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The HSE ISSEK English-language Master’s programme in Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation is accepting applications. Studies in English, practical skills, extensive networking—former and current students shared their impressions with the HSE News Service, while Academic Supervisor Dirk Meissner talked about what to expect in the new academic year.
The Master’s in Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation was founded as part of the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK) in 2014. In December 2021, it received international accreditation as a master’s in management. The programme has been accredited for three years by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).
Artem Altynov graduated from the programme this year and was hired as a User and Market Researcher at Prequel, a photo- and video-editing app. He chose the programme for several reasons. After getting his bachelor’s degree, he wanted to continue his track in digital economy. Moreover, he had participated in research projects of the ISSEK Laboratory for Science and Technology Studies, where he looked at the challenges of digital technology development in Russia and the world. ‘I realised that working with members of the Institute would help me expand the skills and knowledge necessary for my professional development,’ he said.
An important component was the opportunity to build up soft skills and English proficiency during the exchange programme with Seoul National University, as well as to participate in team projects with international students.
According to Artem, the most important advantage of the programme was the large number of projects and case studies, and the fact that students can propose their own topics for research. This allows the students to apply the knowledge received from professors to their own projects. Artem had the opportunity to implement projects related to his professional interests and included many of them in his portfolio when he was looking for a job.
Artem is interested in developing digital products for creative industries, and the knowledge and skills he received in the programme have opened up new opportunities for him to further his development. His master’s thesis was dedicated to analysing the users of music streaming services.
While I was working on my thesis, I got a chance to see many studies on the users of digital products. This helped me during job interviews.
His practical skills in technological market research helped him to pass a test assignment, which led to his employment as a User and Market Researcher in a company that develops mobile applications for photo editing. His advice to future students of the programme is to stay focused.
Choose one thing you are interested in and tie all your activities to it: courses, assignments, and your thesis. This is an excellent way to add some cases to your portfolio for when you are searching for a job.
In the 2022/23 academic year, the programme will expand its focus to include company corporate ethics and sustainability. These are increasingly relevant topics for company management and research institutes. The focus lies on sustainable innovation, which means building business models which have a long-term focus and consider environmental responsibility for the sake of companies, customers and society.
Following the experience of recent years, the programme has now established all elective courses in online mode, which makes it more convenient for students to organise their learning. Core courses, however, remain in the classroom format to enhance personal communication and networking among students and teachers.
Our programme sees itself as a melting pot of students with different educational backgrounds from different countries. Mutual inspiration to discuss topics is strongly encouraged. We always support students’ initiatives, be it proposing themes for discussion in courses, proposing their own topics for term papers, internships and master’s theses, designing their own study plans with exchange semesters, and others. Student initiatives are always welcome and supported as much as possible.
Ekaterina Komleva graduated from the programme in 2020 and is now the Lead Manager of ESG-compliance, Sustainable Development Department at Norilsk Nickel. When she was choosing where to study for her master’s degree, HSE University had the only programme in Russia that majored in STI governance. Having already earned a bachelor’s degree in foreign studies, she wanted to have an opportunity to immerse herself in the international community and spend some time in Europe, so she chose HSE University. Another thing she liked about HSE University was the selection process via cover letters: ‘This is the best way to find students who are most interested in this field, and I wanted to work with other active students.’
As it turned out, my expectations started out low and I got more that I bargained for. The best things the programme gave me were new friends and new perspectives.
Ekaterina believes that the programme creates a special outlook on the world through the prism of STI theories, so that familiar things take on a new meaning. This now helps her find out-of-the-box solutions to problems at work.
Ekaterina liked the cumulative grading system, as she prefers to receive knowledge step by step. Many of her fellow students were working while studying, so the extramural format was very convenient. She also emphasises that studying in English provides excellent practice for one’s written and oral skills.
We worked with teachers of the highest level that were actively engaged in academia and know all the ins and outs of STI governance.
A degree from HSE University helped Ekaterina in her employment: ‘Some people say that modern employers do not pay attention to the school you went to, but that was never my experience. An HSE University diploma is to some degree a stamp of quality that helps you tremendously when you are looking for a job.’ Today, she works in the ESG department at Norilsk Nickel: ‘I often juxtapose what happens on the job with the theoretical side of STI governance, and it helps.’
I would advise students to turn to their professors with questions and discuss their projects, because you will have a lot to gain from them in the future, and professors at ISSEK are cheerful and friendly to boot.
Anastas Karagadaev, founder and CEO of Tertiarm—a startup project in educational robotics—will graduate from the programme in 2023. Before enrolling, he was torn between two HSE University programmes: Governance of STI and Corporate Research, Development and Innovation Management. He believes that Governance of STI provides wider coverage of global innovative activities without focusing solely on the practicality of project management. He wanted to become part of an international community of students and teachers, and to practice talking and studying in English.
Anastas also said that the programme exceeded his expectations.
Apart from the wide spectrum of tasks and practical skills, this programme helped me broaden my horizons and acquire a comprehensive understanding of the innovation process. It gave me an opportunity to gain a new perspective on my profession and create a valuable network.
He particularly values the new friends he made on the programme: ‘All my fellow students are open and friendly; they share my interests and beliefs. We often meet outside class. I am sure that I will keep in touch with many of them years after I finish the programme.’
Anastas likes that the studies are based on interaction between students and teachers, practical projects and teamwork. He also values the diversity: ‘The different backgrounds of the students allowed everyone to contribute and make classes genuinely interesting and memorable.’ The programme invites internationally acclaimed scientists and representatives of major Russian and international companies as visiting speakers.
Visiting speakers share their invaluable experience and knowledge, give practical advice and recommendations, and are ready to answer any questions.
Anastas has been able to combine his studies with professional activity. His thesis and many of his projects are closely related to his current work: ‘The knowledge and competences I received not only help me to perform work-related tasks, but also make a contribution to forming analytical thinking, which is a positive thing if you want to move up the career ladder.’
Anastas advises applicants to be themselves when writing their cover letter and during the interview: ‘The admissions commission is not trying to see if you fit a template. First and foremost, they want to see your personality and understand whether you are a good fit for this programme.’
Try putting your best foot forward, showing your motivation, and demonstrating that you have made an informed decision about your future.
He also suggests that new students show active engagement from the first day onward: ‘The programme provides a lot of opportunities for motivated students; the teachers are open to any initiatives and will have your back when something is not going right.’
Admissions to HSE’s bachelor's and master’s programmes are now open. International students can apply online. Submit your application early to qualify for a full-tuition scholarship.
To learn more about HSE University, its admission process, or life in Moscow, please visit the International Admissions website or contact the Education & Training Advisory Centre. The staff are happy to advise applicants and their parents via e-mail at email@example.com, by phone +7 (495) 531 00 59, WhatsApp +7 (916) 311 85 21, or Telegram +7 (916) 311 8521.
Head, Laboratory for Economics of Innovation