‘Our Interest Is More than just Economics’
On September 29th the first lecture in the cycle of meetings of top-managers of the largest in Europe gas company E.ON Ruhrgas AG with the university students took place at the HSE. Steffen Bruendel, Head of Cultural and Academic Affairs at the E.ON Ruhrgas Corporate Office, and Hans-Peter Floren, Member of the Board of Management, E.ON Ruhrgas AG, told us about this lecture course.
— Mr. Bruendel, you were in charge of organizing this lecture course. Where did the idea come from?
— The initial impetus for the idea was the current German-Russian year of science, innovation and research which was launched in May this year by the Russian and German ministries of science. But the idea was really formed earlier last year because E.ON Ruhrgas has a long tradition of combining the energy business with certain cultural and educational projects. We want to demonstrate that our interest is more than just economics. And therefore we were looking at what would be a good project and what could be a good partner for us. And then last year we visited the Higher School of Economics, spoke to Prof. Sergey Karaganov, Dean of the HSE Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, and we developed some ideas. And one of them was a series of lectures delivered by senior executives of E.ON Ruhrgas. We started it this year when we confirmed that the management of our company were interested in doing it.
— How many lectures will there be in the series and what will they cover?
Five or six senior managers will be here every two weeks. Their lectures will cover certain subjects, such as the energy business, intercultural cooperation, funding, project management and cultural policy as well as gas technology. This is a pilot project, and once it starts, we will be looking to see what we can improve for next time.
— Will this cooperation be related to any opportunities for the students in terms of internships, vocational training or employment?
— That’s a good question. There may be opportunities to do internships depending on the focus of the student and where he or she wants to go. For example, in my department we currently have students of Russian origin or from Russia who are studying in Germany and are doing internships. So, for those who are interested in cultural politics or international relations there may be opportunities in my department, and those who are interested in the energy business may be welcome at the respective departments of my colleagues. There are also certain career opportunities available. E.ON Ruhrgas is active in Russia, and in Germany we have some colleagues of Russian origin. For example, Olga Semedelikina, who will give a lecture on intercultural communication, is Russian and has been working in Germany for our company for a long time.
— The first lecture took place today. What are your impressions of the Higher School of Economics?
— The Higher School of Economics was presented to me by German colleagues, German foundations who are doing projects with the HSE. They said: if you are looking for a good university, go for the HSE. We have a good impression, and our meetings with Prof. Karaganov and other professors were very constructive and I am very happy that today’s event has worked out.
— Will the students receive any certificates after the completion of this course?
Yes, we have agreed with the university that there will be a certificate signed by the university and E.ON Ruhrgas so that the students have something which shows that they have participated in these lectures. And we were told by Prof. Kratko that nearly 70 students have already applied for this certificate.
Commentary by Hans-Peter Floren, Member of the Board of Management, E.ON Ruhrgas AG:
— Today I gave the first lecture in a series of meetings between top-managers of E.ON Ruhrgas AG, the largest gas company in Europe, with students from the HSE. I enjoyed the lecture very much, I was really impressed by the students’ preparation and the quality of the questions they asked. There’s genuine interest and knowledge behind this. I very much enjoyed the way they acted, communicated and responded to the lecture.
Commentary by Irina Kratko, Head of the Master’s Programme in International Business at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs:
— E.ON Ruhrgas is part of the E.ON AG Group and is responsible for the Group’s gas business in Europe, including production, sales, transportation and storage of natural gas. In cooperation with Gazprom, E.ON AG participates in the development of the Yuzhno Russkiy oil and gas field, as well as in the construction of the Severniy Potok pipeline.
In addition to the lecture by Hans-Peter Floren, as part of the cycle the following presentations have also been planned:
- Uwe Fip, Senior Vice President, Gas Supply East: Terms of long-term natural gas contracts for Europe
- Reiner Hartmann, Head of E.ON Ruhrgas Representative Office Moscow: Development and Status of EU-Russian Energy relations
- Peter Reichetseder, Chief Operations Officer E. ON Ruhrgas E & P: Yuzhnoe Russkoe - a German-Russian joint venture
- Olga Semidelikhina, Head of Cooperation on Further Education: Intercultural relations in the energy sector: a practical workshop based on 20 years experience
- Steffen Bruendel, Vice President, Cultural and Academic Affairs: Corporate Responsibility and Cultural Sponsoring in the Energy Sector - Project Management, Fundraising and Public Private Partnerships
- Gerald Linke, Senior Vice President, Research & Development: Energy Efficiency in the Russian-German Modernisation Partnership - political, social, economic and technical achievements
Maria Pustovoyt, specially for the HSE New Service
Photos by Ekaterina Volkova
A university education is a highly sought-after commodity in Russia, yet the quality of universities and their programmes varies significantly. This gives rise to risks of inequality, both in the realm of education and in the labour market, and subsequently impacts the returns on higher education, which are manifested in the salaries earned by graduates. According to a study by Ilya Prakhov, Assistant Professor of the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences, graduates from Russia’s top-tier universities enjoy a distinct advantage. The paper has been published in the International Journal of Educational Development.
The parties will work to popularise science and conduct educational and research activities, including in the fields of astronomy, cosmonautics, and Earth science. The agreement also covers the implementation of joint practical programmes and internships for students.
HSE University and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) have agreed to cooperate in the development of new technologies, the digital transformation of the economy, and the social development of the country. The agreement was signed by HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov and ASI Director General Svetlana Chupsheva at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Basic, General, and Home-based: Why Families Choose to Homeschool and What Challenges They Face in Doing So
There are many reasons why families choose to homeschool their children, from wishing to personalise their education to protecting them from bullying to strengthening the family bond. Those who decide to switch to homeschooling can face quite a few challenges, both logistical and psychological, including criticism from family members. IQ.HSE presents a few facts on homeschooling in Russia based on a paper by researchers of the HSE Institute of Education.
Education is in the process of being partly reformatted into an on-demand service, with digital platforms quickly and efficiently matching teachers to students. This can make education more personalised and accessible and open up new professional development and money-making opportunities for teachers. But is an Uber-like model really good for education? The following discussion of uberisation in education is based on a paper by philosopher Timur Khusyainov, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the HSE Campus in Nizhny Novgorod.
HSE University and Sberbank have entered into a cooperation agreement. The document was signed by Herman Gref, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, and HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov. The agreement is aimed at the implementation of shared educational, research, career-guidance, awareness-raising, and informational projects.
Attitudes towards education are often inherited, with parents explaining to their children what university education can give them. They offer very pragmatic arguments—that higher education ensures a more successful career, interesting work and a good income. But there are also other arguments that should not be underestimated. At this time when many universities are holding open house, IQ.HSE draws on a study by HSE scholars Tatiana Chirkina and Amina Guseynova to explain the attitudes towards education that parents give their children and which considerations they might have overlooked.
Students can learn difficult material much more efficiently by collaborating than by studying individually. They help each other, share information, and build collective knowledge. However, things are not as simple as they may seem. Cooperation between students is effective for certain activities, but not others. As researchers from the HSE Institute of Education have shown, knowledge is absorbed more effectively through group work, but the same benefits are not found when it comes to the practical application of knowledge.
Women typically earn 18%-20% less than men do with the same education, profession and personal characteristics, researchers from the Higher School of Economics found using data from an employment survey of young personnel. What’s more, this income gap has a cumulative effect, growing wider the longer a woman works. Education, however, significantly compensates for this ‘penalty’. IQ.HSE examined this issue with the help of a study by Margarita Kiryushina and Victor Rudakova.
Teaching is a stressful job, and with schools and universities operating remotely over the last eighteen months, teachers’ worries have increased dramatically. In the latest in a series of articles on distance learning, IQ.HSE reports on research conducted by the HSE University Institute of Education on how teachers have been coping with stress.