Interaction is an essential part of the diplomatic studies programmes that I have designed and developed. Students interact and learn from each other; as well, they interact and learn from academics, politicians and professional diplomats who are working in the field.
The most effective cross-fertilisation has been occurring during a series of symposia built around relevant themes under the titles: Diplomacy Beyond 2000 and Diplomacy in the 21st Century. I believe these events have been highly effective in drawing attention to the many issues that confront diplomatic missions on a day to day basis.
HE Mr Love Mtesa, High Commissioner for Zambia in London, then candidate on the MA Course in Diplomatic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of London, presenting his credentials to HE Mrs. Mary Robinson, President of the Republic of Ireland as Ambassador of Zambia.
In my position as High Commissioner, I had to look at a number of institutions of high learning to determine which one offered the best training for both serving diplomats and those wishing to obtain good qualifications in Diplomatic Studies. The Diplomatic Academy of London at the University of Westminster was to me, as an eye opener . It is therefore no wonder that the Academy has students not only from Britain but from about sixty other countries covering all the continents of the world.
One advantage that the University has probably over many other institutions of high learning in training diplomats is the effective combination of theory and practice. The simulation exercises, regular contacts with key players whether senior government officials in Britain or High Commissioners/Ambassadors resident in London and the guided visits to other important centres like Brussels and Geneva all make graduates leave the University well equipped as if they had the necessary experience - HE Mr Love Mtesa , High Commissioner for Zambia
Having attended the Course, I wish to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Diplomatic Academy of London for the most rewarding experience, both intellectually and socially. The high academic standards of the institution are challenging and most useful for equipping both the practising and aspiring diplomat with appropriate skills and knowledge required in the diplomatic profession.
For the practising diplomat, the Course offers the unique opportunity for reinforcing professional skills required in the diplomatic profession while, at the same time, enhancing one's understanding of conceptual approaches to diplomacy and related disciplines. This dual emphasis is indispensable, in my view, for the formation of the international diplomat.
The guidance and expertise, knowledge of lecturers and eminent speakers at the Academy, coupled with exposures to practical aspects of diplomacy, serve to prepare aspiring diplomats in understanding the nature of different responsibilities and functions entailed and to relate to challenges involved in the profession as a whole. This orientation is most useful from the point of view of developing states like my own, Vanuatu.
Participation by distinguished colleagues from different parts of the world, both developed and developing countries provides an important dimension of the Course. Exchanging of experiences and ideas with other participating colleagues has enriched my own understanding of their perspectives and respective countries, and I would like to think that person-to-person contacts established during the Course can be lasting and useful in the future. It is on the basis of these experiences and observations that I would have no hesitation in recommending the Course to anyone”.
DAL alumnus H E Mr N Nurobaravu ,Former Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Roving Ambassador, Vanuatu Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
DAL alumnus HE Alexander Piletsky, Ambassador of Belize to Austria, Croatia, Netherlands and Slovenia, and Permanent Representative of Belize to UNIDO presenting his credentials to Mrs Haruko Hirose, Deputy to the Director-General of UNIDO, Vienna
...I am pleased to report that successfully completing my education and presenting my dissertation allowed me to be promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize to full Ambassadorship...My participation in your programme allowed me to build up a network
within the diplomatic community. HE Alexander Piletsky, Ambassador of Belize
DAL alumnus HE Chris Grima, Malteese Ambassador of Malta to
Austria, presents his credentials to HE Dr Heinz Fisher, President of
the Federal Republic of Austria, at a ceremony held at the Hofburg
Palace in Vienna on 4 June 2007.
I was pleasantly surprised at how directly relevant much of the course work is to my duties, for instance in the running of a diplomatic mission and on matters of protocol, not to mention the discipline of management, without which a diplomat cannot be truly successful... I would recommend the course both for those in the service and for those wishing to know more about diplomatic practice and related disciplines. HE Chris Grima, Malteese Ambassador of Malta
DAL alumnus HE Dr Damir Kusen, Croatian Ambassador to Finland and Estonia, presenting his credentials to HE Tarja Kaarina Halonen, The President of Finland, February 2007
“Dear Professor Ayad
I am always glad to recall memories of the enjoyable days spent at DAL. Since1995, I have held posts in Washington (DCM) and now in Helsinki (Ambassador). For several years I have also chaired the Board of the Institute for International Relations in Zagreb. At the Foreign Ministry I have worked for a few years as the Assistant Minister for Europe (DG). As a true believer in life-long learning I also obtained a PhD from King’s College London, proof that DAL was an excellent learning environment and a great impetus to further my diplomatic career. Thank you for your mentorship and my congratulations for your decades-long leadership and vision of how to bring well-educated, skilful and knowledgeable diplomats to the increasingly more complex world diplomatic scene”.- HE Dr Damir Kusen, Croatian Ambassador
DAL alumna Ms Carla Jazzar, Deputy Head of Mission, Lebanese Embassy, Washington with US President, George W. Bush
“I am writing to you to express my gratitude for the two years of MA studies at the Diplomatic Academy of London. They were of the utmost importance and help in my career as a diplomat.
They’ve allowed me first to obtain a quick promotion since, directly afterwards, I was appointed as Deputy Permanent Delegate of Lebanon at United Nations Education Sciences and Culture Organisation known as UNESCO. That was actually my second posting abroad.
Secondly, these studies provided me with the real possibility of interacting in an international community since all students came from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
Finally it sensibilised me to new issues, such as technology and management which proved to be essential for any modern diplomat. DAL alumna Ms Carla Jazzar, Deputy Head of Mission, Lebanese Embassy
‘My experience at DAL was truly rewarding in that it prepared me for the political and cultural challenges of working as a diplomat inside a high level security U.S. Embassy post. The DAL courses taught by actual diplomats provided real life scenarios for proactive and immediate decision-making and damage control. Additionally, the team project exercises and challenges working with various nationalities, age groups and experience bases prepared me for focused participation in the Ambassador’s county team meetings, and trade negotiations and bilateral advocacy meetings with ministries and heads of states. I regularly draw upon my management and diversity training at DAL in my day-to -day management of the local Embassy staff and interactions with the political, military and public relation sections in the Embassy and the private sector multinationals. I know this DAL training will be an asset for my next post at the African Development Bank.’
DAL alumna Ms Tanya L Cole, Commercial Attaché, US Commercial Service,
US Embassy, Bogotá
The Diplomatic Academy of London has enabled me to view the global outlook from different lenses of analyses. Prior to my diplomatic studies, I used to view the world through a diplomatic mirror, during my studies, I learnt how to secure vantage point from where to take a best photo shot of the globe. Information Technology was not my best top of discussion, but now I have become a technophile. The Diplomatic Academy is pathfinder for those diplomats who whish to explore new diplomatic landscape of the 21st century, to survive in the 21st century landscape, we have to possess the knowledge and skills of how to use its road maps. The Diplomatic Academy is the best institution to provide modern diplomats with skills and knowledge. In the 21st century and third millennium, there is no doubt that survival of the fittest will become a rule rather than exception. The contradictions resulting from coexistence of several value systems will require an in depth analyses of international security of the 21st century. Besides Academic progression, my diplomatic career also progressed, after obtaining an MA in diplomatic studies I was posted to the Namibian Embassy in Paris as Deputy head of Mission and Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. The Diplomatic Academy of London provides tools to enable diplomats to tame the many headed global hydra monster.
Dal Alumnus HE Dr Jeroboam Shaanika , Deputy Head of Department of Multilateral Relations, Namibian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
‘DAL has been the wind beneath my wings’
I got accepted by all of the universities in the UK that taught Masters courses in Diplomacy, but I decided to go to the Diplomatic Academy of London, University of Westminster, because I found this course to be the most interesting and practical based. The one year I spent at Westminster is surely the most memorable year of my life. You cannot ask for a better location: the University provided me with a truly international environment which for my course was priceless. The staff at Westminster were very helpful and not once did I feel I was in a foreign country among foreign people. I liked the fact that the course was taught by seasoned diplomats who could share their experiences rather than simply professors who may not have the relevant experience in the practice of international diplomacy. The other special thing about the course was to be in a class with 80 different nationalities. It was like being in the United Nations General
Assembly every day. The educational trip to the EU, UN and NATO institutions in Europe was an unmatched experience as was the one week long cultural course in Libya and the exchange programme to Italy. This way not only did I get to learn diplomacy but I also got to practise it. The visiting lectures from various ambassadors stationed in London were also very interesting and I learned a lot from them. Living in the Alexander Fleming Halls in Hoxton was wonderful. The
facilities were very good and I had absolutely no trouble adapting to life in London. The enchanting and vibrant character of London never let me feel home sick since there was always something to do. I made a very good set of friends within my class and our social life was quite busy.
For my Masters I did a dissertation entitled ‘National Image Building through Public Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy and Nation-branding: A Case Study of Pakistan’. I was fortunate that just when I returned to Pakistan, the Government decided to set up the Pakistan Image Project and hired me as one of their five consultants. I had a wonderful supervisor for my dissertation who made the nerve racking experience of writing a dissertation much easier. His constant support and expertise in the subject was what helped me write a dissertation that got me a distinction and helped me get this job. I am back in Pakistan now and working in Islamabad as a consultant for the Pakistan Image Project, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of Pakistan.
I cannot thank Westminster enough for the treasured experience I had of studying there. From academics, to administration to halls, everything was more than I could have asked for. For anyone wanting to study diplomacy, I would strongly recommend the Diplomatic Academy of London as the experience one can get there is unsurpassable.
Ms Munizeh Zuberi
The Diplomatic Academy of London is an institution of higher learning that encourages open and vigorous debate on the most pressing issues of our time. It allowed my colleagues and me to fully express ourselves and to learn not only by formal instruction but through dialogue, the foundation for all diplomacy. The opportunities to visit international institutions added depth, color, and vitality to the theories, which we studied. These interesting and enjoyable events gave me firsthand knowledge of how these bodies function and only added to my ommitment to remain active and informed about global politics, international law, and human rights issues.
DAL alumnus Dr Paul Aranas, Field Coordinator, 2008 Ralph Nader US
Presidential Campaign, Chicago, IL 2006 Green Party Nominee, US
House of Representatives, Oregon 5th District
The Course in its entirety provided a wealth of knowledge with clarity and style that offers a deep insight into diplomacy and related subjects.
V A Jones, Sierra Leone High Commission, London
Since leaving the university I have mainly been working with analysis in regulatory issues in the telecom/IT/media sector. Amazing how ahead of everybody else you were back in 196/97!
Monica Andersen,Research Analyst, Telenor AS, Norway