IEE Newsletter No. 32


Anne Siebert welcomes the first students of the new MADM cohort in Bochum and informs about some COVID-19-related adjustments

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the schedule of the MADM programme and students’ first study experience in many ways. It has been challenging for both the students and the IEE team to explore new ways of studying amidst the crisis. After the selection of the new students in January and February of this year, we can truly say that many things have happened.

While the student group based at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa usually begins in May, the challenging global situation led to the decision to postpone the start of the programme. It is thus for the first time that both student groups, the Cape Town group as well as the group based at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, jointly started the programme in September. The majority of the students began their course work even earlier with preparatory online German Language classes.

Certainly, travel arrangements including visa issurance, flight bookings, Coronavirus testing and quarantine periods are difficult tasks during the pandemic. However, the IEE is proud to say that more than half of the students have arrived in Bochum since 1 September 2020. The group is optimistic that more students are going to join soon. The current cohort comprises 25 students from 20 countries. The IEE is now looking forward to accompanying the new students during their studies in the MADM programme.

New MADM students 1 3
Some of the new students on sight-seeing tour in Bochum

The current developments do not allow for summer schools in Bochum and Cape Town. Still, the key modules and elements of both summer schools are included in the regular schedule of the first semester. It was only recently that individual consultation talks with the students took place; and that the first course work started. Luckily, video conference tools such as Zoom and the RUB’s eLearning platform, Moodle, allow for connecting easily with students in different places. Beyond that, video conferencing has allowed us to bring together the new faces of the MADM programme with previous students who are scattered around the world. MADM alumni from previous cohorts shared their career experiences, e.g. with the UNDP Rwanda, the World Bank (USA) and The Workroom in South Africa, with the students in several Zoom-sessions on "Development in Practice".

At the moment, the IEE strongly hopes that at least some additional, unique offers of the MADM programme will be available soon. One of these is the Intercultural Communication and Teambuilding Seminar, in which students spend a weekend full of practical training in a youth hostel in a neighbouring town. Beyond that, the intention is that students of the Cape Town group continue with their studies in the 2nd semester in South Africa. If possible, the Bochum group will start with an internship period in March 2021. However, these plans strongly depend on the development of the COVID-19 situation.

SiebertAnne Siebert, PhD
Coordinator MADM
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-22458
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14294

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