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Public Administration student Wouter Kuin wins SER-thesis prize 2018

With his master thesis ‘Passion for Sustainable Fashion’ Public Administration student Wouter Kuin has won the SER thesis award 2018 of the Social Economic Council. He was awarded the prize because of the great relevance for the SER-work, the thorough research, the high analytical level and the good readability. This Friday Wouter spoke to the Council meeting and, apart from a prize of 2000 euros, he received the offer to accompany the SER-president for one day.

Passion for Sustainable Fashion

Wouter Kuin’s thesis is about the motives of companies to sign the international responsible entrepreneurship covenant Clothes and Textile. Besides the acknowledgement of sustainability as the new standard, the demand of consumers for sustainability plays an increasing role, more than pressure from politicians or fear for extra legislation. Companies appreciate the opportunity to learn from other companies in the framework of responsible entrepreneurship and to tackle difficult subjects jointly. Wouter is a master student Public Administration at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs and dr. Caelesta Braun of the Institute of Public Administration of Leiden University supervised his thesis.

Competition

35 students applied for participation in the SER-thesis award. Wouter was selected and nominated together with 2 other students. The 2 other nominees, Steffie van den Bosch (Corporate Law, Tilburg University) and Jorien Fase (Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam), finished in second and third place. Steffie van den Bosch’s thesis is about the legal-normative framework for the re-launch of a company in case of an approaching bankruptcy. The thesis of Jorien Fase is about the factors influencing the participation of medium-skilled workers in life-long learning.

Jury

The jury, consisting of SER-president Mariëtte Hamer, VNO-NCW president Hans de Boer and FNV-president Han Busker, assessed the master thesis as legible and well structured. It is about a highly topical and usable issue, as more insight into the motivation of companies will be useful for the establishment of future covenants. Besides, it is a thorough qualitative and quantitative research, probably the first of its kind of this type of covenants.

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