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8. Developing Human Capital

By 2030, the key characteristics of the University’s HR policy will be as follows:

  • developing a differentiated and flexible system of professional tracks;  
  • continuing professional development for staff on the basis of individual plans;
  • upgrading the professional criteria for leading specialists, while balancing their contract terms;  
  • attracting young staff and ensuring productive completion of professional careers for distinguished staff members;  
  • further training of administrative and support staff, incentivizing staff to boost operational performance;
  • enhancement of HSE University’s social responsibility as the employer and improving social benefits for staff members.  

8.1. Institutionalizing Professional Tracks for Academic Staff

As HSE University’s activities are further diversified and its structure becomes multi-tiered, a more differentiated and flexible system of contracting staff members should be put in place. The University will undertake a move towards three professional tracks (academic, practical, and methodological) for academic staff, for whom special selection instruments will be created, along with mechanisms for incentivizing and appraisals, institutionalized options for professional and career development. The option for transfers between them and combining them will be guaranteed.  

The academic track will be designed to attract and appraise staff on the basis of their research productivity and creation of innovative courses and programmes.

The methodological track will be aimed at attracting and appraising academic staff on the basis of their teaching achievements in order to ensure the delivery of basic courses, support for online courses and programmes (including network-based), monitoring of student individual trajectories and practical activities.

The practical track is centred on attracting and appraising academic staff on the basis of their practical experience and achievements. To attract specialists-practitioners, HSE University currently implements the “Distinguished Professors of Practice” programme (to engage over 50 persons by 2024).

By 2030, the following proportion of academic staff, working under three respective tracks, shall be reached: for academic track — 65%; practical — 20%; and methodological— 15%.

8.2. Continuing Professional Development for Staff

HSE University will combine the elevation of professional criteria with the provision of new opportunities for the enhancement of staff competencies.

In particular, the University will ensure a baseline standard of professional competencies for all staff categories. This will include digital and soft skills, competency in English, the skills required to navigate information and library systems, intercultural communications skills, etc. 

Also, the University will provide the opportunity for its staff to have constant access to advanced training according to their personal plans. Instead of advanced training courses one time every three years, each staff will be expected to take yearly advanced trainings with the use of flexible modular systems, online programmes and programmes based on blended learning, which, in turn, will help overcome existing limited intake in CPD programmes and raise the turnover of learners.   

Under the digital transformation of the educational process, advanced training opportunities offered for faculty will be aimed at fostering those skills required for working with online content, as well as creating and providing support to online courses.

HSE University will expand opportunities for academic mobility for academic staff, including: extended sabbatical leaves (once every 5 years), including the option to complete an internship abroad, short-term internships at outside organizations (at least once every three years), participation in international conferences (at least once a year), yearly travel-related budgets for leading academic staff. 

Furthermore, the University will scale up its Administrative Staff Development Programme, which is oriented at boosting the skills of administrative and support staff.

8.3. Elevating Professional Criteria and Stabilizing Contractual Terms for Top Staff Members

While maintaining and bolstering earlier established mechanisms for incentivizing academic activities (e.g., academic bonuses of various tiers, travel grants, sabbatical leaves, bonuses for best teachers, etc.), the University will continue to raise, one stage at a time, the professional requirements for key staff categories, e.g., the share of academic staff with publications in leading international journals will increase from 25% in 2018 to 40% by 2024, and then to 60% by 2030.  

In addition to upping such criteria, the University will balance the contractual terms for leading specialists: the standard term of employment contracts will be extended from one to three years in 2018, to three to five years by 2024, and then to five years by 2030; the share of academic staff, employed under long-term renewable contracts with increased pay and a reduced teaching load, will go up from 7% in 2018 to 15% by 2024, and then to 25% by 2030. For employees participating in an academic track, the average term for receiving academic bonuses for research productivity will be extended.

A shortage of academic staff on the Russian market will be tackled by raising the proportion of international specialists, including those hired under the International Faculty Recruitment Initiative from global job markets, from 5% in 2018 to 10% by 2024, and then to 15% by 2030. At the same time, the proportion of international specialists, hired under part-time or remote work contracts, as well as those concluded with affiliated researchers, will grow. The University will see to it that the requirements for Russian specialists gradually align with the requirements set for international recruits within respective fields, as well as ensure the transfer to unified competitions for faculty and researchers in individual fields.

Furthermore, HSE University will raise the criteria for administrative staff and teaching support staff by way of pegging salaries to performance results and proficiency in foreign languages, while also reducing the arduousness of administrative processes. The University will provide further support to induction training for this staff category.

8.4. Staff Renewal

HSE University will allocate special rates for young staff members, implement programmes for recruiting and integrating international and Russian postdocs (over 100 persons by 2024), and offering young professionals internships at the University, including academic staff and administrative staff members (up to 300 persons by 2024).  

For distinguished academic staff, HSE University will ensure productive completion of professional activities through conferring special statuses on them: Tenured Professor, Distinguished Professor, Research Professor, Associate Researcher, Consulting Professor, and Associate Consultant, with the reduced teaching load; for administrative staff – the status of a Distinguished Staff Member under a long-term renewable contract with increased pay.  

8.5. Development of Administrative and Support Staff, Incentives to Improve Operational Performance

The University will streamline administrative processes so as to ease workload for internal clients (e.g., reducing work hours spent on completing routine administrative tasks, usability of services) and clerks (e.g., decreasing or eliminating most routine operations when processing documents and data) thanks to automated processes and the use of up-to-date digital tools, as well as electronic document management and procedural optimization.

Motivation mechanisms and system for staff professional development will be utilized depending on the actual efficiency of business processes, while also synchronizing conditions for comparable job positions. Furthermore, stimulating mechanisms will include bonuses for meeting KPIs and target-oriented bonuses for certain competencies and skills (e.g., proficiency in English) and performing additional job tasks (e.g., mentoring, project supervision, etc.) The average salaries for managerial staff/teaching support staff will top the market median value for comparable positions.

In regard to evaluating performance on the part of administrative staff/teaching support staff, multi-tier regular appraisal (“360 Degrees”), along with standardized systems for ongoing appraisal and ranking on the basis of feedback from employees-clients, will be introduced, which, in turn, will boost overall satisfaction of academic staff with the quality of administrative services from 60% in 2018 to 85% in 2030.  

In addition, the proportion of managerial staff/teaching support staff in the overall full-time staff at the University will dwindle, owing to the reduction of the share of unautomated routine processes, improving work quality and hiring students in these positions: from 30% in 2018 to 25% in 2024, and then to 20% in 2030.   

8.6. Building a Socially Responsible University

HSE University will provide competitive remuneration to its academic staff (as compared to international academic and Russian corporate sectors), which will amount to at least 300% of the average salary in a given region. In turn, at least 90% of academic staff will receive additional income (e.g., bonuses, grants, extra pay, etc.) Therefore, the proportion of the average salary of administrative staff/teaching support staff vis-a-vis market median value for comparable positions will go up from 85% in 2018, to 100% in 2024, and then to 110% in 2030. 

For the purposes of involving staff in the University’s administrative processes, they will have opportunities to join online public events and meetings of administrative boards/committees.

Furthermore, HSE University will furnish its staff with a competitive social package, which will cover basic needs of their families, free/preferential education for their children, medical services, aid for needy or large (with multiple children) families, aid for staff members in critical situations and disabled employees, mental health and legal assistance, smooth retirement, loyalty programmes for fitness services, training, etc. To support distinguished staff members in their senior years, the University will provide retired persons with the option to continue participating in corporate voluntary health insurance programmes through co-financing approaches.