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Regular version of the site

HSE University Digital Buddies Project Is Now Live

© Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

International students can get help adapting to the new digital environment.

About Digital Buddies

Digital Buddies is a digital support service for international students that has been launched under the HSE Digital Assistants project. From September 1, international students can get advice on general IT issues, as well as the use of HSE University digital services, systems and resources, and MS Teams, Zoom, and Webinar video services. Digital Buddies will also help international students to solve issues not related to digital services by promptly transferring them to the relevant university departments.

How can I get advice?

You can access the service through your MyHSE services account. International students can submit an application using the ‘Digital Buddies’ button. The operators will process the application and contact you to solve the problem. Digital Buddies work from Monday to Saturday from 08:00 to 20:00 Moscow time. Requests in electronic form can be submitted 24/7.

How does it work?

The project has been implemented by the Digital Office in cooperation with more than 10 HSE University departments: the Department of Internationalisation, the School of Foreign Languages, the Degree Programmes Department and other departments that work with international students. It is a multifaceted effort from a large team of more than 25 HSE University staff members. In order to launch the new project, the team carried out a survey to identify the problems faced by international students when using the university's digital tools. ‘We conducted a survey of 266 international students and interviewed 42 degree programme managers,’ says Sergey Kolesnikov, Head of the Unit for Strategic Digital Development and Partnerships. ‘We analyzed the data obtained, which allowed us to structure students' requests. HSE Digital Buddies is the university’s first digital support service dedicated to resolving students’ issues.’

As part of the student recruitment process for the Digital Buddies, the School of Foreign Languages has developed and implemented a specialized test in SmartLMS to confirm that applicants meet the required level of English language proficiency. Digital Office specialists provided additional training for Digital Assistants

for resolving international students’ issues with digital services and routing ‘non-digital’ requests to the relevant services. The Digital Buddies will operate via the new Digital Buddies Service Desk, and all system interfaces are configured in English.

Olesya Klychikhina, Head of the Unit for Strategic Digital Development and Partnerships

The Digital Assistants project has become part of the university corporate environment. The launch of the Digital Buddies is a new stage of development, and a new level of the project that allows us to provide digital support in English. The Digital Buddies operate in a digital environment, and we record the digital footprint of each help request to create an up-to-date information database that can be used by any student and university employee.

We have monitoring and feedback mechanisms that allow us to see all the processes through the eyes of real users of digital services. We will make every effort to help provide a positive user experience.

September 07