Open Day 2012 at the Brandt School
As mentioned in my previous blog post, May 12, 2012 was Open Day at the most awesome public policy graduate school in the universe i.e. University of Erfurt’s Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. It was in my estimation a very organized occasion that commenced at 10:00am. On my way to the venue, I met a batch of prospective students and participants at the main gate and together we walked into the compound where House 39 the building housing the Brandt School is located. Once inside House 39, pleasantries were exchanged, name tags and information packets were picked up and the participants headed to the seminar room where Open Day deliberations and presentations were scheduled to be held.
The welcome address was given by the Haniel Chair for Public Policy at the Brandt School, Prof. Dr. Florian Hoffmann. After his address, other presentations ensued from various staff members and a current and past student of the Brandt School. The participants were introduced to an abbreviated history and philosophy of the Brandt School, its curriculum, and academic approach which is transdisciplinary in nature and takes into account the rich cultural and academic diverse backgrounds of its students who hail from about forty-something countries.
There was a presentation on student life, extracurricular and social activities. This was done by a current student i.e. myself and it was followed by another presentation by a former student who after graduating from the Brandt School currently works with the state parliament. His presentation was on career opportunities available to Brandt School graduates after completion of the degree program both within the continent of Europe and in the world at large.
After this session, participants were treated to some delicious refreshments following which they undertook a guided campus tour of the University and On-campus housing facilities. Planned after the campus tour was a University street festival (Hochschulstraßenfest). This is a festival for all the Higher education institutions in Erfurt which includes fun activities but also Open lectures and information booths set up by the Institutions. This year, the Brandt School’s Haniel Chair for Public Policy in the person of Prof. Dr. Florian Hoffmann gave the Open lecture of the Hochschulstraßenfest.
I was pleased to meet the participants of the Open Day which included folks from all walks of life and nations. We had participants from the Philippines, Venezuela, Ghana, Brazil, the Gambia, Columbia, Germany, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, etc. Very vibrant bunch indeed!
For those among them who will end up studying here at the awesome Brandt School next semester, I look forward to rubbing minds with them.
Hopefully together we can learn from each other as we embark on a high quality, rigorous, yet personal graduate education located in the heart of Europe which takes into account the daunting complexities of policy analysis and policy making in a fast changing global north and south demographics-wise, politically and economically as we are equipped with cutting edge policy toolkit with which to engage and hopefully solve policy challenges of our world, improving society and advancing the cause of collective humanity.