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New Programme Allows Foreign Scholars to Teach at HSE Remotely

New Programme Allows Foreign Scholars to Teach at HSE Remotely

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Thanks to a recently launched programme for visiting scholars, HSE University will host a large number of international scholars and scientists who will teach or conduct research at HSE. In the 2020/21 academic year, about a hundred colleagues from foreign universities will work remotely at HSE under civil law contracts. HSE First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev told the HSE News Service about the new programme.

Remotely collaborating with international colleagues is nothing new for HSE University. We have long collaborated with colleagues remotely for research purposes. Now a new programme has been launched that will allow us to involve foreign colleagues in activities—namely, teaching—at HSE more systematically, under civil law contract.

Though the pandemic was not the reason for the emergence of this programme, it undoubtedly was a catalyst. With border closures and many international colleagues unable to come to Russia, many scholars are willing to work online. It is not very burdensome for them, they do not need to leave their countries and their universities, so the opportunities for international cooperation have expanded enormously.

Under the programme, 13 colleagues have entered into contracts with HSE to date. HSE has welcomed prominent scholars from Stanford, City University of New York (USA), the University of London, the University of Aberdeen (UK), Jerusalem University (Israel), KU Leuven (Belgium), the University of Hong Kong, and other well-known universities in the world. This is only the beginning, and in the near future it is planned to invite up to one hundred colleagues.

We invite international specialists to teach courses that we do not yet offer but would like to, or those that we do offer but would like to provide instruction at a more advanced level with the participation of recognized leaders. The same applies to topics of project and research seminars. We hope that our teachers will also benefit from this cooperation; they will be able to learn from their colleagues and enhance their expertise.

The first faculty to make use of the programme was HSE’s Faculty of Humanities: it was there that the first contracts under the programme were signed, and most of the international colleagues who have come to HSE through the programme are teaching in this faculty. The Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Computer Science have also welcomed new international colleagues. The international scholars are teaching a variety of courses, including ‘Contemporary Literary Theory’, ‘Visual Culture’, ‘Informal Economics’, and ‘Machine Learning’. In general, the programme is designed for all faculties and all areas of study represented at HSE, so the range of courses will be significantly expanded in the near future.

A special feature of the programme is that it is the main academic or research subdivisions who seek out the international scholars and initiate the collaborative agreement process. They themselves determine what specialists they need, make preliminary agreements with the candidates, and submit applications, which are considered within thirty days

This stands in contrast to the competitive selection for permanent contracts, where foreign colleagues apply to HSE as part of a general open call.

By inviting foreign specialists, HSE is competing for them with other universities in the world, and now, amid the pandemic, this competition has intensified. The demand for strong professors who are willing to teach remotely has grown significantly. We strive to invite the best in the profession—successful researchers and teachers (these two qualifications most often coincide), and our foreign colleagues are interested in remote work at HSE. We expect that this programme will allow us to bolster the quality of our academic programmes and their relevance among students, as well as develop research centres at HSE. Perhaps, some of our students may find a supervisor among the new specialists who have joined us.

In turn, international colleagues may become interested in pursuing more involved research work at the HSE in the future—they may collaborate on joint publications with our teachers, and so on. In addition, the possibility of transitioning to a permanent contract is not excluded. When deciding on who to re-hire, the results of student teaching assessment surveys, informative reports from invited international experts, reviews from HSE department heads and, of course, student feedback will be taken into account.

The new Remote International Specialist Programme is administered by the Centre for International Faculty Support of the Department of Internationalisation. You can apply on behalf of your subdivision here.

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