Press release
13.09.05

Töpfer opens MPP programme in Berlin

The Hertie School of Governance celebrated the commencement of its first Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme with an Inauguration Ceremony this morning in Berlin. During the next two years, 30 students from 18 countries are being educated in skills for good governance. The MPP Programme combines an interdisciplinary academic approach with practice-orientation - including training in management or negotiation techniques.

The Hertie School of Governance celebrated the commencement of its first Master of Public Policy (MPP) programme with an Inauguration Ceremony this morning in Berlin. During the next two years, 30 students from 18 countries are being educated in skills for good governance. The MPP Programme combines an interdisciplinary academic approach with practice-orientation - including training in management or negotiation techniques.

Prof. Töpfer, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), opened the MPP Programme and emphasised the importance of good governance in the 21st century. "There can be no sustainable development in the world without the right kind of governance. I am looking forward to seeing a Professional School in Germany that educates young people to reduce the political and social problems of the world."

Prof. Biedenkopf, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hertie School of Governance and former Prime Minister of the State Saxony, explained the mission of the School. "In politics we need people with an excellent academic und practice-orientated education who approach future international challenges as an opportunity for improvement and not as a threat."

On behalf of the faculty, Prof. Kuhnle - formerly from the University of Bergen (Norway) and now teaching at the School - stressed the importance of inaugurating a new Public Policy School in the heart of Europe.

Prof. Zürn, Dean at the Hertie School of Governance, welcomed the students and pointed out. "Globalisation challenges national states. Governments cannot decide alone." He added, "We want to train our students to deal with these developments," and to the students he said, "You are the most valuable commodity of our school."

The students of the first MPP Programme come from countries representing five continents of the world: Australia, Belarus, Cameroon, the Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Khirgizia, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. Mr Holmes (USA), one of the first elected student representatives, said. "In the future we want to take on responsibility in the societies of our home countries."

The motto of the Inauguration ceremony was Max Weber's idea of "politics as a vocation". 100 years ago Weber named passion, a feeling of responsibility, and a sense of proportion as the three pre-eminent qualities of a politician.