National Research University – Higher School of Economics

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Higher School of Economics
Высшая школа экономики
National Research University Higher School of Economics logo.jpg
Motto Non Scholae Sed Vitae Discimus
Motto in English
“Not for the school but for life we study”
Established 1992
Type Public
Budget $358M (spent in 2011)
President Alexander Shokhin
Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov
Academic staff
1,637 (data on 2014)
Students 17,177
Undergraduates 16, 902 (data on 2014)
Postgraduates 5388 (data on 2014)
Location Moscow, Russia
Campus Urban
Colours Blue & White
Nickname "Vyshka" (Russian: Вышка, “Highie”, also literally watchtower)
Mascot White Crow
Affiliations BRICS Universities League

The National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE, Russian: Национальный исследовательский университет "Высшая школа экономики", ВШЭ) is one of the leading[1] and largest universities in Russia.

The university specializes in economics, social sciences, mathematics, and computer science. It has more than twenty departments with main campus located in Moscow and three additional campuses in St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Perm.

In October 2009 the HSE received the status of a National Research University.[2]


The HSE was founded on November 20, 1992, by Yevgeny Yasin, Yaroslav Kouzminov, Revold Entov, Oleg Ananyin and Rustem Nureev. 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. From the very start, HSE was able to benefit from resources under the European Communities TACIS programme.[3]

“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 Kouzminov, 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[edit]

Today Higher School of Economics works according to the international standards of economics and social sciences. One of the main features of the University is that it uses interdisciplinary approach to the education (economists are also taught the basis of law, politics philosophy; etc.). Another trend in the development of education in HSE is that students have less obligatory subjects than before, but they have a wide choice of additional subjects. 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 of the major economic advisors to the Russian government in the 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 HSE was one of the first educational establishments in Russia to introduce a system of academic credits. Each successful year of study in a faculty represents 60 credits, which is in line with the international Education Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The university employs a system of modules (an academic year is split into 4 modules which makes it possible to optimize student workload). Several components are used to assess a student's progress. The HSE publishes annual rankings of students and professors.

The future development of Higher School of Economics is based on integrating into the international system of education and research. The university is one of the only Russian universities to have internationally trained academics on its full-time staff.

The HSE curricula are recognized by numerous leading foreign universities, which makes it possible to carry out double-degree programmes. Student exchange programmes have also been introduced. Among partners of Higher School of Economics in double-degree programmes include:

  • London School of Economics and Political Science, GB (in the ICEF project)
  • Manchester University, GB
  • George Mason University, USA
  • University Paris-I Pantheon - Sorbonne, France
  • University Paris-X Nanter, France
  • University Paris-XII Val-de-Marne, France
  • Erasmus University, Netherlands
  • European school of management ESAP-EAP, France
  • ESSEC, France
  • INHOLLAND University, Netherlands
  • Humboldt University, Germany
  • Leads University, GB
  • Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands

Faculties and structure[edit]

  • Faculty of Economics
    • School of Statistics, Data Analysis and Demography
    • HSE/NES Bachelor of Arts Programme
  • Faculty of World Economics and International Affairs
    • Department of World Economics
    • Department of International Relations
    • School of Oriental Studies
  • Faculty of Business and Management
    • School of Management
    • School of Business Informatics
    • School of Logistics
  • Faculty of Computer Science
    • Department of Software Engineering
    • Department of Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence
    • Department of Big Data and Information Search
  • Faculty of Mathematics
  • Moscow State Institute of Electronics and Mathematics
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Communications, Media and Design
    • School of Media Communications
    • School of Integrated Communications
    • School of Design
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • School of Cultural Studies
    • School of History
    • School of Linguistics
    • School of Philology
    • School of Philosophy
    • School of Integrated Communications
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • School of Public Administration
    • School of Politics
    • School of Psychology
    • School of Sociology
  • Graduate School of Urban Studies and Planning

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.[4]

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. There are special educational and research programs carried out in each of the subsidiaries.

Studying in the HSE[edit]

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[edit]

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. There is also another notable Master's programm in the field of international relations that is carried out with the University of Kent. This is a two-year full-time programm, participants of which study their first year in the campus of University of Kent and the second year in Moscow, in the campus of Higher School of Economics. 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 22290 students in the HSE, about 16000 in Moscow and 6000 in its subsidiaries. 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’. The Cultural Center allows HSE students to take music lessons, so that they periodically give concerts. Two HSE students have recently become finalists of the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Paris, which is widely considered to be one of the top-level competitions for amateur musicians in the world.


There are departments in the university conducting research on a wide range of social and economic problems, such as the Centre for Advanced Studies,[5] 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[edit]

The HSE has its own publishing house that specializes in publishing books on social and economic sciences, manuals and textbooks for students.[6]


Students from throughout Russia study at the HSE and the University provides them with accommodation in Moscow region.[citation needed]

Honorary Professors[edit]

Honorary Professors include:[citation needed]

External links[edit]