New Master’s degree program “Political Economy of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership”

New Master’s degree program “Political Economy of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership”

26 June 2023

Professor, Head of the Department of Applied Economics at MGIMO Mikhail Stolbov and Director of the ASEAN Center, Associate Professor of the Department of Asian and African Studies at MGIMO Ekaterina Koldunova presented the new Economics master’s program “Political Economy of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership.”

Who are the potential students of the Master’s program Political Economy of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership”? What are its graduates going to learn, what skills are they going to acquire?

The program “Political Economy of the ASEAN-Russia Strategic Partnership” is designed for those who would like to achieve professional success and self-realization through the development of business cooperation between the Russian Federation and the ASEAN member states. There are various formats of such interaction: both at the level of government agencies and of private companies.

Despite the program’s main focus on cooperation in goods and services trade and mutual investments, it includes a comprehensive study of the political system and traditions of doing business in this integration association’s member states. Thus, graduates of the program will receive comprehensive training that will help them effectively build economic cooperation with partners from ASEAN countries.

What is special about this program? What are its benefits? What is it based on? What was the reason behind its creation?

Even though this is a master’s degree in Economics, it also has a lot of cross-cutting elements. It is a unique combination of courses in regional studies and economics with a number of disciplines that directly address what is so special about doing business in the ASEAN countries. In addition, the program will be truly international in terms of its students. We have received applications from Russian citizens who are interested in the ASEAN states and from graduates of foreign universities, as well as from practitioners who represent this region and are interested in Russia.

Firstly, the program provides an opportunity to receive a high-quality education in economics. Secondly, Russian applicants will expand their regional knowledge about Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, and our foreign students will know more about Russia and Eurasia. Thirdly, as part of their studies the students will be able to contribute to various practice-oriented cooperation projects between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

At what stage is the development of the strategic partnership between Russia and ASEAN now? What is the reason behind the profound lack of experts in regional integration processes that is apparent at the moment?

As we are coping with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution of ASEAN member states to the global GDP has begun to grow again and it reached more than 3.5% by the end of 2022. Thus, this integration association (as well as its individual countries, primarily Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam) is becoming an important global economic player with a tangible gravitational potential both for cooperation with nearby countries and with geographically more distant ones, as in the case of Russia. There is a need for regional economists who could contribute to strengthening trade and investment ties with this promising integration association.

Where will graduates be able to use their knowledge? What are their career prospects?

There is a demand for the program’s graduates from government agencies, primarily from the relevant departments of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the ASEAN countries, as well as from private businesses that want to increase its presence in the ASEAN countries and expand export-import operations.

This is why for our graduates having the skills of both an economist and a regional studies professional is a significant competitive advantage.

What subjects does the program include?

The working curriculum includes a number of compulsory economics disciplines, such as intermediate courses in micro- and macroeconomics as well as in econometrics. The program profile is also shaped by such courses as Global Commodity Markets and International Investment.

Nevertheless, the main focus is still on courses that develop practical competencies for working with ASEAN countries (Investment Strategies of Russia and ASEAN Countries, Integration Processes in ASEAN and East Asia, Technological Development Strategies of Asian Countries) and for working with Russia and the EAEU countries (Integration Processes in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Doing Business in Russia).

What is the program’s format?

All courses are in English and on campus. The duration of study is 2 years. The courses are taught by leading MGIMO professors and associate professors, including those representing the ASEAN Center.

Negotiations on internships, exchanges of students and teachers are currently underway with a number of leading universities in Southeast Asia. The program includes workshops held by Russian and foreign employers as well as off-campus modules in Russian regions and South East Asian countries.

What are the entrance tests?

The entrance tests include a portfolio evaluation and an interview.

For detailed information on the admissions please visit the program’s website (in English) and the MGIMO website under the “Master” section (in Russian).

To apply please follow the link:

Contact information:
Tel. +7 495 229-54-35

Mikhail STOLBOV, Professor,
Head of the Department of Applied Economics at MGIMO
Ekaterina KOLDUNOVA, Director of the ASEAN Center,
Associate Professor of the Department of Asian
and African Studies at MGIMO