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Regular version of the site

How HSE University-St Petersburg Spent 2023

The year is gradually wrapping up, which means it's high time to take stock and thank each other for our joint work. Learn about the brightest and most important events which happened at HSE University-St Petersburg this year from professors, academic supervisors and deans of the campus faculties. Happy New Year! May your year be filled with inspiration and energy for new achievements!

How HSE University-St Petersburg Spent 2023

HSE University-St Petersburg

Sergei Koltsov, Academic Supervisor of the Bachelor's programme 'Applied Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence'

Sergei Koltsov

First and foremost, this year will be remembered for the change in my status. In February, I defended my dissertation in the sphere of computer sciences, which allowed me to apply for the position of professor. I also started working for the Informatics Department and have been an academic supervisor of the Bachelor's programme 'Applied Data Analysis and Artificial Intelligence' since September.

Apart from that, in 2023, our Laboratory for Social and Cognitive Informatics won two grants from the Russian Science Foundation. This allowed our team to develop various interdisciplinary directions combining competencies in the spheres of machine learning, sociology, and cognitive science. So, the main achievement for me is maintaining and developing the team of researchers in our laboratory.

I would say that the discovery of the year was the rapid growth in opportunities for big language models. I believe that the development of this particular technology will allow us to carry out more qualitative research in interdisciplinary fields.

For the next year, I would first of all like to wish that my colleagues work on interesting research and exciting projects. May our students not only gain new knowledge and skills in the sphere of big language models, but also apply them to solve difficult tasks which they face. Let your curiosity and passion for studies lead you to new ideas and innovations. Remember that your efforts and work matter. Your ideas and developments can result in the creation of new technologies which will influence people's lives all over the world.

Mitya Kharshak, Dean of the St Petersburg School of Art and Design, Academic Supervisor of the track 'Communication Design'

Dmitry Kharshak

The main thing for me was the development of international ties for HSE University-St Petersburg in general and the Art and Design School in particular. This year was full of travelling and meetings with foreign universities. The Art and Design School launched a partner programme with the Russian-Armenian University in Yerevan, and in September 2023, there was the first intake of the educational track 'Communication Design'. The head of our branch office in Yerevan is Great Guron (renowned designer Igor Gurovich). We also developed our relations with Sabanci University (Istanbul)—I went there three times to deliver lectures for Turkish students and present a special issue of our journal Projector devoted to Turkish design.

In October and November, my colleagues and I visited several Indian universities, and in December, we got to know universities in Latin America. So, of course, I will remember this year for flights and travelling. This year, I added seven new countries to my personal list, and I have now visited 45 countries.

I am particularly proud of the professional achievements of my younger colleagues—our master's students on the track 'Art Direction of Cultural Institutions'. In 2024, my group will present their thesis projects. We at the Art and Design School actively involve our alumni in teaching activities—this year, a few more of them gained a new status and started teaching at HSE University. For me, it is a very important element of succession and professional development.

My personal achievements are also related to internationalisation. One of these is the launch of a website where I collected more than 150 various events which greatly influenced my professional life. Another is the reboot of the website of my journal in English. Plus, starting with the Turkish issue, the journal itself is published in English.

Also, after a long break, I delivered lectures in English. I gave presentations for students at five foreign universities: Sabanci (Turkey), Subharti (India), IIAD (India), LPU (India) and UPES (India). Perhaps that is something else to be proud of.

Other important things this year included the decision to open admissions to new Bachelor's and Master's tracks in 2024. In September, we will welcome the first Bachelor's students of the track 'Fashion Design'. Yes, we are finally doing fashion at HSE University-St Petersburg! This track will be headed by the famous designer Leonid Alekseev. In the Master's programme, we will launch the track 'Interior Design'.

In our business, you should never rest on your laurels. It is just like a bicycle: if you stop working the pedals, you fall. So our strategy at the Art and Design School is to constantly move forward. I wish that for myself, my colleagues, and students in particular—they are at the very beginning of their professional journey.

Mikhail Tyurkin, Academic Supervisor of the Bachelor's programme 'Media Communications'

Mikhail Tyurkin

This year was rich in events for me. I could even say that I fit several years into one. Firstly, I became an academic supervisor of our Bachelor's programme 'Media Communications'. Now, we have even more talented students, amazing professors and wonderful partners, including the Hermitage, Brusnitsyn-Loft, Radio Zenit, the Planetarium, the Youth Theatre on the Fontanka, and many others. We have launched the 'VideoVyshka' series of workshops and started to create our own video productions. In short, life is in full swing, mainly thanks to the projects, ideas, and creative work of our students.

I joined HSE University to make our programme even more international, inter-cultural and open to the world. At the end of April, I was lucky enough to go to Lovely Professional University (LPU), in India, to be a key presenter at the conference 'Emerging Media Trends.' It had been only six months—and we went there with our students. We made a film with the working title 'Tell Me, Guru!' and conducted interviews with wonderful people—from yogis to designers, from IT specialists to masters of the sitar. This is our first international project, and we plan to release it in spring. I hope that this project will work out and we will keep on building bridges between countries and peoples.

The discovery of the year was Latin America. In November and December, together with my colleagues from HSE University-St Petersburg, we went on a three-week tour to Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Brazil, establishing contacts with the local universities. We saw very open, kind, cheerful people dancing in the streets of Mexico City, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the remnants of indigenous civilization in Peru, and many other expected and unexpected wonders. I anticipate that the students of 'Media Communications' will follow in our footsteps and open it up from new sides for the Russian audience.

May everyone always know what they truly want and believe in their dream. Then, all our wishes will come true at the right moment and make us happy.

Natalia Chernysheva, Professor at the Department of Sociology, Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Youth Studies

Natalia Chernysheva

I will remember this year for numerous trips: conferences, an expedition, and to the building on Kantemirovskaya Street for law classes. I am not the most well-travelled person; for me, flying and moving are challenges. However, in one week, I managed to deliver classes, fly to Arkhangelsk, and go to a two-day conference in Moscow! This year, I discovered not only HSE University-St Petersburg, but the campus in Moscow as well. After a conference at the Centre for Youth Studies (CYS) 2022, we started communicating with colleagues from Moscow laboratories more often, I made sense of the halls in the Pokrovka building, and what a pleasure it is to meet a colleague at a conference of another university!

This year, I managed to do lots of things: this was my first teaching year, my first experience of leading an expedition (my colleagues and I went to Petrozavodsk to find 'Genius loci'), my colleague and I published a long-awaited article regarding the project we worked on in our master's programme. The most important thing is that our team at CYS wrote a final report on a project we had been working on for three years. I was involved in it from the very beginning, right when I started working at the Centre for Youth Studies, and this year I finished my amazing first research project.

My discovery this year was the first-year bachelor's law students to whom I taught sociology in autumn. Before that, I had taught master's students and worked at a school once, but this was my first experience with bachelor's students. I am very grateful to the students for the time spent with them! It is a great pleasure to work with such intelligent, active, and sympathetic young people. Thanks to you, dear students, every morning of a new day becomes very meaningful!

My wish is that in the new year, all of us will allow ourselves small human joys more often. I wish my colleagues, professors and students opportunities to turn to practices which inspire them, fill them with warmth and help them to 'ground themselves'. May all of us have time in our busy schedules for aimless walks, tea from the pot, watching snow fall and lilacs blossoming—in general, small but very important pauses.

Elena Zelenskaya, Academic Supervisor of the Master's programme 'Arts and Culture Management'

Elena Zelenskaya

As I became an academic supervisor just recently—in September 2022—I will remember 2023 as a year of getting to grips with the important tasks of an academic supervisor. These include the first winter school, thesis presentations, creating a new programme academic council, and running the admissions campaign. I am very glad that all these things went as they should. All the graduates successfully defended their dissertations, and we created an effective academic council for the programme consisting of representatives of key employers from different spheres: the gallery business, museums, executive arts, HORECA, and luxury business. It is vital to ensure the quality of studies in the programme in line with contemporary market demands. The Master's programme also had a successful admissions campaign for state-funded and fee-paying places. In 2023, 'Arts and Culture Management' enrolled 46 students, which is quite a lot for our 'niche' master's programme.

It is hard to single out only one achievement, but in general, I managed to do a lot of things this year. The master's programme started working with new partners, such as the Cultural Centre, the Beriozka gallery, the St Petersburg River Yacht Club, the Museum of Theatre and Music, and others. We managed to get additional funding for developing the master's programme in the form of a donation from a partner organisation.

We are also starting to see the results of the close work between the programme and its partners via the employment of our graduates. For instance, talking about the class of 2023, since the second year, our students have become employees of the State Hermitage Museum, the Alexandrinsky Theatre, and the Fabergé Museum.

As for my professional achievements not related to the master's programme, I would single out the acceptance of my article for publication in the Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society (on HSE University's 'A' list). This is significant for me, as it is my personal 'record' in terms of how long the publication cycle lasted. The article was forwarded to the journal in December 2021, but at the same time, there were only two stages (review and rewrite), so receiving the 'accepted' status after two years was a very long time coming.

For the New Year, I want to wish that my colleagues and students have enough resources no matter what—bad weather outside, a high workload, or stressful situations. May we get inspired by spending time with our loved ones, reading books, visiting theatres and interesting exhibitions. If we have at least some time in our schedules for art, I believe our lives will be happier! 

Elizaveta Shushunova, Deputy Dean of the School of Law

Elizaveta Shushunova

This year, the School of Law at HSE University-St Petersburg celebrates its 25th anniversary. For us, it was the main event of 2023, a time to appreciate the results of our work and think about new ambitious plans.

We had a very successful admissions campaign, launched several popular features on our social networks, and organised five big research conferences featuring outstanding scientists and judges. We even created our own intellectual club called 'What? Where? Law School', also made the most of the opportunity to study the legal traditions of distant countries during the 'Week of the East,' where we also made bracelets and read tarot.

Over the year, our students developed equally important projects: research clubs. The climax, in my opinion, was the 'Week of Constitutionalism,' which they organised in honour of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Russian Constitution.

I am very happy not only to witness everything that is happening in the School of Law, but also to be an active element of this professional, creative, and energetic system. I am proud of everything we do!

I wish my colleagues, students, and friends of the School and HSE University-St Petersburg sound health and inspiration in 2024. We have lots of exciting classes ahead!