For more information about each of our member universities, visit their institutional website linked below.
St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
St Antony’s College offers an ideal home for the University Consortium. Besides its central, balancing location between our three regions, St Antony’s also distinguishes itself as one of the few top academic institutions that continues to stress area studies within a traditional interdisciplinary environment. Work done here contributes substantively to public debate and good public policy, and the college’s alumni hold leading posts in government, universities, think tanks, international organizations, businesses and NGOs. For the University Consortium, given its mission to deepen inter-regional understanding and facilitate academic-policy links, St Antony’s is an ideal coordinating centre.
Founded in 1950 as the result of the gift of French merchant Sir Antonin Besse of Aden, St Antony's is one of the most cosmopolitan of the University of Oxford's colleges and is considered to be a centre of excellence for study and research in the fields of international relations, economics, politics, and area studies.
The University Consortium is housed within the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre (RESC) at St Antony’s. The RESC was launched in 2003 to carry forward the work of its internationally renowned Russian and East European Studies Centre, established in 1953. The Centre is a major component of research on Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus and Central Asia at the University of Oxford.
The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies is the intellectual home of Harvard scholars and students with an interest in this critical region of the world. Their mission is to generate and disseminate original research and scholarship on Russian and Eurasian studies, promote the training of graduate and undergraduate students interested in the region, create and sustain a community of scholars at all levels of academic achievement, and ensure that society at large benefits from the exchange of information and ideas at the Davis Center.
Its roots date back to 1948 with the founding of the interdisciplinary Russian Research Center (RRC) at Harvard University. An initial grant from the Carnegie Corporation provided seed money to create a center in which large-scale research projects on the USSR could be designed and carried out by scholars and a reserve army of graduate student affiliates. The Center’s mission was to advance both pedagogical and policy objectives.
Gorbachev’s arrival on the scene in 1985 changed everything. Within six years, the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. Interest in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe soared among academics, students, and the public as a whole. Renamed the Kathryn W. and Shelby Cullom Davis Center upon receipt of a generous pledge from the Davis family, the institution became a nexus for lively discussions and research into once inaccessible archives and regions. No single discipline claimed a monopoly on understanding what had happened, and social scientists from across the university rediscovered the benefits of trading insights and ideas.
The Harriman Institute, Columbia University
The Harriman Institute at Columbia University was established as the Russian Institute in 1946, and is one of the world’s leading academic institutions for the study of Russia, Eurasia, and East Central Europe. The Institute was renamed in 1982 to honor an extraordinarily generous donation from the family of W. Averell Harriman. Throughout the years our faculty and alumni have made important contributions to academia, and have also played leading roles in public policy, law, diplomacy, business, and the arts.
The Institute currently houses a diverse multi-disciplinary faculty from Columbia’s School of Arts and Sciences, Barnard College, the Schools of International and Public Affairs, Business, Law, and the Arts, and Teacher’s College, and the Union and Jewish Theological Seminaries. It supports teaching, research, and public events that bring together our extraordinary faculty, students, and alumni. From “brown bag” lectures, book presentations, art exhibitions and film screenings, to scholarly panels and conferences, the Institute provides a constantly evolving forum for intellectual discussion and innovation.
Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin was founded on December 4, 1948, by students, scholars, and scientists with the support of the American allied forces and politicians in Berlin. The move was sparked by the persecution faced by students who took a critical eye of the system at the former Universität Unter den Linden, at that time located in the Soviet sector of the divided city. Students and academics wanted to be free to pursue their learning, teaching, and research activities at Freie Universität, without being subject to political influence.
To remain relevant and to compete academically and intellectually from its isolated position in West Berlin, Freie Universität made connections with academic institutions and leading academic figures in Germany, elsewhere in Europe, and all over the world. What started out of necessity, soon became a success strategy: Freie Universität currently maintains more than 105 partnerships at the university-wide level, along with 339 university partnerships within the Erasmus academic exchange network and 45 institute partnerships.
An international outlook defines the research activities and academic life at Freie Universität Berlin, a fact that has been true ever since the university was founded. Extensive exchanges of scholars, researchers, scientists, and students as well as global cooperative arrangements in research and teaching remain hallmarks of the international character of Freie Universität to this day. As a result, raising the university’s international profile is one of the three main areas of emphasis in the future concept put forward by Freie Universität, alongside providing graduate education and promoting collaborative research in specific focus areas.
Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO)
Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) is Russia's most prestigious educational institution for young people with international interests. The University was founded on October 14, 1944 when the USSR Council of People’s Commissars reorganized the recently created School of International Relations of the Moscow State University into an independent institute. Initially called the Institute of International Relations (IMO) its first 200 students were veterans who had survived the ordeals of the Second World War and were determined to build international peace and stability. From the outset MGIMO was intended to become a unique academic research and education centre. It quickly became Russia’s leading diplomatic training institution, with MGIMO academics making a major contribution across the fields of international relations, country and regional studies, international law and international economic relations.
For all its history, MGIMO is continuing to remake itself. In the last five years, the university has formed numerous new partnerships with leading institutions around the world. The University is also committed to fostering an ever-evolving student body, curriculum, and campus life that continues to reflect its reputation as Russia’s most prestigious and most advanced place for understanding international affairs.
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE)
National Research University - Higher School of Economics (HSE) is one of the leading and largest universities in Russia. The university specializes in economics, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, media communications and design. It has more than twenty departments, with its main campus located in Moscow and three additional campuses in St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod and Perm. In October 2009, then-State University HSE received the status of a National Research University.
HSE was founded on November 27, 1992, by Yevgeny Yasin, Yaroslav Kuzminov, Revold Entov, Oleg Ananyin and Rustem Nureev. These founders were well known Russian economists who believed in market reforms and HSE was established to support the new Russian reformist government plans. From the very start, HSE was able to benefit from resources under the European Communities TACIS programme. HSE aimed to renew the training of the Russian business community in economics. In 1991, with the support of the Russian Government, a new university was established.
The university has also established and maintained connections with many international research and educational institutions. Today HSE works according to global standards of education and research, with a strong focus on an interdisciplinary approach to learning.
Extracts adapted from institutional websites. All credit to original authors.