Institute of Education

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IOE Student Wins Research Competition at Harvard Business School

IOE Student Wins Research Competition at Harvard Business School

Ekaterina Lyubimova, a student in the IOE-run Higher Education Management Master’s track, has recently won an international research challenge held by Harvard Business School.

As part of a Russian–Mexican scholarly team, Ekaterina has contributed to a one-of-a-kind study that analyzes the competitive education environment in the Sverdlovsk Region, Russia, within the widely accepted Michael Porter Five Forces methodological framework. Furthermore, the project offers a comprehensive blueprint for further developing the region’s higher education system through crowdmatching-based models.

What makes this study really unique is a set of recommendations and development guidelines that the project team has drawn up from the findings their Porter Framework-based competitive analysis has indicated. To put it in a nutshell, after identifying and evaluating the key limitations and opportunities characteristic of the higher education system in the Sverdlovsk region, the researchers proposed several new learning organization models where particular shared-economy schemas are placed at the bedrock. While essentially relying on the conventional network learning principles, these new, crowdmatching-based models feature a number of important enhancements that altogether add up setting this Russian–Mexican project by far apart as the one that can help generate high-scale and sustainable efficiency gains for the region’s entire socioeconomic ecosystem.

Kirill Zinkovsky, Academic Director, IOE Higher Education Management Master’s

The development momentum these crowdmatching-based learning models may prompt across the regional higher education landscape and beyond can be attributed to the following key individual upside effects:

  • Unparalleled diversity in educational vendors and learning tracks
  • Strong trans-sectorial emphasis on innovative companies and markets
  • Diversified and highly cost-efficient access to project group resources
  • Students enjoying more personalized linkages to the labor market
  • In a longer term, reduced training costs and improved returns on education.  

The above suggests that the new educational schemas the Russian–Mexican research team has proposed are well placed to evolve into a major driver for the region’s comprehensive social progress by delivering high-impact contributions to both the realms of the economy, human capital and sustainable innovation. Notably, these factors can over time make the crowdmatching-based learning environment a powerful competitive pressure for traditional university systems.  

This year has marked the first time when Russian scholars took part in the Harvard Business School research project competition, which in 2017 hosted a total of 150 participant teams from Europe, the U.S., China and Latin America. The event’s victory ceremony saw Michael Porter himself hand the Award Certificate to the winners. “I would honestly say this international project has been one of the best academic experiences I’ve had to date, and it’s my proud honor to be sharing this momentous victory with the rest of our team, whose every member has invested the very best of their knowledge and effort in making this study such a success,” Ekaterina Lyubimova has commented.