International Recruitment at HSE University
The Higher School of Economics is a young and dynamic research university in Russia. For the past twenty-five years, HSE University has become one of the leading comprehensive universities in Russian education and has been recognized internationally.
HSE University was the first state-run university in Russia to begin recruiting on the international academic market demanding for both teaching and research qualities. It proceeded from the understanding that with responsible approach to training of new professionals the university should select teachers who have both basic and applied knowledge, as well as real experience.
Initial international faculty recruitment in the University was focused at hiring experts in economics. The HSE’s Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) created in 2006 was the coordinating body for all aspects of international recruitment. Working under the authority of the International Recruitment Committee (chaired by Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov) the CAS regulated hiring procedures and organized the activities of Search and Selection Committees’ members.
By the standard established back in the day and up to now, committee members must have a PhD from an international research university or significant publications in international peer-reviewed journals and university presses. The search committees must reach unanimous agreement on each applicant they filter, which helps guarantee high academic standards for all internationally hired staff.
Institutional support of the recruitment programme reached a new level in 2013 with the establishment of the Office of Internationalisation; its task was to provide services that help international colleagues integrate smoothly into the academic life at HSE University. New English language information channels were maintained; several ineffective administrative procedures were redesigned and facilitated. Faculty coordinator positions have been created as primary support points for helping the international hires to get involved in the university life and for solving specific administrative issues at the departmental level.
At the same year of 2013, after tenure track faculty recruitment proved successful, HSE University introduced a new track – the postdoctoral fellowship programme aimed at the development of high-quality research and international collaboration. It allowed hiring international PhD graduates to continue their research activities under the supervision of HSE University departments for 1 year contracts with an opportunity to extend their contract in case of good research performance and positive feedback from the host laboratory or department.
In 2017, HSE University launched Senior Part-Time Programme to build strong research collaborations and international teams through inviting academics with extensive experience in the field who already have a tenure at their home university. It is not an open call track, and prospective candidates are proposed by the HSE University departments. Under the part-time contract they spend a part of the academic year in Russia, helping to establish and develop research teams, providing guidance to junior colleagues, and co-authoring research publications with HSE University faculty members.
Today the centralized process of hiring faculty from the international labour market is supervised by the Deputy First Vice Rector Valentina Kuskova and administered by the International Faculty Support Centre within the HSE Office of Internationalisation: starting from recruitment to pre-arrival support, migration and relocation issues, adaptation at a new workplace, and many more questions.
However, each HSE university faculty has its own budget for hiring staff under domestic contracts, so the centralized call is not the only method to bring academic staff with international training or foreign PhD to the university.
International faculty recruitment in HSE University nowadays is a complex system combining the needs of the faculties and their departments with the ambitious goals of the university while maintaining balance between the existing faculty and new hires.
There are two major tracks that international specialists can apply for:
- Tenure Track: an initial three-year contract employment (with the possibility of prolongation after a successful interim review);
- Postdoctoral Fellowship: one-year programme in one of the HSE research centres and units (with the possibility of renewal);
Alongside with the major recruitment tracks, HSE units have an opportunity to involve international experts and academics into part-time employment via
- Senior Part-Time Programme: three-year collaboration of HSE Units and tenured academics from foreign universities.
HSE University now employs international faculty for a set of different disciplines, and has more than 100 research institutes and centres along with more than 30 international research laboratories with international experts.
In 2019/20 academic year, the University has been recruiting international tenure track faculty and postdoctoral fellows in more than 30 HSE Units (including faculties, institutes and independent research departments).
For more information on the HSE International Recruitment, please see:
Higher Education in Russia and Beyond (HERB), 2(20), issue Summer 2019, articles by V. Radaev, V. Kuskova, and Yu. Grinkevich.
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