Summer University 2023: ‘A Good Introduction to Urban Studies’
At the start of August, HSE University held the tenth annual Summer University. This year’s programme took the form of a workshop on urban studies. The participants attended four courses from HSE University faculty and invited experts and worked on their own projects to develop a cultural heritage site. Jung Woo Lee, from South Korea, shares his impressions of the Summer University.
Participants of this year’s Summer University had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of urban studies, geography, anthropology and ethnography. The programme also included historical tours and visits to the Zotov Centre constructivist space and the Shchusev Museum of Architecture.
The Summer University was open not only to students of various universities, but also to practicing specialists.
Oxana Chernenko, Director of the Summer University, said that when the project was launched (in 2014), its goal was to showcase HSE University in all its diversity. ‘At the time, we were primarily associated with economics, and not everyone realised that we offer programmes in many different fields. We put together courses representing various subject areas. We have a new format this time, but the tradition continues. Now we are running a workshop on urban studies, with the opportunity to take courses on urban ecology and anthropology. The key feature of this project is to give participants the opportunity to expand their professional horizons and get to know HSE University better,’ she explains.
This year, the Summer University is oriented not only around the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development, but also the Faculty of Geography and Geoinformation Technology, explains Kirill Puzanov, Associate Professor at the Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism. ‘I believe this is quite important, because the ability to work with space is not limited to urban development. You must also feel and understand how spatial logic works,’ he said.
Jung Woo Lee, master’s student at Seoul National University, Graduate School of International Studies
I’m currently majoring in international cooperation with research interests in security studies. My bachelor’s education was at MGIMO University studying international relations.
I had planned on visiting Moscow this summer and was looking for academic programmes available at Russian universities. During this search, I found the Summer University 2023 while browsing the HSE website. My current major and specialisation are quite distant from the main theme of the Summer University, but I decided to participate in the hope of getting insights into this new subject. Furthermore, I expected that many of the subjects would be handled in the context of Russia, which would be a good opportunity to learn more about the country, culture, and population.
I was very satisfied with the organisation of the Summer University from the very beginning. The coordinator of the programme helped make the application straightforward and the organisational materials (schedule etc) easy to follow!
I attended courses on anthropology (taught in English), digital ethnography, analysis of urban data, and development of cultural heritage sites. I also participated in field trips to the Museum of Architecture and the Zotov Centre.
Thanks to the professors’ efforts, the classes were very interactive, making them student-centric and setting up an environment where you can learn each other’s opinions
Through discussions during the seminars, I found interesting, subtle (and sometimes large) similarities and differences between my past understandings and those of my peers on approaches to various topics. As a novice to this field, I found the introduction of methodologies and theories by the professors helpful in getting a good introduction to urban studies.
I am very pleased with my two weeks at the HSE Summer University 2023 and would recommend it to my friends
It was a great learning opportunity as well as a chance to meet talented and hardworking peers from various academic and professional backgrounds. Finally, it was a great chance to experience the beautiful HSE campus and its surrounding environment!
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