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'Becoming a Student of HSE University Is a Challenge'

Rector Nikita Anisimov and HSE University’s founders address first-year students

© HSE University

On the first day of the new academic year, HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, Academic Supervisor Yaroslav Kuzminov, and Honorary Academic Supervisor Evgeny Yasin have addressed first-year students. 

'Becoming a student of HSE University is a challenge, but even bigger challenges lie ahead. I’m not just talking about the challenge of ‘don’t get kicked out after the first class,’ but also of the fact that university life is a big change after school. The next four years—and more, I hope—will be full of choices: what to study and where, whether or not to change your academic path, and whether to meet with your friends or study for class. From today, all this responsibility lies not with your parents, teachers, or mentors, but with you,' emphasized Rector Anisimov in his address.

HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov’s address to first-year students

Yaroslav Kuzminov
HSE University Academic Supervisor

Dear first-years, dear students,

You are now part of the university you wanted to join—and we very much wanted you to join too.

There are three components to education. The first, naturally, are the teachers you are here to learn from. Then, there are your own talents and efforts, your willingness to invest your time and emotions into your studies—sometimes at the expense of rest and recreation. Finally, there is the talent and motivation of the people studying alongside you.

HSE University is a meeting place for the best, the strongest, and the most ambitious. This year, the average marks of new students once again grew to 96.3% for students on state-funded places and 85% for those on fee-paying places. I don’t hesitate to say that the levels of talent, exceptional students, and subject variety at HSE are unrivalled in Russia (and, perhaps, in the world).

This means that you can learn from one another, not just from your teachers. The success of HSE University graduates, the thing that makes them special, isn’t just the high requirements placed on each student. It is the result of your combined group efforts. Learn as much as you can from your peers.

HSE is a national research university. Research, analysis, expertise and project work are a big part of life here. It has been said that university—any university—differs from school in that the knowledge you gain is not a fixed truth. It is not something to be simply learned and assumed to be true. Rather, it is an approach to understanding and learning more. Research universities are something different again. Studying at a research university involves more than simply learning or examining the knowledge obtained by others, or being present for the creation of new knowledge and abilities—it is the creation of something that is your own. Your own research and your own projects.

Research is a global institution. There is no country in the world that would turn down the opportunities of monitoring, utilizing research results from other countries, and engaging in scientific cooperation. HSE is a global research university. In ten years, not one research project (with the exception of certain topics of state interest) would have come about without international collaboration. HSE subscribes to all major global library resources, data and knowledge bases—and all of them are available to you.

You are lucky to be joining HSE University as it enters a new stage of life. In addition to being a research university, it is also becoming a project university for staff and students alike. No student is left out. In the near future, project work will become the centrepiece of programmes complemented by other aspects of education. All of you can choose your own career path depending on the nature of the projects you complete (whether research, applied, academic, business-related, social, or otherwise).

You have the opportunity to work with the university’s hundreds of research institutes, laboratories and centres, first as assistants, then as full-fledged staff. You can organize your own projects, form your own groups, and invite advisors.

Your choices will determine not only the enjoyment you get from your educational adventure, but also your personal and financial future. HSE students choose around half of their educational programmes, and are responsible for the outcomes—good and bad.

HSE University is our home. We’ve built it across several generations of students, and we want it to be your second home too, whether you’re here for four years, six, or nine.  We want the university to remain a part of you.

Evgeny Yasin
HSE University Honorary Academic Supervisor

Your dream has come true. You have already earned your first hard-won victory.

You have beaten the competition and joined the large HSE University family.

But this is only the beginning. The path ahead of you is full of interesting educational discoveries and new victories in your quest for knowledge.

Learn to think, understand the truth, and tirelessly search for answers to the most difficult questions.

Nobody knows who you’re going to become. But you will find out as you gain more knowledge and abilities.

Our university will give you everything you need to accomplish this.

And most importantly, set the bar high for yourself. HSE University trains academics, ministers and millionaires.

At the same time, remember that you’re still young. Take time for creative and friendly pursuits while discovering your talents.

The sky is the limit – enjoy the adventure!

September 01, 2021