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Йен Фергюсон: «Вышка - это лучшее место для исследований и обучения в области социальных наук в России»

Мы не просто так называемся «международной программой по политологии и мировой политике». Среди наших студентов учатся ребята из многих стран мира, а среди преподавателей есть выпускники лучших университетов Европы.

Прошёл год с тех пор, как к нашей команде присоединился Йен Фергюсон, преподающий курсы по международным отношениям. В преддверии нового учебного года мы проговорили с доктором Фергюсоном о том, как он чувствует себя в Вышке и какие советы он мог бы дать нашим студентам.


How did the story begin? Please, tell us, why you choose the Higher School Economics (HSE) in St. Petersburg?

This story began, like all good stories begin....with an accident!

I had enrolled on a degree at the London School of Economics (LSE), originally to do something on media and communications, because I was working as a journalist at the time. But at the last minute, I decided to switch to a programme on Political Science and International Relations - a programme much like the one at HSE. The director of this programme was the prize-winning historian of imperial Russia, Dominic Lieven. He is, without doubt, the best teacher I've ever had. He filled me with wonder about Russia, about its history and politics, and especially its long and uneasy relationship with Europe.

So, the story of how I ended up in the old imperial capital of Russia, teaching on this programme, it really begins there.

HSE is the only university I have ever wanted to come to in Russia. It is internationally known as the best place to research and study the social sciences in Russia. It attracts the best students, and it also attracts the best staff. It was not easy to get a position here. But there is an idiom in English: "persistence pays". I believe you have a similar idiom in Russian.


How would you describe your experience of teaching on 'Political Science and World Politics'?

It was tricky at first. All the courses I have been teaching were brand new. And, of course, the set up at Higher School of Economics was new to me. I didn't know any of my students or any of my colleagues. My Russian was also very basic - and to be honest, I still have a long way to go before I can talk freely in Russian.

But after the first couple of months, as I settled in, I started to enjoy the experience much more. I noticed the students that were trying hard, improving and wanted to learn, and that was very encouraging.

The programme itself is shaping up really well. There is nothing like it in St. Petersburg. International Relations, which is just another term for 'World Politics', is a very new discipline here. That is where my expertise is, and it is exciting to be a pioneer (in the non-Communist sense!) in this field.

The courses I teach are modelled on the courses that I have been taught, and have taught myself, at four of the world's top departments in International Relations, at LSE, the University of Edinburgh, the University of St. Andrews and the University of Tartu. I am confident that this programme that we are developing at HSE is world class.


Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about enrolling on this programme?

«Do it! If you want to have your political horizons broadened, if you want to understand about the politics of Russia, BRICS and the wider world, if you want to become a better reader, presenter and writer in English, if you want to have a world class education - if you want all these things, and to study alongside others who have similar interests and ambitions, in an environment that is stimulating and energising, then enrol on this programme. You won't regret it.»


Подготовила Полина Малахова,

студентка третьего курса ОП “Политология”,

член “Вольной редакции” портала