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 July 31, the II International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students came to a close in Saint Petersburg. In the team competition, the Brazilian team won the gold medal, while teams from China won silver and bronze. One of Russian teams placed fifth.
The HSE University and Kyung Hee University double degree programme ‘Economics and Politics in Asia’ is currently enrolling students. Its academic supervisor, Denis Shcherbakov, spoke about the advantages of the programme, internships at Asian universities and companies, as well as the new focus on Southeast Asia.
On July 24, the second annual International Economics Olympiad (IEO) for high school students kicked off at HSE University in St. Petersburg. The competition is organized by HSE University with the support of Sberbank. Students from 24 countries will compete over the course of a week. The winners will be able to enroll in any HSE Economics programme in 2020 with a full tuition scholarship.
In June, faculty members from HSE’s School of Cultural Studies, the School of Philosophy, and the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities met with colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and a Russian art historian to participate in a round table on the importance of gender studies in the humanities. The researchers discussed questions such as what historians, philosophers, and historians can achieve when approaching their fields of study from the standpoint of gender studies, and what the state of gender studies is in contemporary Russia and abroad.
Participants of Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs Tackle Trade, International Institutions, and More
On Thursday, July 11, students and faculty of the International Russian-Chinese Summer School on International Affairs bid farewell with a festive awards ceremony and closing lecture by Professor Sergey Karaganov, Academic Supervisor and Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs.
One of the perks of studying at HSE University is its wide range of academic mobility programmes. Ksenia Semykina, a master’s student of Comparative Social Research, recently spent a semester at the Free University of Berlin with the support of an Erasmus+ scholarship. She shared some practical advice on how to live and study abroad with HSE News Service.
HSE University and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme signed an agreement to conduct joint research on urban development. HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and UN Under-Secretary-General Maimunah Mohd Sharif, who heads the UN-Habitat programme, signed the letter of intent at the recent Moscow Urban Forum, which was held on July 4-7 at Moscow’s Zaryadye Park.
Students who have been accepted to the HSE bachelor’s programmes in ‘Law’ and ‘Private Law’ may simultaneously enroll in the second degree programme at the University of London to supplement their basic training. The second degree programme is also open to external students and working professionals.
On June 24 – 28, HSE University – St. Petersburg hosted the International University Startups & Spin-Offs Festival (HSE Fest), which brings together students from across the world to pitch their startups for a one-time chance to win grants that will help them take their projects to the next level.
The International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and its Consequences at HSE University held a Graduate Student Seminar in Soviet History together with Sciences Po (France) on June 17 – 18, 2019. HSE News Service spoke with participants and instructors of the seminar, which examinedthe impact of WWII on the Soviet Union and surrounding regions, as well as aspects of the Soviet system from Stalin up to the 1980s.