Intensive, week long programme of events at the heart of Europe for MBS students is a core part of learning and preparing for leadership positions
In the week when the European Commission launched its’ White Paper on the Future of Europe, WIT Graduate Business students were at the heart of the EU’s decision-making institutions as part of their International Study Programme.
At a crossroads in Europe’s future – and Ireland’s relationship with it through Brexit – WIT students had the opportunity to directly engage with European Commissioner Phil Hogan, MEPs Sean Kelly and Liadh Ni Riada, and a number of top level officials and academics as part of their research and understanding of the European project.
Drawing from marketing, HR, management and economics and finance masters’ programmes, 26 students embarked on an intensive, week long programme of events, residing at the Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe. Professor Jan Van Hove, recently appointed European Chief Economist with KBC Bank, gave an insightful account of Europe’s competitiveness, before two academics from the Katholieke University in Leuven - Anne Ter Braak and Dr Ines Willemyns – addressed marketing and European trade negotiations respectively. The students also got an insight into the extensive work and project financing of the European Investment Bank by its Senior Investment Manager, Finbarr O’Sullivan.
Inside the EU
Access to the EU institutions – part-funded by a European Parliament mobility grant – gave the students wonderful exposure to the inner workings of the European Union’s policymaking dynamic. The visit effectively sought to connect in a very real and direct manner the relevance and prevalence of EU policies with the students’ own experience – from mobile roaming charges to freedom of movement opportunities and challenges.
By having the opportunity to directly ask questions of Commissioner Hogan and Sean Kelly and Liadh Ni Riada, as well as Parliament official Olav Gade and visiting the wonderfully interactive Parliamentarium, the student’s appreciation of the complexity and profundity of the European project was immeasurably enhanced. Ireland’s particular position within this was provided by a wide-ranging and highly valuable discussion with the Irish Ambassador to Belgium, His Excellency Eamonn Mac Aodha.
The study programme to Leuven and Brussels is a fully accredited module of the students’ masters’ studies and will be a core part of their learning going forward into leadership positions following graduation.
Professor Denis Harrington, Head of Graduate Business at WIT, said ‘this International study programme continues to add significantly to graduate employability and serves to enrich the overall educational experience of our students. The range of study activity and the opportunities for professional and social networking ensures that their experience of the European project becomes a key aspect of their sense of identity and growth as part of our programmes here at WIT.’
Brexit and the implications for businesses and citizens in the South East of Ireland
To further reinforce engagement with the European project, the WIT School of Business will run an autumn conference on Brexit and the implications for businesses and citizens in the South East of Ireland.