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20 Sep 2021


The 2021-2022 MILE and TRAIL+ Programmes have officially started!

I promise you that you will have an academically demanding but very rich and unforgettable year at the WTI and that what you will learn in the coming year will serve you very well in your professional career, as it did previous generations of MILE and TRAIL+ students.

Prof. Peter Van den Bossche, WTI Director of Studies

This year’s induction days for the incoming MILE and TRAIL+ students took place between 15 and 17 September.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, 11 students were able to attend the introduction on site in Bern, while the remaining 16 students joined the orientation sessions and the Opening Ceremony online. The new students come, as is usual for the WTI, from a diverse selection of countries: Albania, Angola, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uganda and Venezuela. They were officially welcomed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2021-22 WTI Advanced Master Programmes, which took place in the Silva Casa Auditorium on Wednesday, 15 September.  The MILE and TRAIL+ programmes are offered both on-site and online and students who started the programme online can continue their studies in Bern anytime.

Samuel Mokonen Abdeta from Ethiopia, Gabriela Garcia from Ecuador and Yi-Ju Chen from Taiwan are the recipients of this year’s Global Impact Association (GIA) scholarships. Samuel and Yi-Ju received the Penglai Scholarships funded by the Permanent Mission to the WTO of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, while Gabriela was awarded the Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca (PMM) Scholarship, which honours the legacy of the late Patricia Murillo Montesdeoca. You can read more about the GIA here.

Prof. Peter Van den Bossche, the WTI’s Director of Studies gave the opening remarks at the Opening Ceremony, where he welcomed and congratulated the incoming student batch on starting their academic journey at the WTI.

During the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, Prof. em. dr. Chang-fa Lo, Permanent Representative to the WTO of the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, delivered a keynote speech titled “From Addressing Trade Distortion to Correcting Environmental Distortion: The Fisheries Subsidies Negotiation as the Turning Point of the WTO’s Task”. Prof. Manfred Elsig, Deputy Managing Director of the WTI and President of the GIA, thanked Prof. em. Lo and briefly introduced the vision and aims of the GIA. 

The students will begin their course work on Monday, 20 September, which is also the official starting date of the Autumn Semester at the University of Bern. We wish them a very good and successful start!