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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between the Joint HSE-NES Bachelor of Arts program and other BA programs in Russia?

2.  Why might graduates of high schools with concentration in mathematics want to consider applying to the NES program instead of to larger mathematics and physics programs?

3. What is a Bachelor of Arts degree anyway? Will a graduate of a BA program be able to advance in Russia? 

4. Why does HSE need this program? 

5. Why did NES decide to open a BA program instead of a PhD? 

6. How does admission to the joint program work?

7. Are there both state-financed and paid enrollment spots available for the joint program?

8. How many people does the program plan to accept in 2011? How many state-financed (“budget”) and paid spots will be allotted to the program?

9. Are there opportunities for tuition-paying students to receive financial aid?

10. Can students receive scholarships?

11. Will applicants be accepted to the program according to the Uniform State Exam results (ЕГЭ)? What subjects will count towards admission?

12. What are the minimum subject test scores necessary for acceptance in to the joint program?

13. Will students be required to take any additional tests to get accepted to the joint program in 2013?

14. What score on the Uniform State Examination guarantees acceptance to the program?

15. What kind of advantages for admission are offered to the winners and prize-holders of the All-Russian competitions or other high school competitions?

16. Do winners of an All-Russian competition need to pass all the required subject tests to be accepted to the program?

17. What documents do applicants need to submit and to where?

18. How does applying to a joint program relate to the restriction limiting students to applying to no more than 5 universities?

19. What specializations are available in the joint program?

20. Where will classes take place?

21. What level of English is required?

22. Will graduates of the joint HSE/NES BA program have any advantages in admission to these universities’ master’s programs?

23. Is army deferment available to students of the joint program?

24. Are students from other regions invited to apply, and is there a residence hall available for students who need housing?

25. Is it possible to work while being a full-time student of the joint BA program?

26. Are there any academic exchanges with foreign universities planned?

27. Where can I find additional information about the new program? 
 

1. What is the difference between the Joint HSE-NES Bachelor of Arts program and other BA programs in Russia?
Very few Russian bachelor’s degree programs in social sciences are internationally competitive. The Joint BA program of HSE and NES fully upholds to the modern international standards of higher education in economics as far as program structure, available courses, content, teaching methods, evaluation, grading, and quality of professors.  

The program possesses the following distinctive qualities:

  • Among the courses offered to students is not only Economics-related disciplines, but also a wide range of subjects from different areas of study such as mathematics, social sciences, sciences, and humanities.  
  • More than half of the academic program consists of electives, giving students the opportunity to create individualized study plans tailored to their particular interests and needs.
  • Class sizes are small (no more than 25 people). Opportunities for close communication with professors are abundant and include regular student-teacher conferences.
  • NES courses include large volumes of self-study: reading, writing, and group projects.
  • NES focuses on improving students’ communication skills through regular courses and special workshops, as well as through individual consultations conducted by the Writing and Communication Center – the first writing center in Russia.
  • Many courses will be taught in English, and the students will be given the opportunity to participate in academic exchanges with universities abroad.

Graduates of the joint program receive two BA diplomas – one from each of the two most respected  economics institutions in Russia.
More detailed information about the program is available   economics institutions in Russia on our website: //www.nes.ru/ba/. Also, information from the Higher School of Economics can be found here: //economics.hse.ru/hse-nes/. Russian versions of the program brochure and poster are also available online.

2.  Why would graduates of high schools with concentration in mathematics might want to consider applying to this program instead of to larger mathematics or physics programs?
Traditionally, Russia has devoted more resources and acclaim to its purely scientific institutions. These were able to attract better students, but academic standards have continued to slip. We plan to prove that adding some elements of the Western approach to economics can produce a hybrid Russian approach perfect for preparing students for the modern world of economics. Chief among this hybrid are focus on communication and high standards of academic integrity.

3. What is a Bachelor of Arts degree, anyway? Will a graduate of a BA program be able to advance in Russia?
We agree that the transition to the 4+2 model (4 years of a bachelor’s program and 2 years of master’s) has not been very successful in Russia so far. In most cases, universities just admit their graduates of bachelor’s programs to their own master’s programs automatically without making clear distinction between the goals and structure of the two programs. Therefore, many universities, instead of transitioning to the 4+2 model, implement a 6-year higher education model.
Meanwhile, there is a major difference between the goals of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. A bachelor’s degree is an undergraduate degree – composed of a basic, relatively broad higher education that equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary for starting a career or transitioning into a desired area of advanced study. A master’s degree is a graduate degree focusing on more specialized knowledge and skills in a more concentrated area of study. A master’s program is optional in most fields and may benefit students more if they complete it later in their career, after they gain some practical experience.  
This is the idea we have in mind. Our program will give its graduates a full basic higher education. We are confident that thanks to the quality of the education offered and the recognizable brands of HSE and NES, graduates of our program will be in high demand with the best employers and graduate schools in the world.
A lot of companies overseas prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree rather than master’s. Russian companies are following that trend, and demand for people with a 4-year degree is growing significantly.

4. Why does HSE need this program?

HSE is a dynamically developing institution home to lots of excellent BA programs, but none of them are identical to our joint program. The creations of the joint program allows HSE to test and implement new approaches to building a bachelor’s program according to international quality standards. This is also a great opportunity for both universities to learn from each other and, as a result, to raise the quality of the education that we offer our students.

5. Why did NES decide to open a BA program instead of a PhD?

There are two main reasons for opening a BA program at NES. First, liberal arts-oriented BA program, though rare in Russia, are in high demand. The mission of NES is to provide modern economic education and research for Russian society, government, and the private sector. Second, the BA program has improved the well-being of NES in general, from bringing in young and excited minds to encouraging more cooperation with HSE.
As far as a PhD program is concerned – such a program has been considered, but NES is not quite ready to create a PhD program that would be able to compete on the same level with the top PhD programs in the world. Anything less than that is not worth the effort because NES graduates of the Master of Economics program consistently get accepted to the world’s best PhD programs with full scholarships.  

6. How does admission to the joint program work?
Admission to the joint program means that a student will be accepted to the Joint HSE/NES Bachelor of Economics program of the Department of Economics at HSE and to the Bachelor of Economics program at NES. There will be separate admission process and criteria for the joint program. For the applicants’ convenience, all documents are accepted by the HSE Admissions Office. There will be a single common set of admission requirements (subjects, required test scores, advantages for competition winners, etc.)

7. Are there both state-financed and paid enrollment spots available in the joint program?
Yes, there are. For students accepted into the joint program at HSE with the government financing their education (“budget” spots), there will be no tuition charged for the duration of study.
During the next years we hope that the number of state-financed (“budget”) spots will either stay the same or increase.

8. How many people does the program plan to accept in 2011? How many state-financed (“budget”) and paid spots will be allotted to the program?
In 2011, 30 to 50 people will be accepted to the joint HSE/NES BA program, out of whom 30 to 40 will be financed by the federal government. More exact information about the number of “budget” and paid spots will be published on our website in May. The number of either kind of spot may be increased (by agreement with HSE), in case too many people who have admission privileges, like State competition winners, apply to the program.  

9. Are there opportunities for tuition-paying students to receive financial aid?
Students who pay for their own education will have access to the same discount, loan, and financial aid system as every other student at HSE and NES. For more detailed information, look here.
One of our major principles is that any student who satisfies our academic criteria needs to have an opportunity to study in our program, regardless of her current financial situation.

10. Can students receive scholarships?
Students enrolled under state-financed (“budget”) spots will be paid monthly scholarships according to Russian legislation.

11. Will applicants be accepted to the program according to the Uniform State Exam results (ЕГЭ)? What subjects will count towards admission?
Yes, according to Russian legislation, Uniform State Examination scores will serve as the main admission criteria. The list of subjects the students are required to pass before applying to the program is: Mathematics, Russia, Foreign Language, and Social Science. For more detailed information, go to “Prospective Students”.

12. What are the minimum test scores on the subjects necessary for acceptance into the joint program?
Minimum test score requirements are generally officially announced in June, but not before the official results of the Uniform State Examination are announced. We usually predict that the minimal scores will be somewhat higher than for the Department of Economics at HSE, especially for Mathematics and Russian. The scores for Social Science and Foreign Language may be the same as those required by the Department of Economics.

13. Will students be required to take any additional examinations to be considered for acceptance?
No.

14. What score on the Uniform State Examination guarantees acceptance to the program?
In general, the sufficient score will be the same or higher than the score required for automatic acceptance into the HSE Department of Economics.

15. What kind of advantages for admission are offered to the winners and prize-holders of the All-Russian competitions or other high school competitions?
Winners and prize-holders of the final stage of the All-Russian competitions in Economics and Mathematics will be accepted to the program without having to take entrance exams.  
Winners and prize-holders of the final stage of the All-Russian competition in Russian, Foreign Language, or Social Science will be given an automatic score of 100 on the corresponding subject exam.
Winners of competitions for high school students in economics and mathematics of the 1st and 2nd level with 1st degree diplomas will be accepted to the program without entrance exams. 
Holders of 2nd and 3rd degree diplomas of competitions for high-school students of the 1st and 2nd level in Economics and Mathematics, as well as all winners and prize-holders of competitions of all levels in Russian and Foreign Languages, will be given an automatic maximum score on the corresponding subject test. 

16. Do winners of an All-Russian competition need to pass all the required subject tests to be accepted to the program?
No, they don’t. But, to apply to the program, students need a high school diploma and you cannot get that unless you pass exams on the required subjects: Russian and Mathematics.

17. What documents do applicants need to submit and to where?
Applying to the joint program means applying to two universities - NES and HSE. Therefore, two identical sets of documents are required. You will need to submit original documents to HSE and copies – to NES. For detailed information about the list of documents, see the  Admission Rules. For the applicants’ convenience there is a one-window system of document submission, which means you bring all the documents to the HSE Admissions office. HSE will be handling the whole admission process.

18. How does applying to a joint program relate to the restriction limiting students to applying to no more than 5 universities?
At the moment, applying to the joint program is viewed by the government as applying to two different universities. So unfortunately yes, that is 2 out of 5.    

19. What specializations are available in the joint program?
There will not be any actual specializations in the joint BA program. Since more than half of the program’s courses are electives, students will have the opportunity to design their own individual programs of study by choosing courses in mathematics, economics, social sciences, sciences, and humanities.  

20. Where will classes take place?
Classes take place in the Department of Economics building at HSE and in the NES facilities at CEMI.

21. What level of English is required?
Students may apply and enter the program after having studied any foreign language in high school. If a student starts the program with only minimal knowledge of English, he or she needs to be prepared to learn English in two years because starting the third year, many of the courses will be taught in English.  

22. Will graduates of the joint HSE/NES BA program have any advantages in admission to these universities’ master’s programs?
Graduates of the joint Bachelor or Economics program will be able to apply to both universities’ master’s programs like everyone else. Meanwhile, we hope that a lot of our graduates will be able to continue their education in the best universities of the world, not just at NES and HSE.

23. Is army deferment available to students of the joint program? 
Students of the joint program will receive an army deferment, just like all other students of HSE – a state university.

24. Are students from other regions invited to apply, and is there a residence hall available for students in need of housing?
Yes, we hope to attract the best high school graduates from all regions of the country. They will be able to live in an HSE residence hall.  

25. Is it possible to work while being a full-time student of the joint BA program?
We cannot forbid our students from working, but we think that the course load that they will be faced with will preclude working full-time. Besides, students will be graded not only according to the exams at the end of the semester, but also according to midterms, tests, homework, class participation, and other semester-long efforts. In other words, students will have to attend classes on a regular basis and complete a lot of independent study projects. Of course, if a student is able to satisfy all the academic requirements and maintain a full-time job, that is his or her right. But part-time employment is a much better idea.  

26. Are there any academic exchanges with foreign universities planned? 
Yes. We believe that these exchanges benefit the students, and we are working on providing our hard-working students opportunities to spend a semester or two abroad at one of the leading universities in the world. Also, we want students from abroad to come and study here.

27. Where can I find additional information about the new program?
From the NES side, the people responsible for the opening of the joint BA program are: Konstantin Sonin, Vice Rector and Program Co-director, and Ekaterina Maksimova, Executive Director of the program. If you have any questions, call +7-495-956-9508 (ext. 242) or send an email to ba@nes.ru. International students interested in studying in the joint program can email international@nes.ru for more information. Also, you can register on the forum of the joint HSE/NES BA program on the HSE website and address your questions to the program administration there.

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New Economic School is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! We invite you to take part in key event of the celebration: an academic conference in economics and finance which will take place December 18-19, 2017 in Moscow, in the Metropol Hotel. Notifications of paper acceptance: October 1. Registration ends: October 15. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 25conference@nes.ru. Find out more on the conference website >>>
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