The Mission of New Universities
On May 19-21, St. Petersburg hosted the third International Conference on Education and Global Cities: Horizons for the Contemporary University. The conference saw the participation of representatives from universities in Hong Kong, Torino, Newcastle, Beijing, Oslo, Brussels, and beyond. It also featured more than 20 plenary sessions, round tables, lectures, and seminars.
The Director of HSE’s campus in St. Petersburg, Sergey Kadochnikov, had this to say in his opening speech:
‘Contemporary economics requires us to find and develop new ways for the Higher School of Economics to work with the business community and society as a whole. Our conference was conceived as a platform that strengthens cooperation between education, business, and society, and the main focus of this year’s conference will be on the wide array of missions that the modern-day university pursues. At a time when many countries are observing slower economic growth, deep structural reforms become unavoidable, and people largely look to universities as new economic agents capable of growing rapidly. One the one hand, universities are becoming larger taxpayers and employers, and on the other, they ensure that there is an influx of younger people who are more receptive to innovation and who can guarantee rapid growth for a new business. At the same time, they are able to change the face of a city entirely.’
Participants of the conference discussed topics that are important for more than just universities. Key topics for discussion included:
- Demand for modern qualifications: moving towards a new model of universities and labour market cooperation.
- Universities in the context of regional development: towards a fourth university mission.
- Smart cities: cooperation of universities and cities.
- Human capital in large cities: a comparative analysis.
- Public policy programmes in Europe, Russia, and China.
- Academic franchising: new resources for university’s development strategies.
- Cross-cultural cooperation in education: the examples of Asia, Africa, the U.S., and Europe
- Applied research on the socioeconomic development of Russia’s regions.
- Urban research: the international experience and cooperation among universities.
Kevin Downing, who is the Director of Knowledge, Enterprise, and Analysis at the City University of Hong Kong, discussed how universities should pursue a mission that focuses not only on ensuring economic growth for society as a whole, but also on adequately organizing the structure of the university itself. This includes a properly distributed budget, a high quality and active teaching staff, a large number of academic citations, and an ability to compete at the national and international level.
Lorenza Operti, the Vice-Rector for Academic and International Affairs at the University of Turin (Italy), used the example of her own university to present a paper on how universities and the industrial sector work together. Specifically, she noted that the majority of industrial companies in Italy do not have their own research and development (R&D) divisions. Because of this, companies rely on universities, which in turn cooperate with the real sector of the economy.
John Goddard, Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies of Newcastle University, shared his research on the development of Britain’s provincial towns and cities. He highlighted the role universities play in solving problems relating to such towns’ environmental sustainability, health, and cultural development. Researchers from an array of different backgrounds and specializations used the towns where they work and live as a laboratory, as the modern city has simultaneously become an object of study, a field for research, and a platform for developing interdisciplinary cooperation. In working on the problem of sustainable urban growth, universities have made their contribution to how their surrounding environment is controlled.
Zhou Zuoyu, who is the Vice President of Beijing Normal University, talked about how universities constantly play a dual role. On the one hand, they have to be conservative from a traditional perspective, but on the other, they are expected to change, grow, and show creativity.
A key topic of discussion at the conference was the question of how universities should structure their educational processes so that students are able to meet the demands of the labour market upon graduation.
Professional training is a key factor in the economic development and social well being of individuals and society as a whole. Aside from professional skills, the modern economy is in dire need of social and behavioural skills as well. In order for businesses to better create a national system of qualifications and implement methods of professional accreditation, there must be a stronger relationship between labour markets and educational institutions.
HSE Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin said he was certain that the labour market now had a stronger need for competencies, not diplomas, and because of this, universities must ensure that students have a universal skillset. Lastly, it is up to universities to develop truly interdisciplinary educational programmes and create solid learning networks.
On November 24–25, 2023, the 12th ICEF-CInSt International Finance Conference took place in Moscow. Researchers from Russia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom contributed as speakers and discussants. The organisers and participants of the conference shared their impressions of the event with the HSE News Service.
Mateo Rojas Samper, from Colombia, is a student of thePolitics. Economics. Philosophy master’s programme at the HSE University Faculty of Social Sciences. Matteo spoke to the HSE News Service about the importance of engaging in both theory and practice in his studies at HSE University, as well as his participation in the Model United Nations and the Russia–Latin America International Parliamentary Conference.
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.
From September 19–27, 2023, the Third Pacific School Conference on Experimental Economics (PSEE) will take place in Vladivostok. The conference has been organised by the HSE UniversityInternational Laboratory for Experimental and Behavioural Economics as part of the Mirror Laboratories project with the Research Laboratory for Modelling Socio-Economic Processes at Far Eastern Federal University. The conference will be held in an in-person format, and foreign participants can take part online.
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.