Forword by André Gerrits
Let us focus upon one of the most distinctive characteristics of the programme in International Studies: the Practising International Studies course, which integrates real hands-on experience of working with business. During the 12 weeks of this case consultancy competition, 3rd-year students bring all of the knowledge and skills gained over the previous semesters to a real case presented by businesses, NGOs, consultancies and other organisations.
It is a cliché to say that ‘there were no losers’ in this competition, but the feedback from the jury members who came to our Den Haag campuses on 7 and 8 of May to judge the final team presentations was very positive overall. We heard many times that the International Studies students presented very well, both academically and with practically relevant advice.
The students themselves were able to see their unique contributions within each team, ranging from quantitative expertise to design and communications skills. They gained further experience in how to structure and carry out research, work in diverse teams, and write professional-level reports. And in many cases the Consultancy teams have been invited to present for the management teams of the organisations which participated this year – this is ample proof of the significance of Practising International Studies!
Thanks to the drive and commitment of Course Instructor Dr. Sarita Koendjbiharie, many other colleagues, and of course the international organisations who presented the cases, Practising International Studies offered great rewards to all stakeholders during its first ‘flight’ and we are already looking forward to next year’s case consultancy competition.
On behalf of Leiden University and the International Studies programme, I invite you to read further. And of course, wish you a relaxing and enjoyable summer.
Prof. André W.M. Gerrits, Programme Chair, International Studies