Master’s Programme Bids Farewell to Graduating Students

Students from Joint Master's Programme, offered by UNU-EHS and the University of Bonn, celebrated the end of their studies with a graduation ceremony.

Two years of studies came to an end for 19 students this Friday as the Joint Master’s Programme in Geography of Environmental Risk and Human Security held its graduation ceremony.  

The graduates consisted of students from across two cohorts, the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 batches. The ceremony itself was opened by UNU-EHS Head of Education Karen Hattenbach. Following this, Prof. Dr. Lothar Schrott of the Department of Geography, University of Bonn, made a heartfelt ceremonial address filled with encouragement, excitement for the graduates’ future endeavors and sincere gratitude for having had the opportunity to teach the students. Then Dr. Yvonne Walz and Dr. Simone Sandholz, both Division and Programme Heads at UNU-EHS, shared their experiences with this unique Master's programme from their perspective as lecturers. They reflected on their interactions with a diverse group of talented students, emphasizing that teaching these students is not only a pleasure but also a learning opportunity for themselves.

Following the faculty addresses, the students turn to take the floor. Andrea De San Jorge Cardenas of Mexico gave a parting speech to her fellow graduates. Her words offered encouragement for the future and reflected the tight-knit bonds they made:  

“Now that this stage is ending, I know we are ready for the next adventure. I am excited about all the new challenges we will face, because I am confident, we are all well-equipped to face them, even if we sometimes forget,” she said. “I am also sure that, no matter where we end up, we will always be just a text message away from our Joint Master’s family.”

The occasion also struck a joyful note as students Angus Dutton, Marieke Kisters and Ann-Kathrin Petersen performed “It’s Got UNU (And You)” (written by the three graduates) together. The students, as well as some family and friends, sang along, sharing smiles at one another as they played. While not all graduating students were in attendance, the camaraderie was more than felt.

The graduation also follows the recent celebration of the programme’s 10-year anniversary. It has come a long way with 254 students having gone through the programme, including those currently enrolled and 181 graduating so far.

More about the programme is available here

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