An economist by training, Yelena graduated as a teacher of Mathematics and her subsequent experiences of teaching in primary schools, secondary schools and universities in several countries provided Yelena with first-hand experience of engaging a wide range of learners.
Yelena joined the University of Reading in 1996 and since 2012 has worked within Henley Business School (HBS), one of the oldest and most respected business schools in Europe. The role of Vice-Dean (International), which is unique to HBS, was created specifically for her as a platform for facilitating interactions with external partners. Yelena is an energetic proponent of experiential learning and of research-based teaching. Key aspects of her approach are providing high quality academic and pastoral support for PhD students and embedding relevant, authentic, experiential learning in the curriculum. This may be through drawing on the wide network of connections she has developed through her research profile or through developing international partnerships.
One example of partnership is her collaboration with Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), one of the most prestigious universities in Russia. This partnership has resulted in more learning opportunities for students from both institutions through double undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes. An indicator of the effectiveness of this collaboration is that UoR recently named MGIMO as its top International Strategic Partner. In addition, she has provided advice and support to institutions in several international contexts.
Through her leadership of the Centre for Euro-Asian Studies she has assisted partners in the Euro-Asian region to introduce teaching curricula which have made the student experience more fulfilling and robust. Yelena is committed to Continuous Professional Development which helps her to support the development of her colleagues. She is also interested in spreading the agenda of embedding internationalisation across the University of Reading.