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On Thursday, 6 July the first batch of students of the unique Bachelor’s programme in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics graduated at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). This festive event was celebrated in the UvA’s Old Lutheran Church.

Credits: Jaiwey Nuij

During the ceremony UvA Rector Magnificus Karen Maex and PPLE dean Radboud Winkels congratulated the new graduates and wished them success going forward. Edgar du Perron, professor of Private Law, used the occasion to reflect on his time as dean of the UvA’s Faculty of Law when the PPLE programme was conceived. ‘Ten years ago, the idea was conceived during a conversation while driving, and now here we are celebrating the first batch of graduates’.

A popular study with many international students

The PPLE programme is a collaboration between the faculties of Economics and Business, Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Law. The programme is founded on the notion that the contemporary challenges posed by a globalising economy, international terrorism and social inequality cannot be addressed from the vantage point of one academic discipline. The PPLE College started in September 2014 and has built up a steady flow of 200 students a year, half of whom come from abroad.   

UvA Rector Magnificus Karen Maex congratulates the graduates. Credits: Jaiwey Nuij

Award for thesis on female terrorists

The ceremony also saw Du Perron present an award for the best thesis to Anne Craanen, who focused on women who recruit for ISIS. Her results show that women are not viewed as a threat because of common assumptions about gender differences. Anne used her acceptance speech to stress how ISIS benefits from such assumptions and that the consequences of gender discrimination can accordingly be very serious.

Anne Craanen receives award for the best thesis. Credits: Jaiwey Nuij

The vanity of hedonism

Valedictorian Jiří Munich subsequently gave a valedictory speech in which he reflected on several themes from the programme: the trolley problem in ethical philosophy, the privileges enjoyed by the elite and the vanity of a hedonistic lifestyle. The speech drew strong applause.