HSE University Moves All Lectures to Online Format
Starting October 26, 2020, lectures at all HSE University campuses will be held online. At the same time, the University’s buildings remain open to students and staff. Seminars will mostly remain offline. However, it is possible that some will also be transferred online.
HSE Vice-Rector Sergei Roshchin has signed an official directive to this effect. According to the document, studies will be organized in this manner from October 26 until further notice. Lectures will be delivered online for all faculties and years of study across all four HSE University campuses (previously, the distance mode was only used for senior students when there were more than 50 people signed up for a course).
‘Firstly, if the majority of students in a group study remotely, then the programme’s academic supervisor, together with their teacher, may make a temporary decision to transfer their seminars online as well,’ explains Anna Korovko, Senior Director for Full Degree Programmes, noting: ‘Secondly, the directive of the Vice Rector contains another element: timetables should be drawn up in such a way that students come to classes no more than three days a week. Sometimes it is impossible to meet this requirement without transferring seminars online. At the same time, all the premises of HSE University (including, the Cultural Centre, the library, and cafeterias) are still open for the time being. Student passes are not blocked, so they can visit the University’s buildings.’
The HSE University Student Council supports the administration's decision to partially transition to a remote format. ‘The quality of education in some cases would suffer if all the classes were online. As such, we believe that it is important for a number of courses to be still taught in-person, taking into account the experience of this past spring. At the same time, for students concerned about the current epidemiological situation, there is an option to transfer to a completely remote format. We believe that the partial return of the distance learning in the proposed format will satisfy all elements of the study process,’ emphasized Ivan Torubarov, Head of the Executive Office of the HSE Student Council.
‘We see that most students would prefer not to repeat the spring scenario, although they are worried about the second wave of Covid-19. It is important for students to have access to the University’s infrastructure, to see each other, and, in some classes, they simply cannot go online without a negative effect on the quality of learning, ‘says Ivan Chernyavsky, Assistant to the HSE Rector, adding: ‘It seems to me that, in the end, we managed to find a working solution that helps us avoid a complete lockdown at HSE, while also significantly reducing the risks of an accelerated spread of the virus. I hope that the responsible attitude of the entire HSE University community to the measures taken will keep our institution open to students in the future.’
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Starting September 1, 2021, HSE University-Moscow is introducing new safety policies on campus to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They apply to students over 18 years old who have not had COVID during the last six months, have not been vaccinated (with a Russian or a foreign vaccine), nor have a medical exemption from vaccination. Free vaccination will be available on campus to all arriving students.
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Researchers have yet to evaluate the entire impact of COVID on mortality. However, it is now possible to discuss the first results of some initial studies. The HSE International Laboratory for Population and Health held a webinar ‘The First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Russia (April 2020—March 2021)’. Although the Russian total mortality rate increased during that period, it was Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Poland that topped the list. The lowest growth in the mortality rate was observed in South Korea. Meanwhile, researchers have failed to detect a lockdown-induced baby boom anywhere in the world.
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