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10 Promises Made by HSE on HSE Day

10 Promises Made by HSE on HSE Day

In 2020 the world changed, and so did HSE. Classes were held over Zoom, exams were taken online with proctoring, Meladze performed online at the graduation ceremony, and HSE Day became Brand New. The festival’s main stage area was called ‘HSE PRO Future’—because, after all, the future is important for any university. It’s why we do what we do. Read on to find out what the next 10 years hold in store for HSE, and what HSE, which has already changed this year, holds in store for us. Below are 10 promises made by HSE on its most important day.

1. You will learn how to enjoy your work

Gone are the days when everyone wants to be lawyers and economists. These days, almost none of these specialists work in their field. Now everyone wants to work in robotics—though there is a chance that this, too, will go out of fashion in five to ten years. HSE looks years ahead and promises to teach its students to forge their own paths and to pursue their passions. ‘We are a place for smart students who can learn how to build their own futures themselves,’ said Alexander Chulok, director of the ISSEK Centre for Science and Technology Foresight. According to his forecasts, HSE will do its utmost to help build bridges between fundamental research, education, and business, so that students know where they are going, make the right turns, and do not become disappointed in their endeavors.  

2. Everyone will hone their soft skills

Being able to maintain a balance is about to become a major skill in 10 years. This applies to work, play, and values. Valeria Kasamara spoke about this as she laid out her promise: ‘The HSE Cultural Center will become a powerful cultural cluster, bringing together the most important events in Moscow to its site. From the very beginning, HSE was one of the first universities to integrate itself into the life of the city, and every year it is of increasing interest to the city’s residents.’ It seems that in 10 years the cultural and social aspects of city life will be very important for each of us—amid digitalization and the widespread adoption of AI, soft skills will become all the more important. ‘The more technologically savvy we are, the more valuable culture and humanity will become,’ said Kasamara.

3. You will become global while staying local

‘Onsite campuses are now out of fashion,’ said Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov. Nevertheless, HSE campuses are impressive, and you could visit them on HSE Day thanks to lively virtual tours. Even so, this year HSE certainly passed a point of no return in terms of online tools, which will no doubt remain a part of university operations. From Ivan Prostakov's speech, guests learned that HSE has already opened online offices in other countries, which is very cost-effective and allows the University to take care of reputational risks. Also, starting this year, all HSE campuses will be synchronized: classes will be conducted in consideration of time differences and will be scheduled in a way that allows students of other campuses to take classes in Moscow and vice versa.

4. The value of your HSE degree will increase on the labour market

On September 1, HSE’s new Graduate School of Business held its first classes. The School, says Oksana Zhgun, Head Operations Office for Continuing Professional Education, ‘promises to become a future world leader in business education, which will greatly increase the prestige of HSE graduates on the labour market.’

It has become common for students at HSE to design their own individual curricula with elective courses, HSE+, continuing education programmes, and MBA programmes; therefore, it is not difficult for a literary studies major to change tracks and become a programmer or an interface designer to become an expert on Wester esotericism while gaining in-demand skills.


Due to the pandemic, HSE Day was held in a ‘brand new’ format: Brand New HSE Day 2020 was held online. The event featured four ‘stages’, and guests could switch from one to the other as they pleased. On the HSE PRO Future stage, HSE researchers, scientists, and scholars discussed the HSE’s development strategy and plans for the next ten years. The Meet HSE University stage featured faculty video presentations, campus virtual tours, and information about professional, social, and academic opportunities at HSE. The HSE International stage was dedicated to international students, study opportunities at HSE, cultural adaptation, support, and new perspectives.

The completely student-run HSE Studlife stage presented a variety of extra-curricular activities—from HSE’s dance school to the tourist club or the orchestra.

The event culminated in a performance by Cream Soda and Niletto, and the open talk between HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov and Yandex CEO Elena Bunina will go down in history as a discussion of fundamental education with Russia’s main digital innovator.

5. Moscow will be freed of traffic jams

Institute for Transport Economics and Transport Policy Studies Director Mikhail Blinkin discussed what cities of the future will be like, and how programmes in the Faculty of Urban and Regional Development will change in relation to this.

The concept of the ‘Smart City’ will undoubtedly bring changes to the faculty’s courses,   although the faculty is already solving the biggest challenges presented by urban logistics. ‘Traffic jams are a terrible imbalance of iron and asphalt; the city will soon cease to be a breeding ground for cars and become a more harmonious space,’ said Mikhail Blinkin. And the engineering skills of urban planners in the coming years will give way to the ability to discern important cultural and social aspects of the environment.

6. Sports will become a science

Esports has become a consumer norm, especially during the pandemic, and referees are losing their jobs to digital technology. How do we build a sports economy in the new world, while also improving the reputation of Russian sports? With new specialists.

‘Investments in sports are increasing every day, and there is a demand for expert decision-making to ensure that the right athletes are hired and marketing campaigns are carried out strategically. This requires analysts, economists, and mathematicians who will be able to solve new market problems with the help of research,’ promised Dmitry Dagaev on behalf of the Laboratory of Sports Studies, which he heads.

7. HSE will finally become interdisciplinary, project-based, and digital

‘A lot, in fact, can be done online,’ said Vice Rector Sergey Roshchin. And we believe him. Not only have events and classes been moved online, but the way we think has become digital. Media literacy, coding, machine learning and the ability to enter into dialogue with AI are must-have skills for any specialist today. Historians and philosophers will also understand this, and the ability to communicate digitally promises to be the goal of higher education. ‘Communication is one of the main soft skills of the future. I tell you this as a labour market specialist. And we will teach this through project-based activities that will give returns in all aspects of life—we all remember the HSE slogan. A project is always new and unfinished; through this you always learn to do something unique on your own and find support in your team,’ added Roshchin. And as for interdisciplinarity? That goes without saying. There will be fintech, biotech, the digital humanities, and everything where subject areas are combined with instrumental knowledge. But what we definitely shouldn't expect from HSE is a Faculty of Medicine—non-interdisciplinary areas are no longer promising.

8. HSE will learn how to conduct exams in the most independent way possible

Student assessment will become independent not only in terms of discipline, but also location. This year, HSE became a model of innovation in how it conducts exams online with proctoring software and more. ‘Our experience with transitioning online has taught us how to measure our digital footprint—that is, data on student behavior on online platforms—which will help us make learning more effective,’ said Evgenia Kulik, Director for eLearning. ‘If you truly studied the entire session, you want to be assessed objectively, which is important for your rating. Online exam proctoring has allowed the University to achieve transparency in student assessment.’ Indeed, online exams require authentication and a variety of workplace review functions, including showing a student's screen, and writing in case of appeal. Yes, it’s stressful, Evgenia Kulik admitted, but this year HSE even managed to prepare test sessions for online exams, whereby a student can go through a trial assessment process in advance and learn what to expect. In the opinion of many students, it turned out to be just the opposite—being in the comfort of one’s own home helps, and some faculties saw an increase in students’ average exam scores.  

9. HSE will show high school students how to choose the right career

‘It is important for us that high school students have already understood what they are going to school for—not because their mother is a lawyer or their father is a doctor, but because they themselves have figured something out,’ said HSE Lyceum Director Dmitry Fishbein. Fishbein promised that before they enter university, students will make a lot of mistakes. After all, the right decision is a personal decision. Even now, during the final two-year course of study at the Lyceum, a student can change their area of specialization four times. A student may come an orientalist, and leave a biologist. Take a moment to reflect and say, I understand—I have my reasons! This, according to Fishbein, is the key to choosing the right career. And in 10 years this is how it will be for HSE Lyceum graduates.

10. HSE will become home to even more international students

Marina Kozak, Director of International Admissions, promised that it would become easier for international students to enter HSE. All documents can now be processed online. Along with new programmes, the HSE will offer international students more adaptational resources and a more hospitable environment so that ‘students who do not speak Russian will feel at home.’

Lukas Kaas, a student of the master's programme, ‘Language Policy in the Context of Ethnocultural Diversity’, came to study at HSE from the Netherlands and talked about his experience in HSE’s preparatory year, which helps international students learn Russian. ‘Last year I completed the preparatory course for foreigners. It is very intensive—you start at the novice level and by the end of the year you reach level B1. I fell in love with the Russian language thanks to our teacher. I started watching Russian films and reading Russian books. And what has most impressed me about Moscow in comparison to the Netherlands is that here you can buy a book, even a completely new one, for only 2-3 euros! There are also many cool cinemas here where you can watch old films at any time of the day.’

All promises made by HSE on this Day were sealed under the heading ‘Open in 10 years’.

Brand New HSE Day photographers: Daniil Prokofiev and Ksenia Altukhova