First Russian-British PhD Viva

First Russian-British PhD Viva

18 January 2021

January 18th, the dissertation councils of MGIMO and the University of Reading held a joint session during which, for the first time in our country, a thesis in English prepared as part of a double postgraduate study program between Russian and British universities was defended.

As a result of the Viva, the applicant was awarded two academic degrees: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Management from Henley Business School and Candidate of Political Science (MGIMO).

The meeting of the council was opened by MGIMO Rector, Chairman of the International Expert Council for the awarding of academic degrees, Academician A.Torkunov. After greeting the meeting participants, the Rector emphasized the importance of the first joint Viva held in the framework the program of scientific cooperation between MGIMO and Henley Business School (University of Reading).

The Dean of Henley Business School of the University of Reading, Professor John Board, expressed hope that relations between MGIMO and the University of Reading would continue to expand in the field of educational exchanges and that new programs and research projects would develop, allowing a deepening of academic contacts between the faculty members of both universities and opening the way to many more joint PhD defenses.

The Viva took place in accordance with a unique integrated procedure. Two dissertation committees were in session in parallel, plus the MGIMO dissertation council and the “doctoral committee” in the British university had a common external examiner.

The academic supervisors of the candidate Anne Vigneau (Department of Applied International Analysis) were the Associate Professor of the Department of Applied International Analysis I.Istomin and the Professor of the University of Reading, E.Kalyuzhnova.

In addition to MGIMO professors T.Alekseeva and T.Zonova, the committee comprised the Professor of the Department of European Studies of St. Petersburg State University S.Tkachenko, the Chief Researcher, Head of the Group on Institutional Problems of International Relations at IMEMO RAS Professor M.Strezhneva and the Head of the Department of Comparative Politics of RUDN University M.Mchedlova.

From the British side, the meeting was attended by Doctor M.Belitski of the University of Reading and the Professor of Bradford University K.Bluth.

MGIMO has been developing scientific and educational ties with the University of Reading since 2012. The two universities have been jointly implementing a comprehensive cooperation program covering six areas of study (International Relations, Jurisprudence, Management, Trade, Finance and Credit, Economics) and all three levels of education, as well as MBA programs.

The University of Reading was established in 1892 as part of the University of Oxford. In 1926 it became an independent institution. According to QS, the university is ranked 37th in the world in the subject ranking "History and Archeology" and 9th in the world for "Agricultural Management". Henley University's flagship Masters in Finance program is ranked 36th globally, according to the Financial Times, the most respected business school ranking published annually.