National Research University Higher School of Economics

National Research University Higher School of Economics
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Национальный исследовательский университет "Высшая школа экономики"
Motto Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus
Motto in English “Not for the school but for life we study”
Established 1992
Type Public
Budget 7 bln. roubles
Rector Yaroslav Ivanovich Kuzminov
Students 14,716
Postgraduates 1,664
Location Moscow, Russia
Mascot White Crow
Affiliations University of London
George Mason University
University of Amsterdam
Erasmus University Rotterdam

The National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), colloquially known as “Vyshka” (“Highie”, also literally watchtower), is a Russian University specializing in social sciences. It was founded in 1992 as an MA training centre but soon offered Bachelor programmes in economics. In 1996 HSE expanded into other social sciences and began educating managers, lawyers and sociologists. In October 2009 the HSE received the status of a National Research University.[1]

The HSE is based in the city of Moscow, Russian Federation. The original campus was the former Gosplan Institute building, on Kochnovskyi, 3 but today the School uses many buildings throughout Moscow with the central office on Myasnitskaya street, in the centre of the city. There are also three subsidiaries located in the cities of St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Perm, where about 9000 students currently study.



The HSE was founded on November 20, 1992, by Yevgeny Yasin, Yaroslav Kouzminov, Revold Entov, Oleg Ananyin and Rustem Nureev with funding provided by the European Union Committee.[citation needed] These founders were well known Russian economists who believed in market reforms and the HSE was established to support the new Russian reformist government plans.

“Vyshka” aimed to renew the training of the Russian business society in economics. In the Soviet Union the teaching of political economy was dominated by Marxist ideology and could not meet international standards. From the mid 1980s Kouzhminov, Entov, Nureev and Ananyin introduced new courses in mathematics, economics and statistics in the leading Russian universities.[citation needed] Later some of the students who attended these courses became HSE tutors. Nonetheless, Soviet education in economics was believed not to reflect market standards and a new type of education in social sciences needed to make new Russian scientists, officials and businessmen understand the market economy. In 1991 with the support of the Russian Government a new University was established. Today the University continues expanding into such areas as mathematics, philosophy and political studies.

The School has established and maintained connections with international research and educational institutions including the London School of Economics, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, DAAD and many others.[citation needed]

Current activity

The University’s President, Alexander Shokhin, was the Russian Vice-Prime Minister for economy and finance in 1998, while the Academic Advisor, Evegeniy Yasin, was one the major economic advisors to the Russian government in late 1980s and early 1990s. The School conducts research for major public sector and educational reform. The HSE was the first Russian University to introduce the 4 + 2 system[citation needed] and strongly supported Russian participation in the Bologna process. It took a part in introducing the State Final Examination system aimed to reform admissions to the Russian universities. It was one of the first Russian universities to use these exams as part of the admission process.

The university is one of the only Russian universities to have internationally trained academics on its full time staff.

Faculties and structure

There are 19 faculties and schools in the HSE.

  • Faculty of Economics (including the School of Statistics and Data Analysis)
  • Faculty of World Economics and International Affairs
  • Faculty of Business Informatics (including the School of Software Engineering and the School of Applied Mathematics)
  • Faculty of Management (including the School of Logistics)
  • Faculty of Public Administration
  • Faculty of Political Science (including specialization in Advertising and the School of Business and Political Journalism)
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Sociology
  • Faculty of Psychology
  • Faculty of Philosophy (including the School of Cultural Studies and the School of Oriental Studies)
  • Faculty of Mathematics
  • Faculty of History

There is also the International College of Economics and Finance which is an autonomous department within the HSE, run with the participation of the London School of Economics (LSE). Its graduates receive a double degree from both HSE and LSE.[2]

Each faculty usually consists of several departments gathering tutors in some specific field, such as the departments of banking and macroeconomics at the faculty of economics, the departments of economic sociology and social theory at the faculty of sociology etc. There are also the so-called basic departments of large companies in the HSE offering specific applied courses necessary to work in these particular companies. Basic departments (or 'departments of vocational relationships') provide students with opportunity to apply for an internship and to start their career in a prominent company tp obtain practical knowledge in some particular sphere.[citation needed]


The University has three subsidiaries located in St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Perm. Each subsidiary is an autonomous higher educational institution under the central governance of Moscow.

Studying in the HSE

Normally it takes four years to study for a Bachelor degree and two years to study for a Master degree. About 90% of HSE undergraduates apply for a postgraduate course. For the first two years all students studying at the same faculty attend a large number of compulsory courses and several elective courses. During this time, the class sizes are relatively small (usually between 90 and 120 students). This allows a more hands-on approach than many other institutions. After the second year of studying students choose the field they want to specialize in. At that time there are still all-faculty courses taught to all students but for most of the time students study in separate groups of 20–30, on courses in narrower fields and conducting their own research on chosen topics.

It is considered in the University that knowledge of mathematics, statistics and economics is vital for all social researchers and therefore, students of all HSE faculties receive intensive training in mathematics, with the possible exception of Faculty of Law. The education also includes an extensive number of economical courses ranging from micro- and macroeconomics to institutional economics and industrial organization. It is proudly said in HSE that the faculty of economics students are taught more maths than some technicians.[citation needed]

At the core of the HSE teaching there are two basic principles.[citation needed] The first principle is the individual work of a student. One of the key HSE goals is to educate a highly qualified professional with independent thinking, able to conduct the necessary research and to make conclusions himself. To achieve this the HSE students have to make a lot of independent homework, individually or in groups, while the tutors only guide and consult them. The second core principle of the HSE teaching is control. The academic year, beginning in September and ending in June, is divided into four terms (modules). At the end of every module the students have to pass exams. Most of the exams in HSE are in written form, often implying both multiple choice test questions and problems for which written solutions are to be provided. In addition, there is a special emphasis on written analytical works of varying importance and volume. Students have to write one or two essays during most courses. The activity during practical studies (speeches, presentations and general participation in discussions) often plays an important role in defining the final mark for the course.

Programmes and admission

The HSE offers about 50 Bachelor Programmes, about 20 MBA programmes, 1 MPA programme and 4 MA programmes. Among them is a notable International College of Economics and Finance BS programme offering degrees from the HSE and the London School of Economics and the faculty of economics MBA programme with the participation of Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. The HSE was the first to teach economic history and institutional analysis in Russia. Among the other courses pioneered by the HSE are econometrics, micro- and macro- economics, economic sociology and many others. Most of these disciplines were started in Russia by the researchers now teaching them in the HSE. For example the first Russian course in institutional analysis was developed by the HSE rector Yaroslav Kouzminov.

HSE Summer Schools were established in the mid-1990s and from that time they have been held regularly. There are several Summer Schools in the HSE, each one dedicated to a specific field, including the Summer School for Institutional Analysis, the Summer School on the Labour Market Economy etc. Each Summer School offers about 15 subjects based on the regular courses of the HSE. These Summer Schools take place in July and August each year and last for one or two weeks. Some of the Summer Schools are international, for example, the 2008 Summer School “The Baltic Practice” aimed to support global student collaboration.


Today there are more than 16 000 students in the HSE, about 7000 in Moscow and 9000 in its subsidiaries.[citation needed] About half of them are state funded. Most HSE students are Russian citizens, with about 140 international students[citation needed], mostly coming from the former USSR countries, such as Belarus, Kazakhstan and Latvia. In recent years however, there have been students from other regions, including the EU countries, the USA and Japan. One of the HSE’s main goals is to make strong connections between the students and tutors and there is already a community of HSE students, graduates and tutors. There are many organizations of HSE students and graduates. Each faculty has its own elected Student Council, which works as an intermediary between the students, the faculty administration and the tutors. HSE students work with some international student organizations such as the AIESEC and the AEGEE. Although the HSE is a very young University, it already has two alumni organizations. The HSE alumni club aims to maintain connections between the alumni and to provide them with support in their careers. The HSE business club’s goal is to establish high standards of business culture in Russia and to help HSE graduates achieve the best results in business and commerce. During their study in the university the students have the opportunity to participate in many different leisure activities, such as sport, drama, debating societies and many others. Since 2006, many sporting competitions have been held, including the regular ‘Spartakiad’.


There are departments in the university conducting research on a wide range of social and economic problems, such as the Centre for Advanced studies, the Institute for Macroeconomic Research and Forecast, the Institute for Historical and Theoretical Research in the Humanities. Some of these organizations were founded as Russian State Ministry of Trade and Economic Development think tanks aiming to provide assistance to Russian government economic reforms. Other began as independent research organizations, only later joining the HSE. One of the main HSE principles is the close connection between research and teaching so the university tutors usually conduct research on the topics they teach in the University. HSE students are encouraged to take part in their alma mater research projects. The University conducts research for large corporations and state funded organsisations. Among these are the Regular Statistics of the Russian Federation Project or the Educational Economy Monitoring the first Russian educational economy statistics regular study. Another fundamental HSE research project is the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey which has been carried out by the HSE, the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute for Sociology, Scientific-research center “Demoscope” and the North Carolina University since 1992.[citation needed]

HSE publishing and magazines

The HSE has its own publishing house that specializes in publishing books on social and economic sciences, manuals and textbooks for students.[citation needed]


Students from throughout Russia study at the HSE and the University provides them with accommodation in Moscow.

External links


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