Much has been said about online education over the last year. What used to be perceived as a challenge a few months ago has become a new comfort zone and does not impress anyone. Indeed, during the pandemic, we have proved that persistence, professionalism, and flexibility bring good results even when the world is turned upside-down. Having had a successful experience of hosting the St. Petersburg HSE Summer School online, the university introduces HSE – St. Petersburg International Research School, a new project encouraging students all over the world to explore different areas — from Russia’s role in international relations to social, cultural, gender aspects of Russia’s historical experience, and even to the burning issue of what global business is going to be like when the COVID-19 crisis is over.
‘The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.’ The quote of J. R. R. Tolkien all-wise Galadriel from Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) could not be more true in November 2020. Many things have changed since the beginning of the year: the way we work (in our pyjamas), the way we communicate (over Zoom), the way we spend our free time (on Youtube, mostly, balancing between ‘best autumn recipes’ and ‘best workout routines’), and, of course, the way we study and teach.
International education has been especially affected by COVID-19, since the mere nature of it, such as travelling and crossing borders, had become, in many cases, impossible. Luckily, modern-day conveniences, such as the Internet, allow universities to create new learning spaces and projects that still give students from all over the world the opportunity to connect and explore together.
As a National Research University, we engage in highly value international cooperation in both education and research, and we believe that sharing information and learning from each other is vital, even at these difficult times. HSE University – Saint Petersburg is currently home to five international research laboratories, as well as seven international-level laboratories and projects.
Our new project is an International Research School that will run online from February 15 to March 5, 2021. The School offers 3 study tracks, each of which will have its own academic coordinator and curriculum consisting of lectures, seminars and tutorials:
TRACK 1: Russian Politics and International Affairs
Academic coordinator: Sergei Akopov
Lecturers: Sergei Akopov, Vera Ageeva, Andrey N. Scherbak
This track covers the key aspects of Russian Politics and International Affairs. Together with three experienced and well-published instructors, you will learn to retrieve, collect, process and analyse information relevant to your research proposal in the field of Russian politics and international relations. We will examine key narratives of Russia’s ‘heroes’, ‘triumphs’, and ‘historical victims’ (e.g., WWII), as well as the principal symbols of geopolitical space (such as the Crimean Peninsula). You will gain insight into the complex relations between political and economic transitions in Russia and other post-communist countries over the last 40 years, and discuss issues of Russia’s diplomacy and international security strategy in Central Asia.
TRACK 2: Russian Language, History and Culture
Academic coordinator: Pavel Vasilyev
Lecturers: Pavel Vasilyev, Margarita Kuleva
This track covers the key aspects of Russian history and culture from the early Middle Ages to the present. Students will be introduced to the main developments, events and actors from the early Rus’, Muscovite, Imperial, Soviet and the post-Soviet periods. Special emphasis will be put on the often neglected social, cultural and gender aspects of Russia’s historical experience. In addition, the course will explore the present-day institutions, actors and events that shape contemporary Russian culture in the global context. The track will also include Russian language lessons adapted for different levels of proficiency.
TRACK 3: International Business in Pandemic and Post-COVID-19 Era
Academic coordinator: Tatiana Grischenko
Lecturers: Tatiana Grischenko, Elena Rogova, Polina S. Artamoshina, Victor Krakovich
This track will consist of 4 structural parts, each led by its own lecturer. The course will provide critical perspectives on international business during COVID-19 and examine the necessary changes and updates that were inflicted upon cross-cultural management by the pandemic. We will explore digital transformation through the lens of COVID-19, and discuss the main opportunities, challenges and risks businesses face nowadays.
In the School, students within the three tracks will work on small projects, individually or in groups, supervised by the track coordinators. Unlike in our traditional summer schools, exams will be replaced by research project presentations.
Since we are talking Winter 2021, all this will be possible from the comfort of your own home.
The school does offer discounts for students from partner universities, participants of all HSE programmes (degree programmes, mobility and other short-term programmes), students of Russian universities, and other participant categories.
The call for applications has already started! Make sure to apply here by January 17, 2021 and join our research community online.