‘Changing Europe’ In Moscow
From August 1st – 5th, an international Summer School on East-European studies took place at the Higher School of Economics. This time, participants discussed the influence of the global economic crisis on the politics and economies of Central and Eastern European countries.
This was the 6th annual ‘Changing Europe’ summer school. It was initiated by the University of Bremen Research Center for East European Studies, but members of the HSE staff have participated in it every year, both as experts and organizers. ‘Every year we go to a different European city’, Heiko Pleines, member of the University of Bremen Research Center for East European Studies, said, ‘We have already visited Berlin, Kiev, Prague and Warsaw. This year we are in Moscow. Andrey Yakovlev, Vice Rector of the Higher School of Economics, has been a participant and advisor at every one of these summer schools. We have discussed various organizational and conceptual issues with him, and when he suggested we come to Moscow, we were happy to agree’.
The second important task of the Summer school was to help young researchers integrate into the international academic community, even more so since the School’s working language is English. ‘Leading experts and professors tell the audience how to publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed journal and how to apply for an international grant. For example, a Harvard professor explained what catches the eye in an application’, Heiko Pleines said.
This year the school participants included young researchers from Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, USA and of course Russia. They presented the results of their research in compliance with international academic standards, and then had the opportunity to get expert evaluations and participate in the discussion. According to Leonid Kosals, Deputy Dean for Research of the HSE Faculty of Sociology (The School’s organizer on the Russian side), ‘this format allows each participant not only to get an evaluation of his work from colleagues representing different academic areas, but also to see how his work and he himself appears when compared with colleagues of the same age from different countries, and it also provides an opportunity to be evaluated by elder colleagues’.
During the school, in addition to presentations on the results of research, there were also classes on the use of e-resources (conducted by Pavel Arefiev from еLIBRARY.RU electronic library), as well as sessions on international academic career-building and how to give advice to government bodies. The experience of this school can be useful for the development of the HSE’s full-time aspirantura programme – primarily for evaluating postgraduates’ work.
Of course, there were some problems in the organization of the school, which were primarily related to the mismatch between the schedule of decision-making on financing the summer schools at the HSE and requirements of effective organization of an international postgraduate school, which requires early call for participants and selection of candidates.
Following the Summer school, a book will be published which will include the best work of the participants. The book will be published by the German academic publishing house ‘ibidem-Verlag’ in English.
Opinions of the Summer School participants
Elena Danilenko, Kharkov National University (Ukraine), senior lecturer at the Department of economic theory:
The Summer school was very well organized, but, of course, the contents are far more important. It is always very interesting when the topic is declared (this time it was related to the global economic crisis) and then discussed from the perspectives of different sciences. It was useful to get expert recommendations in regards to my work and to listen to some new ideas. It is always good when work is discussed, but if you have the opportunity to talk to someone who has thoroughly read the paper, it is a different story.
I liked the lecture on internet resources, about existing databases on economics and the specifics of the information presented there. Some databases are well known, but not all of them, and in addition, each of them has its own specifics.
Valeria Zaozernaya, University of Bamberg (Germany), postgraduate student at the Department of international management:
It seems especially important to me that the school was interdisciplinary. A view from the representatives of another academic area lets us look at the subject of one’s research from a different perspective.
It was interesting to get some information on international grants and scholarships, about how to apply, how to understand a sponsor’s ideology and what details should be taken into account. Each grant has its own political and academic concepts, and social factors also play a huge role. The topic of the research can be interesting and relevant, but it will not get support if the application is made incorrectly, if the contexts and the interests of a specific fund are not taken into account.
Vitautas Kuokstis, University of Vilnius Institute of International Relations and Political Science (Lithuania):
My research, which I presented at the Summer school, is dedicated to how the Baltic countries were fighting the crisis, what solutions were found, what they managed to do and what they did not. The Baltic countries decided to fight the consequences of the crisis without any devaluation of their currencies and many people thought that this was not such a good idea. In my thesis I study the political and historical context in the Baltic countries and I look at the institutions which exist there. I think that there were factors that helped to successfully overcome the crisis. Firstly, the flexibility of the labour market and in addition, these countries export basic products, such as wood and furniture which can be easily reoriented to other markets under difficult conditions. And there were many such factors.
This summer school was very well organized I have participated in similar schools six or seven times, and this was one of the best. I shall also remember it thanks to the people I met here and the opportunity to talk, to get valuable comments and advice. The school participants work on different topics and approach solutions from the perspective of different sciences. This helps us to see one’s study from a different angle and to better understand the problem.
Eva Dabrowska, University of Erfurt (Germany):
I presented a project related to the development of financial institutions in Russia. I am particularly interested in how economic ideas are implemented by politicians and what stimulus the politicians may have for the use of economic tools. I believe that this work is not only about economics, but is sociological and in some way – political. I have studied economics, sociology and history, and that’s why it is not easy for me to identify myself with any specific academic discipline.
I met some very interesting people during the School: I had a rare opportunity to meet colleagues from Romania and Russia. Of course, it was useful to talk to experts from the U.S. and Great Britain who have been working in research for many years. I did not expect such prominent people to come to this school.
I received a lot of advice on the contents of my thesis, I was given recommendations on what else can and should be analyzed to make the results more serious.
Tatiana Kostyuchenko, Kyiv Mohila Academy (Ukraine), senior teacher at the Department of sociology:
Sometimes you have no idea what your colleagues from the same country or even city are working on. We work in different institutions, and this School allows us to meet, discuss things, and establish contacts. And then this can lead to joint projects and other forms of cooperation, including joint publications.
The format of an academic conference often does not allow us to consider a topic in detail and with support of colleagues, but it was possible at this Summer school. In addition to that, the discussants met the school participants in advance and discussed some issues even before the presentations.
We also received some useful information on how to publish an article in an international journal. Traditionally, we focus on national publications during the preparation of a thesis, and there everything is organized differently: they have a different structure, specifics, peer-reviewing technology etc. Such information was certainly essential for young researchers.
Nadezhda Kolesnik, Higher School of Economics (Russia), research intern at the Laboratory of Network Organizational Forms:
This was my first experience of participating in such a seminar. Academic work in other countries is organized differently than in Russia. That’s why it was interesting to find out how it works and how research is conducted. I received advice on my research, and some especially valuable recommendations from Andrey Yakovlev, so today I better understand what my work and its structure should look like.
During the week of the School’s work I made many new contacts. In particular, I discovered that I have similar topics of research to Tatiana Kostyuchenko. Probably, we shall cooperate in future.
Everything was successful at this school. I think it would be good to have a similar school in management, or at least to organize a permanent postgraduate seminar in order to discuss problems with colleagues and to listen to opponents’ opinions. The type of seminar should be regular, as they are in many universities of the world.
Andrey Shcherbakov, HSE News Service
HSE Students Explore Environmental Problems at Summer School in South Urals
The summer school 'Space in/for Environmental Humanities: Reconsidering the Global through Studying Peripheries' explored the impact of human activity on natural environments and their transformation. It was co-organised by the School of Environmental and Social Studies (Anthroposchool) at the University of Tyumen (TSU) and the HSE Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities (IGITI), with support from the Mirror Labs programme of HSE University.
HSE University Hosts Third Summer School on Machine Learning in Bioinformatics
Between August 23rd and 25th, the HSE Faculty of Computer Science held its annual summer school on machine learning in bioinformatics. After two years of being held online, the school returned to an offline format for this year. Over three days, more than 120 participants attended lectures and seminars by leading experts in the field from institutions such as HSE University, Skoltech, AIRI, MSU, MIPT, Genotek, and Sber Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Faculty of Computer Science Holds its First Entrepreneurship School
At the end of August, the Centre for Internships, Projects and Entrepreneurship of the Faculty of Computer Science, with support from the HSE University Business Incubator, held the first summer school on entrepreneurship. More than 40 HSE University bachelor’s and master’s students participated in it. The school was aimed at developing the students’ entrepreneurial skills and introducing them to the art of presenting ideas and products.
ICEF Holds Summer Bridge School in Financial Economics
The ICEF Summer Bridge School prepares students from various countries and universities for their master’s studies. It is a short-term summer programme for students of bachelor’s and master’s programmes who are planning to apply to the Master’s in Financial Economics at ICEF and similar master’s programmes at other universities in the coming year. The participants of this year’s School included students from Uzbekistan, Russia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, Italy, Armenia, Nigeria, China, Turkey, and others.
HSE University Students Enjoy Uzbek Hospitality at International Summer School in Tashkent
HSE University students have taken part in the ‘Uzbekistan—Land of Tolerance’ International Summer School. The event was held in July in Tashkent at the Mirzo Ulugbek National University of Uzbekistan, a partner of HSE University. The HSE University students shared their impressions of the local sights and hospitality.
MIEM Holds ‘Electronics, Photonics and the Internet of Things’ Summer School
Over three days, the participants learnt about the main subject areas of the master's programmes of the HSE School of Electronic Engineering. About three dozen undergraduate students and graduates from different Russian universities took part in the summer school. Leading MIEM teachers and visiting lecturers from Russian companies were among those who spoke about promising areas of development in electronics, photonics, quantum technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT).
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.
‘I Admire HSE Students’ Eagerness to Learn, to Discuss, to Broaden Their Perspectives’
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.
Russia and Africa: Time to Expand Cooperation
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.
The Brain in Space: Investigating the Effects of Long Spaceflights on Space Travellers
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.