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.


IMSISS Students Launch New Virtual Think Tank

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IMSISS students have spent the summer developing their own virtual Think Tank to complement and showcase their learning on the degree programme. The new Think Tank has been named The Security Distillery and is intended to be an initiative from young researchers for (young) researchers. The students work collectively to commission, write, peer review and edit the articles that are published on the Think Tank's website.

"WE AIM TO TURN COMPLEX ISSUES INTO SIMPLE MATTERS IN ORDER TO PROVIDE QUALITY, ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS".

The Security Distillery will be open to new students joining the programme in September 2018 and it is hoped that students from the different intakes will work together to further the initiative and build a dynamic, engaging and thought provoking contribution in the online security studies sector. As the students comment on the website "We aim to turn complex issues into simple matters in order to provide quality, accessible information for students and researchers". They go on to say, "In the dynamic field of security studies, we intend to distill the essence of complicated issues into digestible amounts of comprehensible information, without oversimplifying or losing nuance. Our content is structured regionally and thematically, ranging from cyber security to terrorism, and from Asian to Central American politics".

The Security Distillery is entirely independently edited by the students on the IMSISS programme and over the coming months the IMSISS programme hopes to support the students to showcase some of the research analysis and commentary at special events in Glasgow, Dublin and Prague, as well as via the IMSISS social media channels. The first articles published cover a range of thematic areas, including 'Drone Warfare', 'European Energy Security', 'the US Intelligence Community', and the 'Role and Security implications of Big Data in the modern world'. More articles and analysis will be published in the coming weeks and months.

You can view The Security Distillery website by visiting http://securitydistillery.com/

The Security Distillery can also be found on facebook and twitter.

You can contact the Security Distillery's editorial team at think.imsiss.sec@gmail.com