Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

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Willy Brandt School of Public Policy
Logo of the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy.png
TypePublic (University of Erfurt)
DeanHeike Grimm (Director), Siegfried Englert (Chairman of the Advisory Council)
Students121 (15 December 2014)
CampusNordhäuser Straße
Colourswhite, orange, light blue
Willy Brandt School, Erfurt

The Willy Brandt School of Public Policy is a public institute for research and education in the field of public policy at the University of Erfurt. It was established in 2002, offering the first German study program leading to a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree.[1] The program has been accredited and reaccredited by ACQUIN.[2] The working language is English. Until November 2009, the school was named Erfurt School of Public Policy (ESPP).


The Brandt School was designed according to the Anglo-American model, where education, teaching and research are organised jointly. In the area of public policy, the school offers advanced training at the Master's level, by combining knowledge and methods from different branches of the social sciences (economics, political science, public administration and management science, and sociology). With the help of references to professional praxis and relevant social problems, the Brandt School wants to help soften the borders of the individual sciences. As a result, students should be enabled to use interdisciplinary theory and methods in order to develop and work on problems from different angles and to develop individual skills relevant to their future careers.

The Brandt School is particularly characterized by the internationality of its student body. The 121 students currently enrolled (15 December 2014) are from more than 40 countries. They have a variety of academic backgrounds and prior work experience, while the majority holds a first degree in the social sciences.


Brandt with Willi Stoph on March 19th 1970 in Erfurt

Willy Brandt was chosen as name giver for various reasons that connect to the city of Erfurt, his style of making politics and the focus of his politics.[3] In 1970, Brandt visited Erfurt for the first German-German summit meeting and was enthusiastically cheered on by the local crowd.[4] His contributions to the East-West and North-South dialogues have helped improve mutual understanding, and his modern, reform-oriented style serves as role model for the students.

Academic Program[edit]

The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is an interdisciplinary, practice-orientated, two-year full-time program, conducted entirely in English. The program is intended for students from Germany and abroad, pursuing a future career dealing professionally with problems of modern governance in an executive, leading position. Possible work areas are in the public sector, international organizations, NGOs, politics and commercial enterprises. The MPP can be pursued immediately after the completion of a Bachelor's degree, or on the basis of several years of professional experience.

Drawn from political science, economics, sociology, public administration and law, the MPP curriculum aims to equip students with tools and methods of policy analysis, development and implementation. Internships, project groups, practical training courses, and case studies add practical aspects to the program.[5] Furthermore students can choose to specialize in two of the following areas:[6]

  • European Public Policy
  • International Affairs
  • Public and Non-Profit Management
  • International Political Economy

Alternatively, they can pursue a Conflict Studies and Management (CSMP) track within the MPP.


In addition to the study program, the school is also engaged in research on public policy and governance. There are four research clusters available:[7]

  • Methods of Public Policy
  • Entrepreneurship and Public Policy
  • International Conflict Management
  • Varieties of Governance

A PhD program is being offered in all four research foci.[8] The research area "Managing Fragility - Critical Perspectives on Good Governance," which emerged from the Brandt School's CSMP focus, is part of the German Academic Exchange Service's (DAAD) Graduate School Scholarship Program (GSSP) which offers scholarships to foreign PhD students.[9][10]


Two main partnerships exist: with the Franz Haniel Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The programs and scholarships supported by the two partners focus on Russia/ Eastern Europe and on Afghanistan for the most part.

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) supports and sponsors different scholarships and programs, most notably the Public Policy and Good Governance program.[11] This scholarship is designed to train future leaders, who alreally have an academic degree, in the fields of politics, law, economics and administration according to the principles of Good Governance.[12] Since 2009, 82 PPGG scholarship holders have completed the MPP at the Brandt School. The DAAD also supports the Summer Schools on Managing Fragility: Good Governance in Transition Contexts which are organized annually since 2013.[13] Between 2008 and 2011, the Brandt School was furthermore the exclusive host for the Good Governance in Afghanistan program in cooperation with the German Foreign Office and the DAAD. It was especially designed for young Afghans and aimed at equipping them for the challenges they face in rebuilding the Afghan political system. 36 participants graduated between 2011 and 2013.[14]

The Haniel Foundation sponsors the Franz Haniel Chair of Public Policy, currently vacant, but covered for by Dr. Anja Mihr,[15] and the Aletta Haniel Chair for Public Policy and Entrepreneurship, currently held by Professor Dr. Heike Grimm.[16] It provides several scholarships for Brandt School students from Eastern Europe/ CIS and from Western Europe/ North America, respectively.[17] Furthermore, it supports the annual Haniel Spring Schools which take place in Russia and have covered topics such as "Public Administration - Russia in Comparative Perspectives," "Border Policies from the Soviet Union to the EU," and "The Effects of Center-Local Relationships of Public Policy." Since 2014, the Haniel Schools have been supported by a second partner, namely the St. Petersburg-based Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR).

The Brandt School is furthermore a member of the Transatlantic Policy Consortium.[18]

Professors and Lecturers[edit]

Amongst the Brandt School's academic staff, there are, amongst others, Heike Grimm (Director/ Aletta Haniel Chair for Public Policy and Entrepreneurship), Frank Ettrich (Vice Director/ co-editor of the Berliner Journal für Soziologie), Dietmar Herz (former State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice of the Free State of Thuringia), Karl Theodor Paschke (former Under Secretary General of the United Nations), Edgar Aragón (Visiting Professor from the EGAP-Tec de Monterrey, Mexico), as well as many of the professors of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Erfurt.[19][20]


  1. ^ "Einmalig in Deutschland: Studiengang Master of Public Policy" (in German). University of Erfurt. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  2. ^ "Master of Public Policy, Erfurt University" (in German). University of Erfurt. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Erfurt School of Public Policy (ESPP) wird Willy Brandt School" (in German). University of Erfurt. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Overview 1970". Chronik der Mauer. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  5. ^ "A Guide to the MPP Curriculum" (in German). Brandt School. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Specializations". Brandt School. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Research Program". Brandt School. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Doctoral Studies". Brandt School. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Graduate School Scholarship Programme" (in German). DAAD. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Graduate School Scholarship Programme (GSSP) Managing Fragility" (PDF). DAAD/ Brandt School. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Public Policy and Good Governance". Brandt School. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Scholarships for Master Programmes in Public Policy and Good Governance at Universities in Germany" (PDF). DAAD. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  13. ^ "2nd Willy Brandt School on Managing Fragility" (PDF). Brandt School. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  14. ^ "Public Policy and Good Governance". Brandt School. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Dr. Anja Mihr". Brandt School. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Prof. Dr. Heike Grimm". Brandt School. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  17. ^ "Haniel Scholarship Programs". Brandt School. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  18. ^ "TPC: Institutions". Transatlantic Policy Consortium. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  19. ^ "Full-Time Academic Staff". Brandt School. Archived from the original on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  20. ^ "Associated Academic Staff". Brandt School. Retrieved 13 January 2015.

External links[edit]