On September 11, the International College of Economics and Finance (ICEF) held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2014 at the residence of the British Ambassador to Russia. Since ICEF was created 17 years ago and began carrying out joint programmes with the University of London International Programmes, the number of graduates has reached a thousand.
‘We did not identify which of you was the thousandth, so each of you can safely say that you were the thousandth graduate. You've worked hard to successfully complete our complex programmes, and you now have everything you need for a successful career and to become a real person of the world. And in this, I envy you in the best way possible,’ ICEF Director Sergei Yakovlev said in his speech to graduates.
ICEF graduates typically show the best results among all participants of the University of London International programme. More than half of the graduates from the joint bachelor’s programme received First and Upper Second diplomas from the University of London.
Most graduates decided to go into business and have already started working for some of the largest banks and financial firms: Morgan Stanley, Barclays Capital, J.P. Morgan, Sberbank CIB, Citigroup, McKinsey, VTB Capital, and others. Additionally, 36% of ICEF graduates will continue into master's programmes abroad, and many of them have received scholarships to universities such as the London School of Economics, MIT, Oxford, Columbia University, and UCLA. Three graduates (one undergraduate and two masters) were admitted to Ph.D. programmes at UCLA, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania.
The importance of international cooperation in the field of education and science was discussed at the ceremony by Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Moscow, Martin Harris, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of London Professor Sir Adrian Smith. ‘The embodiment of a line for the educational, economic, and culture integration of our country into Europe’ was the main achievement of ICEF graduates, according to VTB 24 President and CEO Mikhail Zadornov, who is also a member of HSE’s board of trustees.
Professor Lord Richard Layard of the London School of Economics – who had originally proposed the ICEF model for a joint bachelor’s programme with the HSE – said he was also certain that despite all difficulties and disagreements, Russian is culturally a European country and will eventually become part of a Greater Europe. In addition, HSE President Alexander Shokhin said ICEF should not stop after its first thousand graduates: ‘At one time, there was such a thing as “twenty-five-thousanders,” specialists that helped build socialism in rural areas. I hope that there will come a time when we will have our 25,000th graduate who will help build capitalism – not only in Russia, but on a global scale as well.”