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On June 28, 2017, the second graduation ceremony for the double-degree Master’s programme in Big Data Systems (HSE, Russia) and Information Systems Management (UAS Technikum Wien, Austria) was held at the Austrian Residence. Dr. Emil Brix, Ambassador of Austria in Moscow, gave the opening speech. During the reception, he congratulated graduates on successfully completing the programme and stressed the importance of cooperation between the universities for multicultural and professional communication.
The representatives of HSE – Boris Zhelezov, Deputy First Vice-Rector; Prof. Svetlana Maltseva, Academic Supervisor of the Big Data Systems programme; and Mikhail Komarov, Deputy Head of the School of Business Informatics, also took part in the ceremony. Sergey Belov, University Relation Manager at IBM Central and Eastern Europe & Middle East and Africa, highlighted the importance of joint activities between the universities and the programme’s importance for industry.
Fritz Schmöllebeck, Rector of UAS Technikum Wien, issued an official letter in which he expressed deep satisfaction with the fruitful long-term partnership between the two universities.
This year, 10 graduates (three from the Austrian programme and six from the Russian programme) were awarded double-degree diplomas from both the HSE School of Business Informatics and Faculty of Business Informatics at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, demonstrating the successful collaboration between the two universities over the past four years.
Under the agreement between the HSE and UAS Technikum Wien, students attended classes in both Russia and in Austria and presented their Master’s theses to a joint examination committee. Co-operation between the universities was supported twice through Erasmus+ academic mobility grants, which funded students from both universities.
I decided to pursue the double-degree programme because I believe that big data and information system management are major fields that will converge in the near future. This programme will advance my education and help me delve deeper in these fields, and will aid me in my future career.
Honestly, I didn’t have any major expectations, as I have been a professional student my whole life. However, throughout the programme I have become stronger, smarter and wiser from the intense training. The programme is giving me more research-based training from modern academicians, as well as the opportunity to spend time in Western Europe, where I will have a wide variety of opportunities to work after I complete my studies. Our programme has also given me a deep understanding of what is required for future job opportunities, especially as it relates to big data systems.
Regarding the education systems at HSE and Teknikum Wien, both share a similar methodology. The only major difference that I have noticed is that at HSE in Moscow, professors focus more on students in general, whereas Teknikum Wien pushes students to go deeper by giving a number of major complex assignments.
The idea of studying abroad is always associated with a new environment, interesting people, upcoming possibilities and serious challenges that one faces every day. It sounds kind of scary, but everything was very smooth during my study abroad. I can say that pursuing the double-degree programme was one of the best decisions in my life as there are many opportunities to meet new people, study a foreign language and to prove myself in an unfamiliar environment.
First, I was expecting to meet a culture that differs from Russia in a lot of aspects, another kind education system and to discover some new ideas in my area of study. I cannot say that the teaching methods at HSE and Technikum Wien are completely different; the greatest difference, perhaps, is the fact that the subjects at Technikum Wien have a more applied nature, which means that a lot of attention is paid to using knowledge gained for professional development in real applications. However, if one wants to be a real specialist in the field, they need to spend a lot of time on self-education.
During the semester, we studied a variety of subjects from the field of business informatics. I would say that the most useful for me was Green IT, so much so that now I’m even considering writing my Master’s thesis on it, since it is an interesting but underdeveloped topic in Russia.
Participation in the programme has helped me to develop not only on a professional level but has also helped my soft skills. During my stay in Austria, my perspective on various things changed, and I gained confidence that our capabilities are much greater than we can imagine. Having pursued an education abroad is confirmation of my own strength, skills and motivation for further development.
Most likely, all the fears that people have about studying abroad will disappear once they arrive and spend the first weeks at the university. There is a lot of support available from the office of international relations, from the Erasmus group, from the study office and from other students. I did not face a single problem that I couldn’t manage either alone or with the help of others. If I could go abroad again to study, I would do so without giving it a second thought.