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Regular version of the site


On 1 – 2 December HSE University in partnership with global educational platform Coursera held an international scientific online conference "eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit" (eSTARS 2021) on the topic "Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System".

Experts, scientists, researchers, business representatives and academic leaders met at the conference to discuss the results of the latest research on online education within the international expert community, to present strategies for the development of distance learning and to put points of growth concerning eLearning on the roadmap. The conference gathered over 1900 guests from 52 countries of the world, including: Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Georgia, India, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, China, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, USA, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, etc.

More than 80 experts spoke at 13 research sections and discussion panels: the representatives of HSE University, Coursera, ITMO University, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Financial University, Ural Federal University, RANEPA, the School of Business of the University of Palermo (Argentina), University of Colorado Boulder, University of North Texas, Netology, Skyeng, Skillbox and other leaders of online learning.

The key speakers of the conference:
Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera
Luciano Saso, President of UNICA – Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe
Nikita Anisimov, Rector of HSE University
Yaroslav Kuzminov, Academic Supervisor of HSE University
Gabriel Foglia, Dean of the School of Business of University of the Palermo (Argentina)
Vladimir Mau, Rector of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration
Daria Kozlova, First Vice Rector of ITMO University
Alexander Fadeev, Vice Rector for Digitalization at Tomsk Polytechnic University.

eSTARS experts are visionaries with internationally recognized experience in transforming educational systems.

Within the conference, the representatives of professional community not only exchanged the best distance learning practices, but also got the opportunity for interdisciplinary discussion of online education as a sociocultural, philosophical, and economic phenomenon. The speakers of the conference paid attention to overcoming digital barriers and providing equal access to online products to users around the world, as well as to the current trends and challenges to the global online education system. The participants of eSTARS 2021 noted that the discussions on reducing the digital divide, as one of the tasks of the UN program on sustainable development, should be held at the state level and initiated by the expert community of universities.

The development of HSE University is inextricably linked to moving towards digital technologies and tools in education, science and management, while preserving the advantages of a traditional university. Welcoming the participants of the conference, Nikita Anisimov emphasized: "During the pandemic and the era of intensive digitalization, online education became one of the most relevant and socially oriented trends of our time. It put an end to geographical barriers and time and resource constraints."

During the panel discussion "Disruption and the Changing Nature of Online Education" Jeff Magionkalda noted that the intensive development of technologies, the processes of globalization, the changing landscape of the labor market had forced the world to adapt to the new digital reality. He also expressed an opinion that online learning provides a wide range of educational content and demonstrates high flexibility and accessibility for a global audience.

In an effort to make quality academic education truly accessible, HSE University has been including online courses in the educational process since 2013. HSE University is also a co-founder of the National Open Education Platform. Students from around the world have chosen HSE University online courses more than 6 million times.

As in previous years, eSTARS 2021 became a space for discussing significant initiatives in the field of online education, aiming at its qualitative transformation, and a springboard for the evolution of this field.


Video recordings of the conference will appear on this site in a few days. As soon as the recordings are available, we will send a notification about this to everyone who registered for the event.

eSTARS 2021

 Definition of the strategy and prospects for the digitalization of education.

Discussion of the main trends and state policy in the field of digitalization of education; challenges of the market and the position of the business as a potential employer.

Leading global researchers and organizers of online learning, representatives from education, business and technology.

 Unique studies of online education. Ideas and new solutions obtained during the intersection between scientists and practitioners.


Who should attend eSTARS

Legislative and executive authorities

to keep up with the development of online education and regulate these process

Heads of universities and educational organizations

to understand the lastest trends and identify roles they can play in education reform

ELearning and pedagogical researchers

to share their latest ideas and highlight points of growth on the market

Managers of online educational projects

to create better solutions using the latest technologies

Heads of corporate universities

to learn about improving human potential and building stronger teams

Distance learning professionals

to get inspiration from experts and create effective learning programmes

Conference Headliners

Nikita Anisimov

Rector of HSE University

Jeff Maggioncalda

CEO of Coursera

Yaroslav Kuzminov

Academic Supervisor,
HSE University

Luciano Saso

President of UNICA

Betty Vandenbosch

Chief Content Officer,

William Kuskin

Associate Dean for Digital Education,
University of Colorado Boulder

Daria Kozlova

First Vice Rector, Head of the Institute of International Development and Partnership, Member of the International Council of ITMO University

Vladimir Mau

Rector of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation

Adam Fein

Vice President for
Digital Strategy and Innovation,
University of North Texas

Marianna Snigireva

CEO of Netology

Alexander Laryanovskiy

Managing Partner, Business
Development Director of Skyeng

Dmitry Krutov

CEO of Skillbox

Sergey Roshchin

Vice Rector of HSE University,
Member of international Coursera Council

Alexandr Fadeev

Vice-Rector for Digitalization of Tomsk Polytechnic University

Evgenia Kulik

Director for eLearning,
HSE University

All speakers

Main topics

  • Digital transformation of the education system and current trends
  • Education policies and digital transformation of education
  • Trends in the development of online education market
  • Strategy for the implementation of online degree in universities
  • Support and accompaniment of students in a digital educational environment
  • Modification of online learning technologies
  • Behavioral Aspects of Online Learning
  • Economics of Online Learning


Consistently ranked as one of Russian's top universities the Higher School of Economics (HSE) is a leader in Russian education and one of the top economics and social sciences universities in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The co-founder of the Russian National Platform for Open Education, HSE includes MOOCs into its curricula since 2013. 

in top-10 in terms of total courses on Coursera

11 online master degree

> 300 online courses

> 6,000,000 learners

The world’s largest online learning platform for higher education. More than 200 of the world’s top universities and industry educators partner with Coursera to offer courses, Specializations, certificates, and degrees that empower over 65 million learners around the world to achieve their career goals. 2,000 companies trust the company’s enterprise platform Coursera for Business to transform their talent. Coursera for Government equips government employees and citizens with in-demand skills to build a competitive workforce. Coursera is backed by investors that include Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, Learn Capital, and SEEK Group.

200+ top global universities

8 universities and 2 industrial partners from Russia

65,000,000 learners

300+ specializations and 17 degrees

Previous events

eSTARS 2020

More than 1000 visitors  from 150 universities of the world attended eSTARS-2020.

100 leaders and professionals including representatives of the Ministry of Education and corporate business.


eSTARS 2020

eSTARS 2018

More than 500 visitors over the course of 2 days.

16 countries were represented.

Leaders and professionals from 14 foreign universities, leading Russian experts, representatives of the Ministry of Education and corporate business.

eSTARS 2018

eSTARS 2017

More than 400 visitors attended the 1st eSTARS.

11 countries were represented.

Leaders and professionals from 56 universities, leading Russian experts, representatives of the Ministry of Education and corporate business.

eSTARS 2017

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