ICEF (College)

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International College of Economics and Finance
Motto Multum in parvo
The great in the small
Established 1997
Director Sergey Yakovlev
Location Moscow, Russia, RF

The International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) is an autonomous department within the Higher School of Economics (HSE), a National Research University in Moscow.

ICEF was founded in 1997 as a cooperation between HSE and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is an Affiliate Centre for the University of London International Programmes.[1] Students sit exams from both institutions and are awarded bachelor's degrees from both HSE and LSE or a master's degree and a letter of validation from LSE and HSE.[2]

Because Russian degrees are sometimes not recognized internationally, ICEF's London affiliation affords Russian students many highly desirable opportunities.[3][4]

History and Important dates[edit]

1997 The contract between NRU-HSE and the LSE on the founding of ICEF as an autonomous division of NRU-HSE is concluded.

1998 The first group of students enroll at the University of London in “Banking and finance”, the first specialisation offered by ICEF. The “Know How Fund” grants ICEF a two-year supporting grant.

1999 ICEF’s second specialisation: “Economics and management,” is opened within the framework of the University of London programme.

2001 The first graduation ceremony for ICEF students is held, and 13 graduates receive two diplomas, from NRU-HSE and the University of London. Of these, 3 achieve Upper Second class honours. The second contract with the LSE is signed.

2002 6 graduates receive diplomas from the University of London with First class honours. A National Training Foundation loan is received on a competitive basis within the framework of the Innovational Educational Development Project, which was made possible by a loan from the IBRD. ICEF’s research programme is opened.

2003 The third specialization: "Economics" (which is actually the basic one offered at the LSE), is opened.

2004 The process of recruiting full-time teachers who are PhD graduates from leading foreign universities with internationally recognised qualifications is begun.

2005 More than 60% finish the programme with good and excellent grades. Of the 43 graduates, 7 receive the degree with First class honours, and 13 receive Upper Second class honours. Of 19 awards for academic achievements intended for students around the world studying in the University of London’s and the LSE’s External programme, 6 are awarded to ICEF students, and 11 out of 37 Letters of Commendation are awarded to students at the College. The ICEF Board of Trustees approves the plan for the development of ICEF over the next four years, including the creation of a Masters programme with the participation of the LSE. The third contract with the LSE is signed.

2006 Of 54 graduates, 13 receive First class honours degrees. This is about one third of all First class diplomas given worldwide each year. The fourth specialisation in the Bachelors programme: “Economics and Finance,” is opened. NRU-HSE’s Academic Council approves the concept of a two-year Masters programme in “Financial Economics,” which will be implemented with the participation of the LSE.

2007 The Masters programme at ICEF in “Financial Economics” is opened. ICEF moves to new premises at NRU-HSE campus at Pokrovsky boulevard.

2008 The first visit of the LSE Director at ICEF. For the first time at the HSE ICEF graduates are awarded European Diploma Supplement.

2009 The first graduates of the ICEF Master's programme in "Financial Economics" receive the diploma from the HSE and an official letter of validation from the LSE. ICEF has become Affiliate Centre of the University of London International Programmes.

2010 The International Research Laboratory in Financial Economics is opened at ICEF. The tenth graduation ceremony for ICEF BSc students is held. The HSE approves ICEF Development program up to 2013 and for a long term.

2011 The First International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by the International Laboratory in Financial Economics (LFE) and ICEF.

2012 ICEF celebrates its 15th anniversary. On this occasion the LSE Director Craig Calhoun arrives in Moscow for a two-day visit to ICEF. State, government and departmental awards were presented to the ICEF academic and administrative staff for contribution to the development of science and education.

2013 The LSE and the HSE signed the fifth contract on ICEF development for the next four-year period. New specialization "Mathematics and Economics" was opened at ICEF within the framework of the UoL International Programmes. ICEF introduced state-funded study places on the Master's programme.

2014 Chancellor of the University of London the Princess Royal Anne visited ICEF. During her visit, the Princess Royal met with senior-level HSE and ICEF management and with ICEF students, faculty, and alumni. The University of London (UoL) carried out a cycle of events as part of the annual monitoring of ICEF as a UoL Affiliate Centre. Upon completion of monitoring ICEF received a letter of commendation from the UoL: UoL noted the ICEF students’ excellent results in international examinations, as well as the exceptionally high standard of the entire programme.


The admission of students to ICEF is based on the results of the NRU-HSE entrance examinations. Students then apply for admission to the LSE international programme at the end of their first year at ICEF. To enter the University of London’s international programme the prospective student must pass both the NRU-HSE examinations as well as international examinations, namely the Advanced Placement Tests (APT) in Economics, Calculus and Statistics,and IELTS in English language. On passing these examinations at the beginning of the second year the students are then allowed to enroll on the international programme of the University of London. Each successive year, ICEF students must pass examinations as a part of both the Russian programme and the University of London’s international programme. ICEF’s integrated curriculum is designed to allow the students to be taught both universities’ curricula and receive double degree.

Double degree programme[edit]

Studies at the ICEF BSc programme last 4 years. Subjects are taught mainly in English. ICEF programme includes subjects of the University of London International Programmes, as well as subjects and activities, necessary to obtain an NRU-HSE degree. As ICEF students follow the University of London International Programme, beginning from the 2nd year, they are to choose one of the six specializations offered: Banking and Finance, Economics and Management, Economics and Finance, Economics, Accounting and Finance, Mathematics and Economics.

Tuition takes place in groups of no more than 20 and strong support is given to encourage independent studies, combined with lectures, which is the main condition for high qualification. Teaching materials include the latest Russian and foreign textbooks as well as regular handouts. The students’ surveys are regularly organized to get their opinion about studying and teaching at ICEF and their progress is constantly being monitored. Lectures are read by Russian and foreign professors, mostly from NRU-HSE and LSE, as well as from MSU and NES, and by researchers from international research centers. Visits of LSE professors play the important part in development of the double degree programme: they coordinate teaching programmes, consult the teachers, participate in research and teaching methods’ workshops.

There have already been fourteen cohorts at ICEF. Many ICEF graduates continue their education on postgraduate programmes in NRU-HSE or abroad. The best ICEF graduates get scholarships from commercial companies and financial organizations to continue their studies on MSc programmes at LSE and other foreign universities.

MSc programme[edit]

In February 2006 the Academic Council of the HSE approved the Concept and Curriculum of the ICEF MSc programme in Applied Economics and Finance. With the academic support of the LSE, a new Masters programme “Financial economics” is available at ICEF from September 2007. The programme is designed for graduates with a basic knowledge of economic theory and a good mathematical background and strong command of English. The Master’s programme serves as an academic extension of the existing ICEF Bachelor’s programme.

The purpose of the programme is to train experts up to a world class level in the field of economics and finance, so that they will have a knowledge of modern economic theory and the skills to apply it in the financial sphere.


Academic results of ICEF students are maintained at a consistently high level. Every year, best students receive Awards for Academic Achievement and Letters of Commendation from the University of London International Programme.

ICEF uses its own educational fees differentiation system, along with other mechanisms, to motivate students. The fees are calculated according to the academic successes of the students. There is a system of grants that cover educational costs of the most talented first year students who are the winners of the All-Russia Competitions in Economics and Mathematics. The total number of ICEF graduates today exceeds 1000.

Achievements of ICEF students are acknowledged by the NRU-HSE: A. Khreshkov in 2001 and R. Kirdan in 2003 were awarded the "Zolotaya Vyshka" prize as HSE students of the year; in 2002, 2006 and 2007 S. Kovalskaya, A. Neklyudov and V. Mukharlyamov were nominated for this prize. In 2008, Vladimir Mukharlyamov received the External Programme Award from the University of London; he was named the best graduate of the entire External Programme.

Despite a very tight academic schedule, ICEF students have a very active life. They take part in multiple events devoted to various holidays such as Students' Day and St. Valentine's Day, and participate in New Year and Christmas parties. There are many students' organizations and clubs in the ICEF, so that students could improve their "soft skills", which cannot be learnt in the classroom. Sport is inseparable of ICEF students and PED is included into the list of essential subjects. Some are fond of chess, others play tennis. ICEF teams in football, basketball, and volleyball are successful participators in the university sport competitions.

Student organizations[edit]

There are many student organizations at ICEF:

Case club - business case club, in which students of ICEF take active part. The case solutions, presented by the students are evaluated by the Jury which consists of invited experts from leading world companies.

Debate club - debate club, in context of which debates are held. The art of debate is taught by the winners of various international contests.

ICEFer periodical - ICEF newspaper with economic and political reviews written by the students. - ICEF student site.

ICEF outreach - charitable movement of ICEF.

"Corporatives" - organisation of holidays, collective outings, contests, games and other team building activities.

Sports - conduct of different affairs concerned with ICEF football teams, organisation of competitions - basketball, chess, billiards, table tennis and lots of others.

HSE relations - connections with student boards from other faculties of HSE, coordination of mutual HSE activities.

Presentations of student scientific works - seminars, on which students can present their scientific works, researches, term paper, receive useful comments on contents and form of presentation, etc.

Photogallery - association of all ICEF photographers, organisation of photo contests, photo exhibitions, etc.


As a rising academic department, ICEF has a growing international faculty of over 18 full-time academics with PhD degrees in Economics or Finance from leading western universities. ICEF faculty members conduct academic research in many areas of modern economics, including macroeconomics, economic theory, corporate finance, financial econometrics, industrial organization, labor economics, law and economics, experimental economics, international economics, development economics.

Research of ICEF faculty members has been published in many international journals, including Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organization, European Review of Economic History, Journal of Empirical Finance, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Comparative Economics, Journal of Economic Psychology, as well as in leading Russian editions, and presented at the top international conferences.


  1. ^ Quinn, Peter (28 September 2015). "The Institute that helps Russia and Britain understand each other | University of London International Programmes". London Connection. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "The International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) - ICEF - Department of Economics - Home". London School of Economics and Political Science. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  3. ^ Quinn, Peter (6 January 2014). "A desire for independence | University of London International Programmes". London Connection. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Saleh, Suraya (21 April 2015). "London Connection Q&A: Vassiliy Kosov | University of London International Programmes". London Connection. Retrieved 24 April 2017.