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Campus inSaint Petersburg

"Higher School of Equality" Has Opened at HSE University – St. Petersburg

On February 9, HSE University – St. Petersburg opened its doors to students of the Higher School of Equality, an organization originally established on the Moscow campus. Ekaterina Guzieva, member of the Free Edition, who attended opening ceremony, explains what Higher School of Equality will do in St. Petersburg and why it should be attended by everyone who wants to engage in the scientific issues of gender equality and equity.

The Higher School of Equality is the brainchild of Dmitry Tolkachev, second year student in HSE’s Master’s programme in Political Science in Moscow. Initially, three independent projects were created: Gender Seminar, Sex in HSE and the Michel Foucault's film club. Dmitry, along with the leaders of these groups – Alexander Alekseev (4th year, Bachelor’s programme in Cultural Studies) and Maria Davoyan (4th year, Bachelor’s programme in Psychology) are putting together an even larger project which encompasses the foci of each of the clubs. The Higher School of Equality was founded in Moscow in autumn, 2017, and now, in February 2018, Maria and Dmitry have opened the club at HSE University - St. Petersburg.

The club on the St. Petersburg campus will be based on the Moscow organization, giving everyone who attends the opportunity to engage in the topic that they find most interesting. This might include:

  • discussion of views on scientific and feature films related to gender theory and ideas of equality;
  • group reading sessions, as well as public lectures and master classes attended by external guests and experts from HSE University, as well as sessions on sexual education.

The heads of the Higher School of Equality in St. Petersburg have also been announced. Ekaterina Zaytseva (2nd year, Вachelor’s programme in Sociology and Social Informatics) and Ekaterina Afanasyeva (2nd year, Bachelor’s programme in History) will lead the group, with the support of scientific supervisors, Borisova Tatiana and Vandysheva Elena.

The most important principle upon which the Higher School of Equality is founded is that the organization should be free from political ideologies and propaganda, and dedicated exclusively to the advancement of research in the field of gender equality and sexual education.It was created in order to 'enhance the culture of the student community'. Leaders of the club work to ensure that this message is upheld. 

What is the Higher School of Equality? The administrators of the official public pages in VK (Russian social network) and Facebook describe it as:

Our student organization actively engaged in scientific and educational activities in the areas of gender and feminism, sexuality, LGBT culture, health and disease prevention.

The goal of the project is to bring people together who are interested in gender theory, and to create a platform for academic discussions on the topic.


Prepared by Ekaterina Guzieva, 3rd year Bachelor's student in Political Science, member of the "Free Edition".