Academic and Business Leaders about ICEF
Herman Gref,

CEO, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank:

"Over the two decades of its existence, ICEF has earned a solid reputation as one of the most popular, respectable and highly competitive educational institutions, while also adhering to the highest of international standards. The college is world renowned for its very strong faculty and this is why it is so capable of training first-class specialists, who then join the ranks of a new generation of talented economists. I am certain that over the years to come, ICEF will continue to train top professionals, who will be able to make notable contributions to the development of economics in Russia".


Yaroslav Kuzminov,

HSE Rector:

"Twenty years ago, my colleagues from the Faculty of Economics at MSU came to HSE, which was quite a young institution at the time, and proposed doing this project. As you can see, the project has been realized and, today, it’s not just the successful venture of Sergey Yakovlev, Oleg Zamkov and their colleagues. We can also talk about it as a Russian success story from the 1990s. There weren’t that many then, but ICEF reminds us about all the things that can be done in an open environment. This was the first large-scale attempt to integrate the Russian education system with the global academic environment. Furthermore, ICEF has been an engine for transforming the entire Russian higher education system. I would like to thank our British colleagues, who had faith in this initiative, and the resilience of the team that started the project. Today, we can clearly see their contributions".


Professor Sir Adrian Smith, 

Vice-Chancellor of the University of London:

"Over the years, ICEF students have won prizes for outstanding results at University of London exams, they've been admitted to prestigious course throughout the world. All this is evidence of the great achievement, recognised outside Russia and in particular, we in the University of London recognise the contribution that's been made. Your students are truly outstanding".


Alexander Shokhin,

HSE President:

"ICEF is one of the best HSE projects. My employees and doctoral students include ICEF alumni. These are people who can immediately adapt to the demands of the market and employers, and who don’t require further training or retraining. And this is crucial since the gap between graduates’ qualifications and employers’ requirements is still a major issue. At the same time, this doesn’t necessarily mean their qualifications are low as such. Rather, it only means that they simply don’t meet the demands of the market. The acquired competencies of ICEF students are in perfect accord with the real sector, be it in terms of analytics, management, banking or academia. I believe that, within 10 years, ICEF will still be able to successfully adapt to a new environment and meet the market’s demands".


Lord Richard Layard,

LSE Emeritus Professor, ICEF’s co-founder:

"Сongratulations to ICEF on its 20th birthday. And this is a nostalgic time because it takes us back to around 1996 when we first began to discuss the formation of the college and, of course, the basic idea then was, wouldn't it be wonderful if Russian students could get both Russian qualification and an excellent, externally validated qualification of guaranteed standard. And that's the fundamental idea behind ICEF and what is made is such an extraordinary success. We are looking forward at LSE to continuing involvement with the college and we're glad that's going to continue".


Mikhail Zadornov,

President and Chairman of VTB24 Bank:

"For VTB Group, our partnership with ICEF is one of the best investments of all time. At VTB Group, we employ many ICEF graduates and they are very good workers. I would also like to congratulate Sergey Yakovlev, Oleg Zamkov and other professors for developing human capital for Russia. I hope that ICEF maintains its position as a leading institution and will continue moving forward".


Evgeny Yasin,

HSE Academic Supervisor:

"ICEF serves as an internal benchmark for where HSE wants to be. We follow in your footsteps, relying on your long-standing cooperation with the London School of Economics. ICEF is a highly respectable institution, setting the standards for HSE’s further development".


Sir Christopher Pissarides,

LSE Professor, Nobel prize laureate:

"ICEF has now established itself as a leading institution for research and education, and I congratulate you for this success. I'm very happy to see that the LSE has contributed to this success, but, of course, during the last 20 years, the main contributors have been its director Sergey Yakovlev and the LSE representatives, Richard Layard in the beginning and Richard Jackman of a much longer duration, and, once again, congratulations to all of you over there and best wishes for the next 20 years and beyond".


Sergey Dubinin,

Chair of the ICEF Board of Trustees, Member of the Supervisory Council of VTB Group:

"ICEF is now standing firmly on its own two feet. The main thing is that it adheres to very high standards. The fact that our graduates are in such high demand by employers is a very natural and pleasing outcome".


Dr. Mary Stiasny,

Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of UoL’s International Programmes:

"The importance is the strength of the international partnership that underpins the whole thing, the whole activity in the college and then the excellence of the students because the students are just outstanding. I think the commitment of the students helps moving forward".


Paul Kelly,

Pro-Director of LSE:

"ICEF provides a unique educational experience in Russia, through cooperation, broadening horizons, and interaction with the rest of the world. It has developed a master’s programme that has a high reputation amongst employers and academic institutions. The graduates of ICEF are highly respected at the job market internationally. A partnership with the Higher School of Economics is growing on the back of the success of ICEF, and this reinforces LSE's presence in Moscow and in Russia, something we value and something we wish to promote".


Shlomo Weber,

Rector of the New Economic School:

"There is a good English term “coopetition”, which denotes something between “cooperation” and “competition”. And this coopetition with ICEF has proved to be very useful and beneficial for both our institutions".


Vadim Radaev,

HSE First Vice Rector:

"HSE is an innovation-driven institution, which keeps coming up with new things and is always at the cutting edge. In this sense, ICEF plays a similar role – it is the “avant-garde” institution inside HSE that continues to lead the way. There are many things that HSE borrowed from ICEF: partnership with the LSE, studying in English, strong board of trustees and employment of faculty on the international job market. ICEF was the first one to do so and we used their experience".


Alexander Auzan,

Dean of the MSU Faculty of Economics:

"ICEF is only 20 years old, but that’s quite a lot of time. It relies on the best practices from both the Russian and British educational traditions, and it has been able to establish a new academic culture and gain global recognition and an outstanding academic reputation. The Faculty of Economics at Lomonosov Moscow State University is closely associated with this anniversary since ICEF was the creation of its alumni. Moreover, although we may have our differences in terms of academic goals and objectives, we are nevertheless congenial and share the same academic values".


Vladimir Filippov,

Rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia:

"The ICEF team endeavours to train a new type of professional, who is both qualified and possesses a keen moral capacity. Your former students are now experts and managers with very impressive qualifications, who are highly valued in business and public administration, both in Russia and internationally. And this clearly attests to the high profile and status of ICEF".


Andrey Svinarenko,


"From the earliest years of its existence, ICEF has been engaged in training excellent specialists, who are valued both on the Russian market and internationally. There’s no doubt that the excellent work of ICEF’s faculty, the diligence of its students, and the professionalism of its graduates deserve great praise and the respect of the public".


Lord Richard Layard,

The founder and first Director of the Centre of Economic Performance at LSE, Emeritus Professor of LSE:

"Progress of ICEF has been quite extraordinary from the situation where it didn’t exist 17 years ago to now, when it is the best undergraduate economics programme in Russia and has a really fine international faculty. This is an extraordinary achievement".

(from speech on the Graduation Ceremony)
Full speech>>


Craig Calhoun,
LSE Director:

"I congratulate my colleagues at ICEF on the outstanding performance of the ICEF students in the University of London degree programmes. ICEF is a partnership between HSE and LSE, and it is an honor and a pleasure to work with the colleagues involved".


Jonathan Kydd,

Dean of the University of London International Programmes (2007-2013):

"Now ICEF is affiliate as one of the small group of very select institutions which, we believe, provide very high educational standards. It is a very strong teaching institution indeed and it is attested to by the quality of the staff and the research culture here".


Howard Davies,

LSE Director (2003-2011):

"The unique thing about ICEF is the double degree at the undergraduate level, whereby you combine a degree from London which has international recognition and a specifically Russian approach to the other half of the degree".

Full version of the interview>>


Geoffrey Crossick,
Vice-Chancellor of the University of London (2010-2012):

"Initially, I read my colleagues’ reports on the results of the successful cooperation between the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) at our University with ICEF, and here in Moscow I had many interesting meetings and negotiations with the administration and staff of the College. I have got a very positive impression about the structure and educational strategy at ICEF, about its professors and graduates".


Janet Hartley, LSE Pro-Director:

"We are very proud of our connection with the International College of Economics and Finance. The connection has now lasted for over ten years and has been a very successful one".

Andrei Fursenko,
Minister of Science and Education of the Russian Federation (2004-2012):

"ICEF is a wonderful educational institution, which provides high quality education to its students and grants them a recognized degree. This is surely the best possible illustration that today the quality of economists trained at ICEF is being recognized around the world and that we can and should continue to provide a competitive education, even in such a complex and new field for Russia as Economics".

Full version>>


A. Shohin
Alexander Shokhin,

HSE President:

“If I were a college entrant right now, I probably would have joined ICEF. This is a joint venture with the London School of Economics, entitling to a double diploma. Of course, other specialties at HSE also provide convertible diplomas, but being awarded diplomas of both one of the leading Russian and foreign universities provides a strong competitive advantage in the labor market” .


Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of SU-HSE

Yaroslav Kuzminov,
HSE Rector:

“We decided to open ICEF in order to learn from the British. The London School of Economics is one of the best academic institutions in the world. We shall put into practice those lessons which the Professors of the Higher School of Economics were given at ICEF.”