On Thursday 10 September 2015 a group of 64 students from 25 countries received their Master’s degree at KIT.
The joint graduation ceremony of the Masters in International Health (MIH) and Masters in Public Health/International Course in Health Development (MPH/ICHD) was attended by family and friends and representatives from Nuffic. Students, often dressed in colourfull traditional clothing, received their degree from course Director Prisca Zwanikken.
Ernest Kakoma, student from Zambia: “We succeeded in achieving what we came for. You helped us shape in the persons we are today and ignited our passion for the public health discipline. To study at KIT was the best decision we could have made”.
Students from around the world
Our newest alumni come from 25 different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and USA. They came from different corners of the world, like Ghana, Mexico and Myanmar. This year for the first time 4 students participated through a joint program with the Hanoi School of Public Health from Vietnam.
Laughter and learning
Prisca Zwanikken:“As a group you laughed together, but also had lively, at times strong debates. About stigma and discrimination of health workers treating people living with leprosy or HIV and AIDS, the rights of sex workers or the health insurance for the poor in a specific country. As a group you supported each other. You have shown to master the skills required for teamwork, which is an important asset for your work in public health.”
Future leaders in public health
Mark Schneiders, Director of KIT addressed the graduates: “At KIT we are proud to empower our graduates and as such contribute to capacity building, improving health and health systems in country. Capacity building is at the core of KIT’s mission. As our graduates you have discussed and learned together how to face the challenges which you will encounter back home or in your future work. Challenges like infectious diseases such as Ebola, but also the call for equity and poverty reduction and working with the private sector. We hope that now you are equipped to face those challenges.”
In order to give more students the opportunity to study a master’s program, KIT Scholarship Fund was established. This independent foundation aims to offer scholarships to talented professionals from low income countries to study a master’s program at KIT. Prisca Zwanikken: ‘With KIT Scholarship Fund we want to continue to contribute to the training of future leaders in international health. Would you like to contribute this initiative? Your support to one student, can mean better health for thousands!’
Egbert Sondorp, Director Health closed the graduation ceremony. “I believe we have learned as much from you, as you have learned from us and I hope that we can continue to exchange views and knowledge through alumni networks. We are proud of this new group of ambassadors of KIT!”