OTH Regensburg: Successful International Summer School on Intelligence Analysis

Students from all over the world were drawn to the annual IMSISS Summer School at the OTH Regensburg once again to learn about methods of intelligence analysis and to apply them to practice in an intensive two-week programme.

For the 9th time, the annual Summer School on “Intelligence Analysis” took place at the OTH Regensburg. The event has become an integral part of the summer programme at the university and continues to be a very popular offer for the international students of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Degree Master’s programme Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies (IMSISS) at the University of Glasgow.

Intensive Programme with High Practical Relevance

In an intensive two-week programme from July 31 to August 11, 2023, the 40 participating students learned methods of intelligence analysis and critical thinking, which they then applied themselves. In groups of four to six people, they dealt with one country of the Sahel region per group, for which they prepared a strategic forecast of the development of the security situation over the next five to seven years. The students were professionally supported and guided by Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky, Georg Fuchs, and Johanna Schröder, as well as by the four research interns who had completed the Summer School the previous year. The students applied methods and tools for scenario development, such as the Cone of Plausibility, and used them to develop scenarios for the respective country, which they presented in a final briefing. This practical orientation not only helped the participants to practice the methods they had learned, but also taught them a great deal about the countries in the Sahel region. Leading up to the Summer School, the students had already been prepared in terms of content since May through various tasks and with the virtual support of the four research interns. This way, students already had the necessary prior knowledge and could concentrate on learning the methods on site in Regensburg.

Addressing Current Developments

The varied programme also included several guest lectures: two experts from the Dublin City University, Prof. Dr. Christian Kaunert and Emmet Foley, gave helpful input on the role of terrorism in the Sahel region and on the way intelligence agencies methodically analyze the phenomenon. Not only current developments in the countries the students analyzed, but also technical advancements and their use in intelligence analysis were addressed: research interns from the IMSISS Master’s programme presented their paper on the utility of ChatGPT in intelligence analysis. The Summer School was rounded off by a campus picnic, a joint visit to a beer garden, and finally, the Danube Sunset Cruise on the ship “Kristallkönigin” following the final presentations.

The Summer School was organised in close cooperation with the Centre for Continuing Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) at the OTH Regensburg. As part of a research internship, four IMSISS students who had already participated in last year’s Summer School assisted in the preparation and implementation of this year’s Summer School. Again, in the next summer semester, students from the Summer School will come to Prof. Bresinsky’s lab for an internship. The event is part of the “Intelligence and Analysis” university certificate, which is offered through the ZWW and is also open to interested candidates outside of the OTH Regensburg.

Summer University on Security and Strategic Analysis in Regensburg


IMSISS 2021-2023 students at OTH Regensburg
From 01 to 12 August 2022, 40 IMSISS students had the opportunity to attend the OTH Regensburg Summer School on Strategic Intelligence Analysis in Regensburg, Germany.

During the two-week course, students learnt about critical thinking, cognitive biases, and structured analytic techniques for intelligence analysis – ranging from Key Driver Identification to Scenario Development (as part of the Cone of Plausibility) and Courses of Action to verify assumptions – taught by LTC Georg Fuchs and Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky.

The practical and application-oriented nature of the Summer School required the participants to work together in small teams and prepare a 5–10-year strategic outlook for one of the countries of the G5 Sahel, Sudan, and Libya.

Throughout this process, the students received constant support and feedback from the entire OTH Regensburg team. A series of expert talks and social events further enhanced the Summer School experience.



Summer University in Regensburg

A Summer University on “Strategic Intelligence Analysis” took place at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule (OTH) Regensburg from 6th August to 17th August 2018. Fourteen students of the Erasmus Mundus international master’s degree in “Security, Intelligence & Strategic Studies" from the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University and the Charles University of Prague worked on processes and methods in the field of security and strategic intelligence analysis studies. The Summer University course was organized by the Faculty of General Sciences and Microsystems Engineering, as well as the Center for Further Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) of OTH Regensburg.

The students were guided and advised by subject matter experts coming from both the academic and professional environment related to strategic intelligence analysis. Thus, the students were taught by professors from OTH Regensburg as well as lecturers coming from the intelligence field. Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky coordinated the course and provided the students further lectures about Big Data Analysis and Data Mining. The professional expertise concerning Strategic Intelligence Analytical Techniques and Tactical Intelligence Analysis was provided by Lt. Colonel Georg Fuchs of the Bundeswehr.

The Summer University programme mainly focused on the development of critical thinking, teaching structured intelligence analysis techniques such as: Decomposition & Visualisation; Idea and Hypothesis Generation; Indicators and Scenarios Development and Assessment of Cause and Effect. Moreover, the students were trained to constantly challenge their own analysis employing the processes of “red teaming” and “devil’s advocate”.  Besides the more theoretical classes providing practical intelligence competence the programme led the students to concentrate their work in depth subject matter expertise on the MENA region. Thus, the students were asked to divide in two groups and to produce a strategic intelligence analysis on the Syrian and Libyan crisis. They applied the processes and methods learnt during the front lectures to develop 5 years strategic forecast scenarios for the countries assigned. At the end of the project, the students delivered an intelligence report describing their findings and presenting them in front of a commission for evaluation. In addition, the students were trained to use specific software and tools that helped them in the processes of intelligence collection, analysis and scenarios development.

A visit to MEIA's The Middle East and International Affairs Research Group the 11th August gave students the opportunity to discuss their findings with field experts of the MENA Region. During the workshop, provided by the organization, the students presented the findings derived from their researches on the countries Iraq, Syria and Libya and undertook intense discussions with the MEIA’s experts. It was an important opportunity for the student to interact with field experts and assess the validity of the analysis presented during the workshop.

The Summer School programme also included a cultural excursion to the Gäubodenfest in Straubing, an important Bavarian festival that takes place every August. The excursion gave the students the opportunity to interact with the Bavarian culture and to socialize with some other students of OTH Regensburg.