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.