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2021 Leaders in Graduate Education in International Affairs

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University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies

Interdisciplinarity and Transformative Experience in Brussels Lay Groundwork for Future Leaders

Becky Slack, BSIS student and organizer of the event series “Politics, Power, and Persuasion”

In a September 2020 Daily Telegraph article, Becky Slack said she was starting her studies at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) to learn how to fight fake news. During her short time in the school’s Political Strategy and Communication program, Slack, a master’s degree candidate from Ripley, United Kingdom, already has organized a 2020–2021 event series, “Politics, Power, and Persuasion.” The series addresses timely topics such as maintaining an independent media, the challenges of disinformation and fake news, strategies to tackle extremism, and effective political leadership.

Jeremy Carrette, Dean for Europe and Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Culture, Brussels School of International Studies, University of Kent

Jeremy Carrette, dean for Europe and professor of philosophy, religion, and culture, says that BSIS supports energetic students like Slack who want to take initiative. “We encourage independence of thought and a capacity to work together, but also individually, so we’re generating leaders who have the information to build the visions of the future.”

“Interdisciplinarity is at the heart of our mission to educate leaders for the next 50 years who have an open mind to the interconnections of knowledge,” Carrette says. “Courses are taught by some of the sharpest minds in academia, as well as practitioners who are working in their disciplines as these areas are developing.”

Interdisciplinarity is at the heart of our mission to educate leaders for the next 50 years who have an open mind to the interconnections of knowledge.Jeremy Carrette

BSIS works closely with the university’s School of Politics and International Relations and Kent Law School to offer multidisciplinary classes to students, who select both primary and secondary specializations. BSIS also offers students opportunities for internships, research, and networking at the European Union and NATO and at legal, lobbying, political, and policymaking agencies in culturally diverse Brussels—the de facto capital of Europe.

Carrette says that experience is key to the “leadership of the future, which is about your capacity to absorb and engage a set of complex relationships and to transform in your environment.”

BSIS builds on the energy, passion for social justice, and knowledge of digital communication that students bring to the school, he says. “Our students represent a new kind of citizen and a new kind of future leader.”

Professor’s Mentorship Prompts Student to Pursue Doctorate in Human Rights Law

Hazel Lincy Ebenezer, of Mussoorie, India, was drawn to BSIS’s Master’s in Law in Human Rights Law because of her fascination with human rights and international affairs. During her first week in the program, she met law professor Yutaka Arai, who encouraged her to pursue a doctorate. Now a doctoral candidate who serves as a teaching assistant, Ebenezer says that Arai’s support, accessibility, and passion for teaching have been critical to her research into sexual violence, women’s rights, and the divide between India’s civil and criminal law. “I never really saw a PhD as something that was available to me, but Professor Arai helped me envision it for myself,” she says.

University of Kent, Brussels School of International Studies
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