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MIRD graduation Class of 2019

Friday 5 July 2019 was the graduation of the Advanced Master International Relations and Diplomacy (MIRD). ´If the MIRD is like a good wine, this has been a vintage year'.

Professor Madeleine Hosli and Professor Jan Melissen opened the graduation with some inspiring and positive quotes about the Class of 2019.

Professor Madeleine Hosli

'A great group of motivated and engaged students! Many have built friendships with fellow students in the programme that will last for many years to come. An international and dynamic group!'

Professor Jan Melissen

'This closely-knit and exceptionally diverse group, with people from all continents, has been such an eager cohort of students! Their enthusiasm for experimentation and a constant exchange of ideas was truly inspiring, and it was great to see them help one another.'
Melissen continues; 'It is not that these students want to make a difference, they already do, and they are bubbling with ideas as to how to contribute to a better world. I am proud of many of their excellent writings and their determination to see some of their work print. In point of fact, the publishing MIRD student (or alumnus/a) is no oxyomoron.'
Melissen concludes with 'If the MIRD is like a good wine, this has been a vintage year'.

Furthermore, two graduates spoke about how these vibrant years of study was for them, what they have learned, and what they take with them for the future.

Suzanne Edelkamp

Suzanne Edelkamp (Netherlands)

Suzanne Edelkamp wrote her research about sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations peacekeeping personnel. 'Writing the master thesis was an interesting process. It is longer than all other essays and papers and therefore, it is important to make a good planning. Tip: pick a topic that you’re passionate about, this will make researching and writing enjoyable.'

Unique Master

Suzanne told me that the Master is unique compared to other Masters 'The thing that makes this Master special is that it is a unique combination of theoretical courses related to International Relations and practical education in international negotiations from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. Besides theoretical knowledge, I also gained skills in negotiating'


Suzanne did some amazing things during her Master. She went to trips to Brussels and Geneva and she did three(!) internships 'I was crazy enough to do 3 internships next to the MIRD programme. I interned for the Netherlands mission to the United Nations in New York, UNHCR in The Hague, and the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation in The Hague. I would recommend interning for all three organizations. I was lucky enough to intern for organizations that give their interns responsibility, are involved, and care about how the intern grows as a person.'

Hanley Foster

Hanley Foster (Australia & Japan)

Hanley Foster wrote his thesis about the barriers to the adoption and integration of technological solutions at multilateral arms control forums. He interviewed practitioners working in the disarmament field in Geneva, Switzerland. 'For me, the thesis was extremely rewarding as I had a topic that I was really passionate about, so I found my research interesting and exciting to write about.'

International Level

Hanley learned a lot from the Master 'It has taught me a lot about how things work at the international level.  The master touches upon lots of different subjects including international law, the different types of diplomacy, economics, good governance, international organisations, multilateral and bilateral negotiations, and many other themes. Overall it has given me a very good understanding of how international relations is conducted and has helped me build the necessary skills to excel in an internationally focused position.'

More than study

Hanley shared his two amazing experiences with me 'Firstly, I had the opportunity to work with Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, which has been extremely rewarding and given me a unique perspective on the role of international leaders.  His insight and knowledge in the field is astounding, and I have learnt a lot from him over the past 12 months.  Secondly, I also had the opportunity to join the board of a student association during my second year, which has allowed me to become involved in the Dutch student culture.  As an international student I think this has been a really valuable experience, because Dutch student culture is so rich and vibrant, and not many international students have the opportunity to get involved.'

About this master's programme

The two-year MSc IRD programme offers a unique blend of academic education in international relations and political science with practical graduate education and training in international negotiation and diplomacy. After graduation, many students will work as diplomats or at NGO's and (international) governmental organizations.

Read more about the master's programme International Relations and Diplomacy.

Photographer: Nicole Romijn

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