Teach for HSE Seminar Focuses on Online Projects
In April, the Teach for HSE Project hosted an online seminar, ‘International Virtual Exchange in Your Classroom: No Visa Needed’. Seminar participants discussed the 2020-2021 Russian-Japanese Student International Research Programme, ‘Northeast Asia since 2012: Political and Economic Analysis’, which was held jointly by the School of International Regional Studies of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs and the Institute for Asian Studies and Regional Collaboration of Akita International University (Japan).
The discussion was moderated by Oksana Chernenko, Director for Educational Innovations of HSE University, and featured the following speakers:
- Vera Vishnyakova, Programme Academic Supervisor and Head of the HSE School of International Regional Studies;
- Elmira Imamkulieva, Project Supervisor, Coordinator of Student Project Activities, and Senior Lecturer at the HSE School of International Regional Studies;
- Tetsuya Toyoda, Project Supervisor, Director of the Institute for Asian Studies and Regional Cooperation, Akita International University (Japan).
Vera Vishnyakova and Elmira Imamkulieva described the main stages of the project, from the search for a foreign partner and preparing the syllabus, to selecting participants. They also explained specific methods of the online group work during the pandemic.
The international student project of the School of International Regional Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs involved a total of 85 students and 12 professors. Over the course of the program, 23 special lectures were given and 37 consultations were provided.
The project culminated in 5 papers that have been accepted for publication, numerous individual and group presentations, and 5 international round tables and conferences
Benefits of Modern Technology
Elmira Imamkulieva drew particular attention to the different forms of technology utilized for effective online group work and their main advantages in implementing ‘Northeast Asia since 2012: Political and Economic Analysis’. She also described how students were divided into 3 different Russian-Japanese groups and had to communicate entirely in English.
In addition to gaining experience working and presenting their work in English, the students prepared joint presentations and worked as a real team competing among 3 international groups and presenting their results to the supervisors.
Professor Toyoda, Project Supervisor, Director of the Institute for Asian Studies and Regional Cooperation, Akita International University (Japan).
It is crucial to make students understand that they are doing something extraordinary and that having the Russian-Japanese Student International Collaborative Research Programme on their CVs will be a special asset as they apply for graduate schools or positions at multinational companies.
Sofya Sadykova, Director of the Student International Mobility Office, Department of Internationalisation
Some twenty years ago the description of the project might have sounded like a passage from a science fiction novel to me. I honestly envy our students who have the chance to interact and exchange ideas with students from another country, attend lectures of several prominent foreign professors, and get individual counseling as they complete their research projects. Moreover, this is all done from the comfort of their home without any of the stress of moving to another country and or any of the expenses.
The project illustrates that formally exclusive international academic experience may soon become just one more way to complete your studies or deliver a class, work on your research and participate in an international academic mobility. At the same time, this virtual international exchange excludes the challenging and costly dimension of relocation, leaving your family and friends, leaving all your activities in your home environment, and going through several stages of culture shock. HSE University students have already found many advantages in receiving their international experience online.
It would be great if the experience of the HSE – Akita International University collaboration could help usher in a new era of international academic alliances where it would be commonplace to develop a course or launch an academic project together with a colleague from another country and facilitate it jointly by bringing together students from both institutions in one virtual classroom.
Irina Maltseva, Adviser to the Rector
Digital technology is now a mainstay of education, particularly when it comes to organizing project work amongst university partners, insofar as it is faster, cheaper, and often more effective. However, in my view, it is also makes certain aspects more complicated both for students and the instructors coordinating these projects.
The first area in which difficulties appear is team building. The emotional reactions, moods, and personalities we get to see when interacting in person are not accessible online. In this respect, the work of the coordinator is especially crucial. They ensure that everyone is actively engaged by assigning interim tasks, performing performance evaluations, and discussing what the project participants should do next. It is important that all participants feel comfortable with the online format since not everyone can express themselves freely by attracting special attention to themselves. It is necessary to create a friendly atmosphere. Therefore, intercultural understanding and respect for certain traditions plays an important, if not the main role in an international team. (This is especially so when collaborating with partners from Japan, China, and other Asian countries.)
Motivation is key when working online. This is not something you achieve simply by promising a certificate upon completion of the programme, though our Japanese colleagues noted this very fact. As I see it, you need to foster a genuine interest on the part of the participants in the work, delegate tasks that are more suitable for one party or another, and arrange opportunities for the exchange of unique experiences that can only be gained from international collaboration.
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 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.
HSE University and Coursera are bringing together the world’s leading researchers, professionals, education and technology leaders, and business community representatives for the fourth international research conference eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit 2021 (eSTARS). This topic of this year’s summit, which will run from December 1–2, 2021,is ‘Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System’.