The Higher School of Economics will enter the 2011/2012 academic year with a new Faculty of Media Communications, which will incorporate the HSE School of Business and Political Journalism. Anna Kachkayeva, who was appointed Acting Dean of the new Faculty, presented its concept and explained that over the last few years, the whole sphere of journalism, media production and the cultural industry has been developing. At the same time, neither educational specializations nor qualification requirements for the work in multimedia have been developed. ‘That’s why we believe that it is important for the Higher School of Economics to lead this process and declare that a faculty of media communications has at last appeared in the country, ready and able to train experts for the modern media industry’, the acting dean added.
The incorporation of the School of Business and Political Journalism in the structure of the new faculty is part of the reorganization of the HSE Faculty of Politics. There are other key changes related to the departmental structure of this faculty. The Department of Applied Political Science will be divided into three independent departments: the Department of Political Theory and Political Analysis (head – Gleb Musikhin), the Department of Political Behaviour (head – Mark Urnov) and the Department of Comparative Political Science (head – Andrey Melville). In addition to this, the Department of Political and Business Communications and the Department of Theory and Practice of Communications will be combined into a joint Department of Integrated Communications, which will be headed by Sergey Zverev.
‘The standards of education at the faculty are changing, new courses are being introduced and the old ones are being modified, new profiles of study are launched as well as new research”, Andrеy Melville, Dean of the Faculty of Politics, commented on the situation. “I would like to emphasize that the reorganization is not related to bureaucratic creativity, but is a logical result of the development of the subject areas and high profile areas of research“
A new expert analytical institute will also appear in the Higher School of Economics – the Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning. ‘The HSE Programme of Development includes the development of some academic areas which on one hand are a priority interest for the university and on the other are still missing in our research field”, Leonid Gokhberg, First Vice Rector of the HSE, said. “A number of colleagues successfully involved in the study of the regional development problems are working at the university, but we have not yet succeeded in consolidating their effort’.
The new institute, according to Leonid Gokhberg, will allow the HSE to bring together the efforts of leading experts in spatial planning and young researcher teams from the Higher School of Economics. Alexander Epstein, who was appointed Director of the Institute of Regional Studies and Urban Planning, believes that the key competitive advantage of the HSE in this research sphere will become the ‘rich experience of industry and inter-industry studies’ which will ‘connect’ the issues of socio-economic and spatial development of the regions.
The new Department of Cultural Projects has been created at the HSE School of Cultural Studies. According to the department head, Valerian Anashvili, courses in cultural studies which are offered by Russian universities usually have a ‘serious deficit of applied and administrative focus’. The new HSE department is aimed at bridging this gap. Its work will focus on attracting people from the cultural industry which will, in particular, ‘provide a wide variety of opportunities for student vocational training’.
The meeting of the Academic Council concluded with a discussion of the results of the 12th International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. This year the conference programme included 129 sessions as part of 20 topical sections as well as two honourary reports which were presented by Leszek Balcerowicz and Nikolay Lapin, and three public lectures. About 1300 people took part in the conference, and over 400 papers were presented. About 90 of these were presented by foreign participants of the conference. As Andrey Yakovlev, HSE Vice Rector said, it was the first time when international experts were actively attracted to the preliminary expertise of applications, and the organizing committee didn’t accept collective applications. According to the organizers, this raised the quality of the papers which were included in the conference programme.
Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service