| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

Message from the Director to our newly incoming students

Our Director, Prof. Dr. Achim Kemmerling, wrote a personal letter to all prospective students addressing their current questions and uncertainties in times of the pandemic, and revealing our plans for the upcoming winter semester. Read the second letter here:

Prof. Dr. Achim Kemmerling
Prof. Dr. Achim Kemmerling

Dear incoming students of 2020,

Welcome to the Brandt School! We know that this year is very challenging for everyone and especially for new students who will come to Germany and study with us. But we will do everything possible to guarantee you a great experience and a fruitful learning environment.

Now that we are approaching autumn, the implications of COVID-19 for our teaching activities are still uncertain. There is still a risk of case numbers rising again, but in general, and knocking on wood here, Germany has gone through the pandemics relatively unscathed in terms of public health. German authorities have lifted many of the lockdown restrictions on everyday life in the country. Nonetheless, German universities are still subject to strict hygienic standards, standards that might as well change if the situation deteriorates again.

At Brandt School, we will do everything possible to offer hybrid forms of teaching mixing physical and digital forms of teaching in ways that will be interesting, informative and intellectual challenging. We plan that all of our courses contain some form of physical element in class. What this exactly means depends on the type of course offered and the instructor, but it is clear that our MA program requires physical forms of teaching. A hybrid model also means that those who would miss single sessions would have the chance to participate remotely. Please note however, that each course will require at least some presence. Should you already know that you will face trouble to that you won’t be able to arrive in Erfurt on time, please contact Florian Heintze to discuss your individual options.

Moreover, we do know that you as incoming students face additional obstacles and hurdles in the next months. For instance, VISA applications may take longer and quarantine requirements might apply to certain countries. Unfortunately, this is beyond our sphere of influence. Therefore, we recommend everyone to monitor closely the situation with the respective embassies, and to prepare her or his arrival as well as possible (including paperwork, payments of fees etc.).

The new program is scheduled to start on November 2, and we will have our orientation week for new students two weeks earlier, starting on October 19. Thus, we highly recommend that you arrive in early October so you have enough time to adjust to your new hometown and to cope with potential additional bureaucratic procedures in the light of the global pandemic. Of course, your Brandt School community – staff and senior students alike – will be around to guide you during that time.

Although we are still facing many uncertainties, I can assure you that we are well prepared to start your MPP program this fall. We have used the current crisis from the very beginning to experiment with new forms of engagement, outreach and teaching. Just follow our social media profiles on Facebook and Twitter to get an idea what this means in practice. Obviously, we will all be relieved once the pandemic will be over. Still, for the time and circumstances being as they are, we do our best to ensure an inspiring learning environment. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you in October.

In the meantime, we will e-mail you any updates regarding the details of the admission and enrolment process. Please do not hesitate to get back to our Admissions Team with any questions you might have.

Kind regards,

Achim Kemmerling