Summer University 2019 on Security and Strategic Analysis in Regensburg

IMSISS 2018-2020 students at OTH Regensburg

This year, our Summer University occurred from the 5th to 16th August. Conducted in collaboration with the IMSISS partners, the University of Glasgow, Dublin City University, and Charles University, the event took place for the second time at Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Regensburg (OTH Regensburg). The particularly large cohort of 51 international students who attended the Summer University indicates the extremely high level of interest in the opportunities afforded during the event.

Supervised by Prof. Dr. Markus Bresinsky (Faculty of Applied Natural and Cultural Sciences) and with the support by representatives from the field, the students received practical insights into methods of strategic analysis in the field of security policy. This year's Summer University was organised by the Faculty of Applied Natural and Cultural Sciences and the Centre for Further Education and Knowledge Management (ZWW) of OTH Regensburg.

The focus of the Summer University was on structured analysis techniques, and gave impetus to critical and analytical thinking. Instruction in practical concepts took an equally high priority, however, as our students learned and tested various security studies methods, such as red teaming, intelligence modelling, and scenario construction. Divided into smaller analysis teams, participants then developed different scenarios for various countries within the MENA region and SAHEL zone.

During their development of forecasts for the next five years, the students received technical and methodological support from professors at OTH Regensburg and an external lecturer from the field. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss their scenarios with representatives of the think tank, The Middle East and International Affairs Research Group (MEIA Research). Finally, the students took part in a cultural excursion to the Gäubodenfest in Straubing.


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.