Human Rights: European View and Russian Practice
In June this year, the international school ‘Integrating Europe through Human Rights: comparing the exercise of basic freedoms’ took place at the HSE. The event was a joint initiative between the HSE and the University of Bologna and organized by the HSE Department of Public Policy.
The unique character of the school was demonstrated, on one hand, by the list of its participants, and on the other, by its topics. The HSE brought together students from leading international universities, such as the University of Bologna (UniBo), University of Oxford, King’s College London, and the University of London. The school participants included people from France, Greece, Great Britain, Germany, USE, Italy, Romania, Norway, Belgium, Serbia, Kirgizstan and Belorussia. The age range of the students was also remarkable: from 18 to 65. For example, the youngest participant was Francois Vanherck (Belgium), student of the King’s College London Law Department, and the oldest was Gillian Wigglesworth (Great Britain), Doctor of Law, lawyer and human rights activist with a great deal of experience and former lecturer at Universities of Oxford and London. In addition to lawyers, the participants also included political scientists, sociologists, economists, historians and managers.
The school’s international character was also shown by the fact that it was organized by two partner European universities: HSE and UniBo, which have intensively developed academic and research collaboration under a cooperation agreement signed in 2009. But while in the past the cooperation included mainly academic student and teachers’ exchanges between the two institutions, this school has become the first joint educational and academic event produced by the partners. The universities’ academic councils approved the school’s programme, the list of lecturers, as well as the educational and methodical materials, including a reader, as well as compiling the international jury who conducted the final examination. Success in the exam brought 3 ECTS to the school participants.
The list of teachers for the school was formed on an equal basis: three representatives from the HSE as well as from UniBo. The classes were held by professors Lucia Serena Rossi, Marco Balboni, Eduard Yagodnik and Nina Belyaeva, head of the HSE Department of Public Policy, as well associate professor at this department Dmitry Zaytsev and Dmitry Makarov, leading expert in freedom of assembly at the Moscow Helsinki Group and the Youth Human Rights Movement.
As for the topic of the school, this was determined by the relevance of human rights issues in Europe and particularly Russian practices for their solution. The students listened to a course of lectures on the following topics: ‘European standards and new amendments to Russian legislation on meetings and demonstrations’, ‘Academic freedoms, right to education and freedom of expression’, ‘The accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights; Reform of ECHR’, ‘Civil protests and respect of human rights: challenges in times of crisis’, and ‘Freedom of Assembly — European standards and Russian practices’. In addition to that, at the beginning of the school the participants were divided into small groups, each of which carried out a comparative analysis of one of the aspects of implementing the right for freedom of assembly from the Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly developed by the OSCE. The results of the studies were presented during the final examination. For example, one of the presentations was dedicated to implementing the freedom of assembly by the LGBT community in both Great Britain and Russia, and another one to political manifestations in Italy and Russia. According to the jury’s evaluation, participants ‘demonstrated a high research level of the presented results and the ability to carry out in-depth comparisons between practices of implementation of civil freedoms in European countries, particularly in the sphere of regulation and realization of the freedom of peaceful assembly’.
The classes took place not only within the HSE. The school participants made several educational visits to the offices of leading Russian human rights organizations. For example, during the visit to the Memorial Society, students had an opportunity to talk to Alexander Cherkasov, member of its management board, and to get information on the history of the dissident movement in Russia, formation of the civil society, and the reasons for its rises and falls, straight from the source. During the visit to the Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest NGO in Russia, the school participants met Nina Tagankinf, executive director, and took part in a discussion on the development of the concept of human rights in the USSR and its role in international relations, as well as hearing about contemporary everyday work by human rights activists in Russia. Finally, the students visited the Sakharov Museum and Public Center where they discussed, among other issues, Russia’s role in the observance of human rights in the modern world. And since the time frame of the school coincided with the peak of civil activity in Russia, many school participants after the classes had an opportunity to watch the implementation of the right for freedom of assembly directly in the centre of Moscow.
It is notable that all main expenses for the school organization were covered by fees from participants, so that the school has totally paid for itself. ‘The successful work of the school and the participation of a large number of international students demonstrates their interest in studying at the HSE, and particularly in the master’s programmes’, Nina Belyaeva believes.
‘For example, over 20 international students have already applied for English-language education in the two-year international programme on Political Analysis and Public Policy implemented by the Department of Public Policy’, she continued. ‘And they come from the most prestigious European and American universities. And starting from the next year we are launching a double degree PhD programme with the UniBo. A postgraduate student will have two academic supervisors, but will carry out one research project. The thesis itself will be interdisciplinary. In Bologna the research will be carried out on the basis of the EU Law Institute, and at the HSE, on the basis of the Department of Public Policy.’
In order to receive a double degree, the postgraduate students will have to carry out their research for at least half a year in the University of Bologna (the total time period of the PhD programme is 3 years). But this is not all. ‘They shall have to present a project progress report to the Bologna commission of 10 professors’, Nina Belyaeva explained, ‘And the same interim report will be defended by Italian PhD students who come to the HSE postgraduate programme. And the final viva voce process will consist of two stages: a Russian ‘candidate of science’ degree will be approved in the RF Higher Attestation Commission, and about at the same time – possibly a little earlier or later – this research will have to be defended in English at the University of Bologna’.
If you are planning on applying to one of HSE’s summer schools, it’s time to act now. Read on to learn about events hosted by HSE schools that are still accepting applications from students and teachers.
Exploring Political and Cultural Space of St Petersburg through the Summer School 'Topography of Imperial Power'
On a grey autumn day, it is always nice to warm up by reliving memories of summer adventures. This year, the balmy weather did not leave our city till mid-October, and a summer mood also lingered at HSE University – St Petersburg with the IV International Summer School 'The Topography of Imperial Power: Political and Cultural Space of Saint Petersburg' which ran from September 11 till October 2, 2018.
In August 2018, the Faculty of Law at HSE Nizhny Novgorod hosted the annual summer school ‘Russian – Chinese Business: Cultural and Legal Aspects’. This year, the delegation from China was twice as big as last year, and the number of volunteers increased significantly, which clearly shows that summer schools with partner universities gain momentum!
The second Summer School on Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods (DeepBayes 2018) was held in Moscow from August 27 to September 1, 2018. The summer school was organized by HSE Centre of Deep Learning and Bayesian Methods and Samsung AI Center in Moscow. The lectures were taught by researchers from two centers-organizers, Skoltech, and Lomonosov Moscow State University.
The Russian Summer School, Masterchain, was held at the Higher School of Economics. It provided students with experience in working with this platform beyond the sphere of banking. The students collaborated on innovative projects for solving real business problems in the field of FinTech.
On June 9–15, the town of Pushkin near St. Petersburg, Russia hosted the Sixth International Summer School on Multidisciplinary Higher Education Research organized by the HSE Institute of Education (IOE). Bringing together a premier cohort of accomplished international academics and bright early-career scholars, the 2018 School aimed to explore new and deeper perspectives on how higher education can contribute to positive socio-economic change at all levels.
Every summer since 2007, the Center for Institutional Studies at the National Research University Higher School of Economics has been organizing the annual Russian Summer School on Institutional Analysis (RSSIA). Students and researchers from around the world convene in Moscow to enjoy a whole week of lectures and consultations, presentations, discussions and networking, as well as the opportunity to be inspired by the experts.
On July 17-23 the Third Machine Learning summer school organized by Yandex School of Data Analysis, Laboratory of Methods for Big Data Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and Imperial College London was held in Reading, UK. 60 students, doctoral students and researchers from 18 countries and 47 universities took part in the event.
The Summer School ‘Law in Russia: National Aspects’ was held at HSE Nizhny Novgorod on July 17-28. Students from HSE Nizhny Novgorod and the Southwest University of Political Science and Law (Chongqing, China) took part in the event. For two weeks the international participants studied the basics of Russian language, law, and management.
In July 2017, the HSE Institute of Education welcomed its first international summer school 'Inequality of Educational Opportunities'. Organized by the IOE International Laboratory for Education Policy Analysis, this event aimed to promote best-practice approaches to inequality research through multi-dimensional academic debate and learning about today’s advanced methodology in social data analysis.