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ICEF Evening School for High School Students: Learning from the best to be the best

ICEF Evening School for High School Students: Learning from the best to be the best

© IES

For six years now, International Evening School (IES) has been operating at ICEF HSE. The programme is completely free of charge and offers high school students (grades 9-11) a course in Economics which is designed to prepare them for university. Here is how IES works and how to enroll.

About IES

ICEF International Evening School (IES) offers career guidance and helps high school students to choose the right university with programmes in economics and finance. IES seeks to equip its students with profound understanding of Economics, as well as interdisciplinary and practical skills. Its wide range of courses in several areas of study can be taken also online and in English. The curriculum includes dedicated courses in Financial Literacy and Python Data Science for economists and financiers, to name a few.

Alina Myalo, founder of IES, ICEF graduate 2015

Alina Myalo, founder of IES, ICEF graduate 2015

International Evening School is more than just an Economics programme for high school students. Our large and friendly team has built the School from scratch over these six years, now it is one of the most user-friendly and holistic beyond-the-classroom projects that can be joined by any student in Russia. 

All our projects are absolutely free for participants. Not only does IES provide skills and knowledge, it helps learners to find their place in this complex world of stereotypes about economy and finance as careers. We want our students to follow their natural curiosity and stop being afraid to ask questions. The community we are trying to shape is that of motivated, talented children who share similar values. We are currently working to set up IES Council, which will consist of students, teachers and graduates of IES and ICEF.

For all of us who is making this programme happen – and we are 35 teachers and organizers as of 2021 – this is not merely an extracurricular activity, but a part of our lives. This is our contribution to the nation’s human capital. I tend to believe that IES would continue to exist for a very long time as a highly sought-after project. It has a team who can do it right and can take care of its learners.

IES opened its doors in 2015 and has delivered more than a thousand classes and hundreds of events since then, that covered 6,000+ schoolchildren, of whom 2,000 enrolled in HSE (ICEF, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Faculty of Business Informatics) and other leading universities in Moscow. The teaching and learning process has been supported by 70 teachers and more than 50 speakers in different years of its existence.

IES is two-time finalist for HSE Best Intellectual Project of the Year and HSE Best Awareness Project, and is a 2016 HSE Alumni Awards winner as the best social and educational project.

What we teach at IES 

IES has a curriculum that goes beyond the traditional scope of economic studies. It aims to equip learners with skills of using mathematical methods, statistical and data analysis, introducing them to the basics of financial literacy, banking, book-keeping and management accounting as concepts essential to understanding the economic news.

Maria Platonova, ICEF graduate 2021, IES teacher 2019-2021

Maria Platonova, ICEF graduate 2021, IES teacher 2019-2021

What everyone at IES – learners and student teachers – get inspired by is the will to make progress and stay part of a community of positive thinking people. Quality communication is, indeed, a great source of energy and strength to cope with challenges. I was so inspired by my first day as a teacher that when I came back home in the evening my father said, “Looks like you have had a great date.”

Generally, the programme provides the understanding of economic logic and its tools, particularly, in terms of game theory and behavioral economics. It changes every year and is flexible enough to meet the needs of each new class by offering informative optional courses. This academic flexibility makes IES an attractive choice even for those who have already done its courses. Around 20% of students return every year for more courses and to meet their favorite teachers and like-minded people.

AS MANY AS 290 IES PARTICIPANTS
ENROLLED IN ICEF OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS; 50 EARNED THEIR DEGREES IN 2019-2021

In addition to problem solving, the teaching process includes games, discussion, and project teamwork to cultivate practical skills. Workshops on public speaking, time management, and presenting, among other topics, are designed to enhance communication and leadership skills. As participants communicate with motivated people, they start to show better critical thinking and self-motivation that can help them when they are university students. IES participants themselves note that the school helps them to get over the fear of starting a university, because they know some of their new friends will be there studying with them.

Albert Belkov, ICEF Graduate 2021, IES teacher 2018-2021

Albert Belkov, ICEF Graduate 2021, IES teacher 2018-2021

You are being listened to and followed and you feel your experience is needed. Sometimes, while delivering a lecture on economics, I even come up with solutions to my own home assignments.

What sets IES apart is its teachers – the best-performing students of ICEF. For them, teaching at IES is an opportunity to experiment with ways of getting the knowledge across and to receive feedback. The knowledge exchange is rapid, bringing fresh blood into the teaching process not only at IES but also ICEF. More than five graduates of ICEF with teaching experience from IES have become lecturers showing high level of teaching with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 by ICEF undergraduate students in 2021. Some of IES former teachers are currently hired by HSE’s other programmes and successfully combine teaching with jobs at Alfa-Bank, VTB, BCS, PWC, SBER, Tinkoff, among other companies. 

Every academic year ends with an official ceremony where IES participants present their projects.

What else we offer

In cooperation with partners including Alfa-Bank, Gett, Skolkovo and PWC, the International Evening School hosts Summer Schools. There are also case schools, academic competition and career guidance schools, where lectures are given by speakers representing world-known companies –  KPMG, VTB, Unilever, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, to name a few.

A regular event with IES is the Open Day, allowing visitors to be students for a day to meet the university and its people.

Alexander Vlasov, 3-year student of ICEF, IES teacher 2019-2021, Prize-winner at the All-Russian Olympiad for Schoolchildren in Economics

Alexander Vlasov, 3-year student of ICEF, IES teacher 2019-2021,  Prize-winner at the All-Russian Olympiad for Schoolchildren in Economics

Here, high school students can learn about the courses their peers have not yet heard about. They get the idea of what it’s like to be a student of one of the best universities in the country and what it takes to be as good as ICEF students. IES is a good opportunity to learn more about ICEF and to shape your own vision of your own future.

For several years, the School has been holding its own academic competition, allowing winners to fast-track to the double-degree HSE-University of London bachelor's programme.

Notably, IES participants show brilliant results in academic competitions year in year. More than 40 winners and prize-winners of the final stage of the All-Russian Olympiad for schoolchildren in 2021 attended the IES Evening School in 2019-2021.

How to enroll

The selection procedure involves filling out a questionnaire, an online test and an interview with IES teachers. Applicants are expected to have sufficient knowledge of mathematics, logical thinking and information processing skills, and be willing to receive new knowledge. 

With regional programmes across the country, IES can be joined online from any part of Russia.

Igor Spiridonov, ICEА Graduate 2018, IES teacher 2016-2020

Igor Spiridonov, ICEА Graduate 2018, IES teacher 2016-2020

My experience as an IES teacher is that of creativity and support by like-minded people. When you are a part of a team as great as IES’s, it is easy to level up your teaching skills and come up with initiatives or opinion that you know will be heard.

Watch video about ICEF International Evening School