By Harvey Parafina
The Graduate Institute (IHEID) opened its doors for the latest cohorts on Monday, September 16. The Institute director, Philippe Burrin, met with nearly three hundred new students, and thanked them for choosing IHEID. He ensured that they can entrust the Institute to provide them quality education and student experience towards “preparing them for an international career.”
He added that apart from being a well-known institution specializing in international relations and development issues, IHEID is the oldest and perhaps the only independent institution in the world specializing in such fields. As it approaches its 100th anniversary, he asked the new cohorts to keep in mind that though it is not a university, it remains to have “a very high distinction” in having the longest experience in international and development education that “constantly keeps updated with the new challenges of our fast-changing world.”
Director Burrin also reminded students that the Institute is a private foundation that receives subsidies from the Swiss Federal Government and the Canton of Geneva, though they remain “pretty low” in providing what is needed. As such, he maintained that IHEID needs to rely on “our own strength and means” primarily through research contracts, student fees, and the executive education services. He mentioned that these features serve as reminders that can “define the kind of institution that they are in.”
Finally, he asked the new students “to take the opportunity to make the experience as rich and diverse as possible, [and] benefit from what the present team can offer.”
Jasmine Pokuaa Oduro-Bonsrah, current president of the Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA), also took the stage to give her welcome on behalf of the GISA Board. She asked the students to make the most out of their experience at the Institute, and to remember that GISA is ready to support the student body. GISA is the student-directed association that represents the students of IHEID in front of various bodies within and outside the Institute.