It’s one of the vagaries of the academic cycle that the year starts in August, rather than January. It’s when things are quietest and when we’re between cycles of students. It’s also when many staff members take their annual leave.
As such, the tenth anniversary of the Department of Politics has rather crept up on us.
In late 2003, the University decided that it wanted to form a Department, to draw together its long-standing expertise in European Politics, policy and policy-analysis and International Relations. To that end, the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies (PIPS) was launched in August 2004.
Since then, the Department has shortened its name, become a School and is now once more a Department, joining with the Department of Sociology to form a School of Social Sciences form today.
We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in our first ten years. Our undergraduate degrees have steadily grown to become some of the best-ranked in the country, while our new suite of Masters programmes have brought together a lot of our experience with professional placements to a new group of students. Our research expertise in European politics and International Relations is widely recognised and we form an active part our our academic communities. We’ve also been able to build many rich relationships with other partners, from government bodies to schools to community organisations, both here and internationally.
Our students have gone out into the world, to work and to study and they – more than anything – have really made our work worth it. Indeed, they have made much of work possible in the first place, with their contributions in class and research seminars and their willingness to debate on the wide range of topics that we work on.
On a more personal note, it has been very great pleasure to work with such a great group of colleagues, both past and present. In particular, thanks must go to Roberta Guerrina, who is stepping down as Head of School after five years: her determination and commitment to building up the School and getting us to push into new activities during this time is very deeply appreciated by all of us.
So to all my colleagues, our students and alumni, partners and you all: thank you for a wonderful decade and may the next one by just as successful!