In June each year, the closing ceremony marks the end of classes for our Master’s students in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP). Many leave Maastricht to write their thesis, do field research, start an internship or enjoy their summer holiday.
The MPP closing ceremony is therefore the chosen occasion to celebrate the end of the academic year with friends and family and serves as an early Graduation Day. Students and faculty members reflect on the year gone by and the future lying ahead.
Two highlight moments of the closing ceremony this year were the testimonials given by Daphne Baardman and Manisha Kalikadien, both of whom played a valuable role in the programme, the former as President of the MPP study association DEMOS and the latter as a Student Representative in the Education Committee.
Both Daphne and Manisha said they felt as if the year had passed too quickly and wished there would be more time for “one more day, one more week or one more month together to have more of those interesting and intellectually challenging conversations together.”
The Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development, offered jointly by Maastricht University and United Nations University trains students in formulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policy in a wide variety of policy areas. The programme curriculum provides them with a variety of skills, tools and knowledge to enable them to work as policy designers and policy analysts in public and private institutions. Graduates receive a double degree issued by Maastricht University and the United Nations University.
We wish the MPP class of 2014-2015 a successful life and career ahead!
If you are interested in finding out more about our MPP programme, please visit our next Master’s Open Day on 10 October 2015.
WHERE DID THE YEAR GO? -- DAPHNE BAARDMAN
Classes have ended for our Master’s students in Public Policy and Human Development and the question of many lips during the closing ceremony of the MPP Class of 2014-2015 was: “Where did the time go?” Daphne Baardman, who served as President of the programme’s student association DEMOS, looked back on an intensive but rewarding study year in Maastricht.
I maybe should not say this because it is almost too obvious, but really… where did this year go? Not long ago I was standing in front of you as well, only knowing a handful of people. I had – like many – no idea what to expect, what I would be learning, what I would like and what I would dislike. The first six weeks of the first semester gave us the basic knowledge on policy making and statistics. Even though we had to read and prepare a decent amount of work for our PBL sessions, the work load was do-able and there actually some time left to spend on parties and travels.
But not for long, merely two weeks into the second part of the first semester, most of us were slightly sleep-deprived, calling the library our first rather than second home and were highly frustrated with econometric formulas and PPA do-files similar to an unsolvable rebus. Safe to say that we more than deserved the six weeks off during the Christmas holidays. We started our specialisation in February; for some of us that meant a little more relaxation, for some of us a little more frustration.
We have come to the end of the school year and all that is left is our master thesis. We have those students that will write theirs over summer and graduate in July or August (Jealous!) and we have those that will gain new experiences and travel to new places during their internships (Catchy!). For those that graduate in Summer some are applying for jobs (bit scary, frustrating but very satisfactory once accomplished) and we have those that have no idea (no worry you will sort it out at some point…hopefully). Whatever your plans may be, as our interests are fairly alike, I am pretty sure we will end up running into each other in the upcoming years.
This year would not have been the same without the help of the MGSoG team. In the name of the entire cohort I would like to thank each and everyone for their hard work, enthusiasm and maybe most of all, patience. A special thanks goes out to Lutz, Janneke, Sueli and Danny; Danny for all the pre-master communication, Janneke for processing all administrative data and answering the associated enormous amount of questions, Sueli for her commitment to the programme, but most of all for your enthusiasm and positive attitude and Lutz… yes, well.. one might rather ask for what not? You are a walking MPP encyclopedia, always welcome to answer our questions and assist where necessary.
Personally, I would like to thank the rest of the DEMOS team for their contribution during the year. We all knew upfront what an intense and busy school year this would be, but nevertheless you guys decided to invest part of your free time in the organization of events. Melissa, Eji, James, Timothy and Felipe, it was a great pleasure to work with you! Additionally I want to give my gratitude to every MPP student and staff member that offered a helping hand in the organisation of events as well as for providing constructive feedback.
In the name of DEMOS, I can say that it was not always easy to address all wishes and lessons have been learned for next year’s board, but we hope that you enjoyed the international dinners, the winter ball, the Brussels trip, the port and policies and tonight’s farewell drinks. DEMOS also would like to thank once more the MPP students who taught the extra econometrics lessons since they helped so many to pass their exam.
I am almost at the end of my talk and what is left to say is that I would like to tell you that the Year Book committee has been working really hard to capture our memories on paper. I am happy to inform you that everyone receives one copy of the 2014/2015 MPP cohort year book, so please do not forget to collect it before you leave. Lastly we hope to see you all at tonight’s farewell drinks in the StayOkay from 20.00 onwards. Please note that we combined this with a fundraising event for the Syrian refugees and we are hoping to collect some funds for this great organisation!
BECOMING AN MPP FAMILY -- MANISHA KALIKADIEN
How is it like to be a Master’s student in our double-degree programme in Public Policy and Human Development? How do our students experience their study year in Maastricht and how do they spend their free time? Manisha Kalikadien, who served as student representative in the Education Committee, shared her testimonial at the closing ceremony of the MPP Class of 2014-2015 on 11 June 2015.
After spending four years in Maastricht, I can only say that this year has been one of the most amazing ones. At the start of this study, I knew it was going to be a great year and I hoped that we would all become friends. But instead of becoming just friends, I feel like we have become somewhat of a family. Together we laugh, we cry (with all those deadlines), we study hard but party even harder. And like any family, we fight. But for me that’s just a sign that we all care. We care about our study, we care about our future and we care about each other.
I am so lucky to be part of this amazing group of people who are trying to turn this world into a better place and I am positive that our year here together in Maastricht has shaped us all for the better. This year has brought many people from different countries closer together. Throughout the year, many of us went together on small trips in the Netherlands and in Europe. But besides friendship, there was also love. In fact, some couples were formed, and who knows, maybe there will be some MPP babies in the future!
What I will miss most are our awesome times together. All those nice drinks, fun birthday parties and delicious international dinners at the Ma van Sloun, as well as the fun nights at the Take Five. Getting fries at the Lucky Luke in the middle of the night before everyone headed to the Alla. And of course I will miss our fun karaoke nights, the awesome parties at the Three Stooges’ house and Loz’s homemade meals, which I’m sure all of you will miss too! Going to the city park for a nice afternoon in the sun, playing guitar and soccer, and just enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
But as much as we love to chill and hang out, we also care about fighting inequality and prejudice. Some of you have been volunteering at the Refugee Centre in Maastricht, organising a United-In-Sports day as well as a donation day. Others were part of the Team Happy in the Night of The Refugee where they walked for over 40 km! I am so proud to be part of this amazing group of people who are already actively contributing to making this world a better, more tolerant and more peaceful place, and I can only hope that you will inspire others as much as you have inspired me.
I wish we had more time together, because I feel as if this year went by way too fast. During the second semester, I think most of you hung out more with people of your own specialisation… although this was not always voluntarily. I’m looking at the Migration and Social Protection specialisation groups now, who had classes every day from 9 till 6. Seeing everyone together today in front of me made me wish we would have just one more day, one more week or one more month together to have more of those interesting and intellectually challenging conversations together. Such great people, such great minds!
Last but not least, I want to emphasise how much I enjoyed being your student representative and voicing your opinion in the Education Committee. I remember how those EduCom meetings always take a bit longer than expected because everyone wants to make the most of them. Therefore, I want to thank all members of the Education Committee for all their efforts and time spent on improving the programme for years to come. I think we did a great job and I’m positive that the next people will very much enjoy working with you. I also want to thank DEMOS for all their efforts in organising the international dinners, the winter ball and our awesome MPP hoodies! A special thanks also goes to the Yearbook Committee, we are all looking forward to the end-result! Finally, I want to thank Janneke and Lutz for organising this closing ceremony. And thank you again for all your efforts throughout this academic year.
Dear friends, dear family, thank you all for making this a memorable year! I wish you all the best with your next steps in life and I hope you continue to be the incredible people that you are! As Churchill once said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Thank you very much!