International Advisory Committee Recommends a More Focused Approach
Members of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) and the HSE administration have discussed the results of the committee’s annual meeting.
In summarizing the recommendations on HSE development, Eric Maskin, chair of the Committee, noted the impressive progress that HSE continues to make. There has been considerable improvement in a number of areas, including recruitment of international students, number of classes in English, research productivity, number of research and study groups, effective collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences within two new HSE faculties – the Faculty of Chemistry and the Faculty of Biology and Biotechnologies. The Faculty of Urban and Regional Development also deserves a special mention for its innovative energy.
‘HSE continues to be self-reflective in asking what can be done better in faculty evaluation, improving the university, or streamlining administrative practice,’ commented Eric Maskin.
However, HSE is facing several challenges, one of which involves balancing research and teaching. To strengthen its positions in international rankings, the university needs to boost the number of publications; however, publication activity should not undermine the quality of teaching. The results of students’ evaluation of teachers continues to inform staff decisions.
Furthermore, the IAC was impressed by the success in developing international programmes but expressed concern about their fractional nature, instead recommending offering few large programmes in broad subject areas. Moreover, it is important for domestic students to interact as much as possible with international students because this gives them an opportunity to learn about the rest of the world.
Among other IAC recommendations was the importance of branding, especially in English. Members of the IAC are convinced that HSE University should use only one name in all its international communications.
Patti McGill Peterson, Senior Fellow at the American Council on Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement/ © Sergey Strokov/ HSE
Finally, IAC members suggest making the work of the committee itself more focused. Eric Maskin proposed identifying two or three particular topics to concentrate on. Patti McGill Peterson, Senior Fellow at the American Council on Education’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement, agreed that this would bring more depth to the discussion.
Commenting on the discussion, HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov noted that HSE University is committed to maintaining high quality of teaching. The instructors who receive low scores on teaching evaluations but are good researchers are moved into research positions. However, it is vitally important to combine teaching and research. ‘We strive to involve our best students in research from the very beginning of their studies,’ stressed Kuzminov. That said, HSE University recognizes that not all students envision an academic career for themselves. This implies that not only should researchers be teaching, but also professionals from various industries who could share their expertise with students.
As for making the work of IAC more focused, Yaroslav Kuzminov suggests creating sub-committees focusing on natural science, social studies, economics, humanities, engineering and so on, which would help HSE University solve more specific problems. As Eric Maskin commented, it could be expert assessment of curricula in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
On May 23-24, following the Days of the International Academy of Education held earlier this week, the General Assembly of the International Academy of Education took place at HSE University Moscow. The assembly brings together education researchers and experts from all over the world, and this is the first time that the biannual meeting was held in Russia. Over the course of two days, members discussed joint projects and publications and met newly inducted members who had the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their research. Members also took part in small group discussions on a variety of topics, including digital literacy and math education.
On May 20, the Days of the International Academy of Education commenced at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Experts from all over the world engaged in identifying global education policy trends will hold a series of meetings, master classes, seminars and open lectures. They will share their experience with Russian researchers, instructors and education policy makers over the course of three days.
This year, the HSE Faculty of Law is launching new extended programmes in Common Law, for which graduates will receive a degree from the University of London. These programmes are open for first-year students, as well as for other students and professionals.
The Higher School of Economics has become a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). It is a key partner of UNESCO and the oldest global association that aims to provide quality and affordable online education to students around the world. Today HSE is the only representative of Russia in ICDE.
The agreement establishes a student- and academic-exchange programme and the opportunity for joint educational and research project development. The agreement was signed on April 8 with the participation of representatives of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
From February 25 to March 2, HSE’s Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs hosted an academic module of the University Consortium, an inter-regional training programme for outstanding students that aims to promote mutual understanding, balanced analysis, and genuine dialogue among the US, EU, and Russia.
HSE Gears up for Staff and Student Conference: A Look Back at the University’s International Activities
On March 20, a conference of HSE staff and students will take place at HSE. It will consider the university’s development programme and elect the new Academic Council. The previous conference took place five years ago, in 2014, and the university has changed a lot since then. HSE News Service talked to some of the university leaders about what has changed in their area of responsibility over this period.
At the invitation of Professor Vladimir Kantor, Head of the International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue, Swiss Ambassador Yves Rossier visited HSE on Wednesday, 13 February, to give a lecture and meet with faculty and students. In addition to Professor Kantor and students of his International Laboratory, Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov and faculty and students of the School of Philosophy and the HSE Lyceum were in attendance. Vice Rector Prostakov delivered the opening remarks.
Sound artist Robert Elias Stokowy of Berlin and Yulia Chernenko,lecturer at the HSE Faculty of Communications, Media, and Design, have initiated a joint German-Russian artistic research project entitled, ‘Phenomenology of Darkness’.
The two universities have signed a student exchange agreement. Now HSE students will be able to spend a semester in Shenzhen, while Chinese students get to spend a semester at HSE.