Shaping the Future: UNRISD Welcomes Maastricht University Public Policy Students
13 Mar 2017
On 1 March 2017 a group of Public Policy students from United Nations University MERIT / Maastricht University, the Netherlands, met with UNRISD as part of a study trip to Geneva. Senior Research Coordinator, Katja Hujo, welcomed the students and provided an overview of UNRISD and its research contribution to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including a summary of the key messages from the Institute's 2016 flagship report: Policy Innovations for Transformative Change.
The geographical diversity of the students, with their varied cross-cultural experiences and insight into development, provided an interesting context for the questions directed to Katja after her presentation. Questions were topical, with many focused on the ‘how’ of implementing policy at a national and local level. Student enquiry went from asking how eco-social policies are able to progress beyond ‘nice-sounding’, to how transformative change of leadership can be achieved, to what Katja most liked about her job!
“We were all thrilled by the opportunity to learn more about actual research being conducted in each of our areas of interest” said a student representative after the event.
Engaging with the students also highlighted how strikingly aligned their interests were to UNRISD’s research areas, particularly with their strong regard for the normative values of social justice and equity in social protection and social services coverage. It was therefore encouraging to see students express a keen desire to gain research and policy analysis experience with UNRISD through internships. And when one student shared his ambition to support more effective integration of informal sector workers into pension schemes in his native Ghana, it clearly demonstrated UNRISD’s role in nurturing the ideas of emerging young talent and shaping the decision makers, policy makers and leaders of the future.
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