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Grounds and Procedures for the Provision of Academic Leave. Admission to Study upon Return from Academic Leave

Academic leave is granted to learners owing to the fact that they are unable to pursue their programme for medical or family reasons, or other circumstances. Academic leave may be allocated for a period of no more than 2 (two) years.

Who makes decisions on the provision of academic leave?

Decisions on the provision of academic leave shall be made by the dean of the relevant faculty where a given programme is taught, within 10 (ten) days from the date when a request is received from a learner.

Can my request for academic leave be declined?

Yes, it can. Decisions on the provision of academic leave shall be made by the respective dean on the basis of documentary evidence submitted by a learner.

Will a period of academic leave count as part of the period of study under the degree programme?

No, it is not included in the overall period of study.

Grounds for the provision of academic leave to learners are as follows. Academic leave can be granted to learners

  • for medical reasons (with the submission of a conclusion of the medical board of a medical institution as a document confirming the grounds for the provision of leave);
  • in an instance of conscription into the armed forces (a conscription centre notice, with an indication of the place and time for a departure for a location for military service);
  • due to family obligations or other circumstances, including the creation of a University start-up resulting in one’s inability to simultaneously pursue a programme and engage in analytical, R&D or other types of works.

Important! Students shall retain a right to military draft exemption, granted pursuant to Federal Law No. 53-FZ "On Military Duty and Military Service", dated March 28, 1998,  while on academic leave, provided that a total length of the student’s military draft exemption due to the study at the university may not be extended, or it may be extended for a period of no more than 1 (one) year. Therefore, academic leave(s) may be allocated for a total period of no more than 12 (twelve) months.

How do I apply for academic leave if I plan to launch a University-based start-up?

Yes, such academic leave can be provided.

A University-based start-up refers to a technological product or project designed by a student during their time at HSE University and which they continue to develop inside or outside the University. In order to serve as the ground for the provision of academic leave, start-ups should meet the following requirements:

  1. having their own or adopted technology;
  2. possessing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP);
  3. at least 1 (one) year of regular work on the project/product.

Next steps

1. Submit an application to the HSE Business Incubator at team@hse-inc.ru with “Academic leave for a start-up” in the e-mail subject. In your e-mail, please describe your situation briefly, indicate your degree programme, and attach a presentation with answers to the following questions:

  • Your start-up idea: brief outline of your project, field of application and maturity;
  • Target audience of your start-up and any segments thereof;
  • What problem will be solved by your start-up? Goals and objectives of your start-up;
  • Provide your start-up product outline. Why is your proposal unique?
  • Describe income-generating activities of your project, or plans for earning income;
  • What technologies are used?
  • Plans for your start-up development;
  • Members and founders of your start-up team (if any);
  • Sources of your start-up financing.

If an enterprise has been already established, please attach an excerpt from the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and copies of constituent documents;

2. Join HSE Business Incubator programme https://inc.hse.ru/incubation, obtain HSE Business Incubator’s written recommendations and approval;

3. Submit an application for academic leave as per established procedure. Please attach all startup-related materials submitted to the HSE Business Incubator, as well as HSE Business Incubator’s approval.

May I request academic leave if I plan to study abroad?

If you plan to study abroad during a semester or academic year, please utilize the options the academic mobility mechanism has to offer. Your individual curriculum will be prepared taking into account courses completed at the university abroad, and the credit transfer will be organized after you return. Therefore, academic leave will not be granted at HSE University for a mobility period.

What is the Procedure for Returning from Academic Leave?

Learners should go back to classes in line with the Procedures and Conditions for Reinstating Students Who Were Dismissed On the Initiative of National Research University Higher School of Economics or Other Grounds, and the Procedures for Re-admitting Students to Study After Academic Leave, Maternity Leave, Parental Leave, or Childcare Leave:

A student shall file a written application addressed to the Rector with his/her programme office with a request for re-admission to the academic process, with a date for the start of studies stated therein.

  1. A special individual curriculum, which must be agreed on with the student, shall be prepared by the programme office within 3 (three) working days after the student’s application;
  2. Special individual curricula include courses and other elements of the working curriculum for the year of study whereto the student has been reinstated, as well as those courses which a student has not previously pursued, but which were included in the working curricula for the previous years of study for the student cohort, whereto the student has been reinstated;
  3. If a student returns to studies since the start of the academic year, and there are no gaps in his/her curriculum, a special individual curriculum shall be aligned with the standard one;
  4. If a student who has returned from academic leave has an academic failure in (certain) courses, these courses (parts of courses) shall be included in his/her special individual curriculum and must be studied in full;
  5. In case a student has completed a course, but has not passed interim/final assessment, or has not attempted to pass all of the retakes stipulated by the Regulations for HSE Student Ongoing and Interim Assessment, after his/her return from academic leave, he/she must pass interim/final assessment or retake examinations at the nearest opportunity during the period of retakes, following the date of reinstatement/re-admission, without retaking the course in question;
  6. Upon return from academic leave, a student may be re-admitted to studies effective as from the date following the period specified in the directive that validated the leave;
  7. Upon early return from academic leave, a student shall be re-admitted to studies effective from the date of his/her application;
  8. With respect to students who return from academic leave to a state-funded place, a directive on his/her return from academic leave shall be issued by the programme office within three (3) working days after the student’s application is granted;
  9. Tuition fees for students who are reinstated to fee-paying places:
  • shall be calculated in line with the student’s individual curriculum pursuant to the Procedures for Calculating the Tuition Fees Payable by Students of Bachelor’s, Specialist and Master’s Programmes with Modified Educational Trajectories or Tuition Discounts Revoked, and a new agreement/addendum shall be signed;
  • after the student fulfils his/her payment obligations under the agreement for paid educational services/the addendum to the relevant educational services agreement, a directive on his/her return from academic leave shall be issued by the programme office within three (3) working days.

Will I be reinstated to a state-funded place, if I have studied on a state-funded place before?

Yes, you are still eligible for a state-funded place.


It is the responsibility of learners to, on their own, track the period and final date of their leave and, when a period for their leave runs out, they must return to studies under their respective programme at the appointed time.

If, within 10 calendar days after the completion of their leave, a student has not started studies under their programme, e.g., not attending classes set out in their individual curriculum, he/she shall be subject to dismissal for their failure to meet their obligations to pursue their programme in good faith and meet the criteria of their curriculum.


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