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Regular version of the site

A Special ICEF Jubilee Graduation

On the 25th of September the International College of Economics and Finance held its graduation ceremony and a reception for alumni at the residence of the British Ambassador in Moscow.

2012 is an important year for both the HSE, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and for ICEF which was founded by HSE and the LSE 15 years ago. This was the first truly representative graduation ceremony – Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of HSE, Alexander Shokhin, President of HSE, Craig Calhoun, Director of the LSE and Sergei Yakovlev, Director of ICEF were all in attendance, as were senior professors from both universities and the British Ambassador, Tim Barrow. 

Sergei Yakovlev recalled how the ICEF project had begun as a college aimed at teaching a baccalaureat programme of two diplomas and gradually became an institute specialising in research. Over the years about 750 students have graduated from ICEF with diplomas from HSE and LSE, University of London. Students who graduate from the centre’s MA, besides their Russian certificate, receive a special letter signed by the director of the LSE. And the two universities have jointly set up an International Laboratory of Financial Economics at ICEF.

According to Sergei Yakovlev, about 90% of MA graduates from ICEF start their professional careers in leading banks and companies in Russia and abroad, and a number of them go on to academic jobs in other countries.

Tim Barrow, welcoming the guests at the ceremony, remarked that those who supported the ICEF project and those who are involved in it now have chosen wisely because the future belongs to those who care about education. ‘You are a wonderful example of Russian-British cooperation’, said the ambassador, addressing the new graduates. ‘When I first came to Moscow in 1980, our relations were extremely narrow and specific, and no one could have imagined that they could become so wide-ranging. I hope that, having begun your careers, you will continue to strengthen the ties between Russia and Great Britain. I also hope that you’ll become members of the British Alumni Club where you can meet many open-minded and successful people. I’m delighted to meet you today and look forward to seeing more of you in the future.’

Yaroslav Kuzminov remarked that every year the number of students on the ICEF baccalaureate course grows bigger and bigger with about 250 enrolling this year alone. ‘It’s an incontrovertible fact’, said the Rector of HSE, ‘and a sign that first class education in economics is becoming available in Russia, and that people have more faith in the chances of a career in the global labour market and in the academic sphere. ICEF is a leader in Russia today in its share of graduates continuing their studies in universities abroad.’

HSE Honorary Award for Richard Jackman
HSE Honorary Award for Richard Jackman
Yaroslav Kuzminov reminded those present of Professor Richard Jackman’s major contribution to developing the ICEF. Richard Jackman was there at the very beginning of ICEF and continues courageously to lead the project today. The Rector said that the Academic Council of HSE had decided to award Professor Jackman with the Honorary Award of the Higher School of Economics, and the award was given at the ICEF Graduation Ceremony. Professor Kuzminov said in his address that ‘Richard Jackman is the first foreigner to receive this award, the Honorary Award of the HSE, and he fully deserves this honour’. In his acceptance speech, Professor Jackman talked about the beginnings of ICEF, recalled the obstacles that he had had to overcome in the early years (like the wobbly steps on one of the staircases in the old building), and he called HSE a unique example of an organisation which kept its stability even in the hardest years of perestroika and the restructuring of Russia’s entire social economic system. Craig Calhoun, who only a month ago stepped into the job of Director of the LSE, became the first head of the LSE to attend an ICEF graduation ceremony. ‘ICEF graduates work in the most varied areas of business, public administration, and science and soon you’ll join this extensive network of professionals. You have the chance of a brilliant career ahead but I hope you won’t forget about social responsibility. You’ve been given the best technical skills and understanding of the world around you, so use it wisely and usefully!’          

Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service

Photos by Nikita Benzoruk

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