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.
Pivot to the East: A Comprehensive Study of the Cultural and Civilisational Centres of the Non-Western World is the Top Priority
China and the Chinese world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Arab countries, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and Africa are gaining new significance in Russia’s foreign policy. However, we do not know enough about the Eastern countries. It is necessary to change the priorities in education, starting from grammar school. Prospects for the development of domestic Oriental studies in the context of the new stage in the development of the system of international relations were discussed at a round table at HSE University.
Robert Romanowski was a ‘Digital Professor’ at HSE University in November 2021. In his interview for the HSE News Service, he talked about the specifics of online teaching, his course on Strategic Branding, and the skills that are essential for marketing professionals today.
There is major potential for economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries. Particularly, Russian organisations and universities can help transfer competencies and knowledge in the fields of agriculture, energy, industrial production, environmental management, climate change, and public administration. Experts and representatives of African embassies in Russia discussed these issues at the round table ‘Russia-Africa Sharing Knowledge’ hosted by HSE University.
As part of an international project conducted with the participation of Roscosmos and the European Space Agency, a team of researchers used differential tractography to analyse dMRI scans ofcosmonauts’ brains and found significant changes in brain connectivity, with some of the changes persisting after seven months back on Earth. The paper is published in Frontiers in Neural Circuits.
HSE University-Perm and the Training Centre of the Uzbek Ministry of Finance Sign Cooperation Agreement
HSE University in Perm has become the first academic partner of the Training Centre under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The parties have signed a cooperation agreement in education and research.
On December 1, key areas of HSE University’s recently adopted strategy were presented at the extended meeting of the International Advisory Committee. Outgoing and new members of IAC learnt more about the University’s initiatives in human capital and AI research, as well as about its plans to build a Master’s Engineering School.
On November 9, 2021, HSE University signed a memorandum of understanding with Wageningen University & Research, a major university in the Netherlands and one of the leading agricultural research institutes in the world. Participants of the signing ceremony included HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board Professor Louise Fresco, and Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug.
The majority of Russians would not agree to being fitted with microchip implants for any purposes—medical or otherwise. A joint study conducted by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Applied Network Research and Aventica found that respondents believe the risks of personal data leaks and misuse to be too high.
The 10th International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by HSE ICEF, took place on October 29–30 online. Vladimir Sokolov, Head of the International Laboratory of Financial Economics, which hosted the conference, talks about the participants, the key presentation topics and how they will impact the global economy.
The UN Climate Change Conference is taking place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow. The conference focuses on preventive measures against the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of rising average global air temperatures. Igor Makarov, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change, will be taking part in the Glasgow conference. In the following interview, he speaks about the pressing problems Russia and the world are facing, and the research HSE scholars are doing on climate change.