A Year in History: 2008


A Year in History


Irina Karelina, Director, Development Programme

Russian Federation Government Instructs HSE to Develop New Development Programme

Irina Karelina, Director, Development Programme

The HSE’s first development policy was developed and approved in 2004. Strategic planning is more part of standard business practice, and before the early 2000s management systems in higher education rarely, if ever, applied it. A handful of Russian higher educational institutions could boast that they had these programmes. The HSE’s 2004 development programme from is a rare document.

In 2008, HSE moved from being under the Russian Ministry of Economic Development to being a Russian Government institution, and it was instructed to assess the implementation of current development programmes, and develop a new one. During this analysis, it became apparent that over 90% of the target results had been achieved, and so the new programme would de facto replace the previous one.

At about that time, in the mid 2000s, the country started to implement the first projects aiming to develop the higher education system, a project to develop innovative educational programmes at higher educational institutions launched, and the first national research universities and federal universities started to appear.

This gave an external incentive for us to develop further. So, a combination of external and internal factors went into the development of this new programme. The new programme was developed in 2009 and endorsed at a staff conference. It covered the period to 2020, and earned the moniker ‘Great Development Programme’. It encompassed all areas of HSE activity, and is set out in full detail: a detailed plan of action to 2012, and thereafter as long-term development plans. It covered the development of education in sciences, infrastructure and IT, administrative services, key issues for the university’s staff development, and international activities.

HSE is special in that it takes a highly comprehensive and systemic view of its development. When external projects arise, we are able to draw on various aspects of our broad basic programme to quickly develop a project that meets the goals set and is able to respond to the tasks involved in a particular project.

This is what happened with plans for national research universities, with the programme for innovative infrastructure development, and with the 5-100 project. There are numerous external initiatives that subsequently arose and which were in some way rooted in our existing programmes or, at the very least, reflected the direction in which the University was looking.

How did we achieve this? First, we have significant potential in all areas of our activity, a powerful analytical center and programme development directorate which monitor HSE’s development compared to that of other universities – in Russia and abroad. It reviews the development trends in the education system worldwide. We also have a reliable partner in the World Bank, which employs experts and higher education professionals. We have been collaborating for many years, on a consultation basis. We have numerous other Russian and international partners, and we collaborate with Vice Rectors, and Vice Presidents of universities and experts in strategic development, we are able to seek their advice, share data, and exchange strategic forecasts.

Another factor comes into play – HSE employs a great many people with practical experience, well-known people from the business world, and that is why HSE has, for a long time, held strategic sessions dedicated to discussing the university’s development. This business reception is not something we invented, but we were one of the first to apply it at a university.

To date, the objectives set under the Great Development Programme have been achieved. Perhaps there is room for improvement regarding infrastructure, as this is a longstanding problem and has not been fully resolved.

But if you take our publication activity for example, before 2009 our data showed only limited growth. In 2013, we joined the 5-100 project, a key condition of which is achieving a certain position in the ratings. Publications and citations have a huge impact on the ratings. That’s why we had to set publishing statistics goals 10 times higher than they were at that particular moment, in order to meet the 5-100 project’s requirements. We had achieved them by 2016.

HSE’s development programme to 2020 became the basis for the Development Programme to 2030, which is to include all our current sub-programmes. A great many universities share this goal, and we hope that the HSE sets an example of how it can be achieved.