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HSE University Experts Participate in Creating an Educational Programme for City Administrators

HSE University Experts Participate in Creating an Educational Programme for City Administrators

A new Master of Public Administration (MPA) programme has been developed by the Moscow School of Administration Skolkovo, HSE University, Strelka Institute, and the New Economic School, at the initiative of VEB.RF. The programme will teach a total of 500 participants, with the aim of developing administrative staff for 100 Russia’s biggest cities.

Mayors Become Students

This list of cities does not include Moscow and St. Petersburg, because, according to VEB.RF chairman Igor Shuvalov, they have already made great strides forward in understanding their strategies and agendas, with a high economic potential. ‘My key task in the course development has been to create herd immunity to old approaches to urban development. I believe this will happen when all 100 teams complete the whole educational cycle’, said Igor Shuvalov at the opening ceremony of the programme, which took place at Congress Hall on July 21st, 2020.

Sergey Kiriyenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia, spoke about the importance of the programme for its participants and the country at large. He believes that when cities develop, they also help rural settlements to grow: ‘In today’s economy and today’s global context, cities are a source of growth. If their development programme works well, they are growth drivers not only for the urban area, but for surrounding territories as well’.

Anatoly Artamonov, Member of the Federation Council, read Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko’s greeting from the stage: she also emphasized the relevance and practical value of this new project.

Today, continuing education is becoming an integral part of leadership and readiness to participate in development. The syllabus of the new programme for urban leaders will include learning from international experience, developing new projects, coaching, developing leadership skills and social sciences. The students of the programme are city mayors, their deputies, and representatives of local authorities. They will study 14 educational modules. Eight of them are delivered on-site, four are online, and two will be organized as an international internship.

What HSE University Brings in MPA Programme

HSE University experts believe that for the university, this programme is a milestone for many reasons. ‘Leaders at all levels are gradually coming to understand the leading role of cities in the Russian economy. Furthermore, this programme focuses not on specific aspects of city life, but on cities as complex interdisciplinary objects that require special approaches, knowledge and respect’, said Gleb Vitkov from the HSE Faculty of Urban and Regional Development (FURD), ‘Teaching mayoral teams from the 100 biggest cities, successful professionals, is a complicated and ambitious task, which requires unconventional approaches’. HSE University experts believe that the most pressing urban development problems include the lack of professionals and competencies in this field. The programme aims to demonstrate new approaches to the participating city administrators.

The tasks on module development and organization are evenly distributed between all members of the consortium, said Gleb Vitkov. HSE University is represented mostly by FURD professors and experts, who have helped to ensure the programme is dynamic and intensive, supporting Skolkovo’s idea of using different learning formats, from lectures and discussions to project work and international internships. A unique feature of the programme is the participation of Russian Government representatives who will supervise the issues of urban and local development, allowing the participants to get immediate feedback on their project solutions.

Gleb Vitkov

The faculty is actively cooperating with cities and regions, and its staff members are active professionals in urban planning. Over the last three years, we have implemented various projects for more than 100 Russian cities. We have accumulated a lot of practical experience, arrays of city data, and developed methods to improve the processes of spatial management and planning.

By the second module of the programme, the faculty’s team of analysts will prepare assessment materials, which will be used in project work by the participants. The work will be supervised by the faculty experts. They will take part in an audit of the applied managerial practices and urban challenges, studying the problems of spatial development and effectiveness of the territories’ infrastructure.

Various departments of the HSE Faculty of Urban and Regional Development are also participating in the creation of this programme. One of the modules is dedicated to developing transport infrastructure and transport planning. The syllabus for this module has been designed by the Institute for Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies headed by Mikhail Blinkin. Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism will prepare the module ‘Practices of Relations with City Residents’.

‘During their studies, the teams will work on their development projects and, of course, they will need additional staff to implement them and monitor this implementation’, said Gleb Vitkov, ‘But we see great prospects for cooperating with cities in the future beyond these projects – in the joint development of the job market, and in setting new standards for the profession’.

The Faculty of Urban and Regional Development is enrolling students in the bachelor’s programme ‘Urban Planning’ and master’s programmes: Urban Development and Spatial Planning, Prototyping Future Cities, and Transport Planning.

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