria University. He had an opportunity to continue his studies in Europe, but preferred to apply to HSE. The reason was not only that he was willing to come back to Russia, but also that his academic supervisor Andriy Myachykov
Doctoral studies at HSE, according to Mikhail, are organized similarly to the British university system in many ways. Students have considerable freedom, but once every half year, they are required to report the results of their work. Mikhail would like to defend his thesis as a collection of papers on one research topic (HSE has already introduced such a practice), although he has already written the traditional “doorstop book.”’
‘HSE’s doctoral programme is a demanding one. I had to study a lot, but I enjoyed it,’ said Alina Ivanova, graduate of the Doctoral School of Education and Junior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the HSE Institute of Education. ‘I took some of the courses on Coursera, which means that I was able to take all the courses necessary for the thesis, and even more. I studied in the advanced doctoral programme, which means I could study without discontinuing work and didn’t have to think about earning money elsewhere. I participated in conferences, implemented projects, completed an internship in Boston, and met interesting people whose ideas I can rely on: the doctoral programme helps create a “handshake network.”’
Alina’s thesis addresses methods of international comparative studies of elementary school students and has logically continued her master’s studies: ‘I graduated from HSE’s Master’s in Measurement in Psychology and Education
‘The School of Linguistics has a unique aura, an atmosphere of academic creativity and freedom replenished with incredibly warm friendly relations,’ she said. ‘Doctoral studies mostly mean individual work, consultations with an academic supervisor, and attending seminars. There are not so many onsite classes, so I combined my studies with teaching at the School of Linguistics, and assisted Professor Mira Bergelson in developing an online course on intercultural communication on Coursera. In terms of money, the advanced doctoral programme scholarship was very useful, while an internship in Dublin (a compulsory part of the advanced programme) was very useful for my thesis research.’
Anna Kozhina, graduate of the Doctoral School of Mathematics and Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Stochastic Analysis and its Applications, defended her thesis shortly before doctoral graduation. A little earlier, she received a PhD in Germany, at Heidelberg University. ‘I defended the same paper’, she said. ‘I almost didn’t have to adjust it to HSE’s requirements, there were only some improvements in terms of formatting. The defence procedure in Moscow was very similar to that at Heidelberg. So, thanks to the reform of our doctoral programme, the requirements for theses at HSE are mostly the same as the international ones today.’