New Berlin-Based Master's Degree Program in Austrian Economics
Hendrik Hagedorn and Stefan Kooths write:
New academic programs in Austrian Economics are not launched every day. Very often, the rigidities and oppositions in the academic system are just too strong. A notable exception, however, is now being implemented at the Business and Information Technology School (BiTS) in Berlin. Established in the year 2000 as Germany’s private “Entrepreneurial University”, the School launches the brand-new Master’s program “Entrepreneurial Economics and Management” (EEM) starting next year.
EEM is the first English-language Master’s program in Europe that combines Austrian Economics with Management Science. The program is open to all candidates holding a Bachelor’s degree and will commence in the summer term 2016. The duration is two years. While the focus is clearly on Austrian Economics, the curriculum offers courses in business science and soft-skills so as to prepare students for careers in the private sector. The underlying idea is that knowledge in Austrian Economics enables businessmen to better judge the environment they operate in, that it makes them independent in their thinking, and thus forms the free-minded entrepreneurial personality that is so much needed in many fields in the private sector, be it in strategy departments, or communication departments, or any of those other fields where critical thinking is an asset.
The program courses in Austrian Economics cover all major aspects of economic thinking both from a subject-oriented as well as a historical perspective. In addition, Mises’ Human Action is read and discussed in full, which creates an interface between these two perspectives. The result is a highly ambitious economics program that is designed to bring students to the frontier of Austrian research. And yet, the program does not only teach the Austrian view. All aspects covered in the coursework are generally approached from various angles. That is, in each single course the competing ideas are contrasted with the Austrian view. Neoclassicism, Marxism, Keynesianism, Behaviorism, etc., the students of this program do not only know these alternatives from hearsay, but are familiar with them, and thus have a double advantage: Through this approach they will better understand the originality of the Austrian School and they are better prepared for the discourse outside their alma mater. In the end of the day, we have to accept that there are not only Austrians out there.
In summary, the new Master’s program at the Berlin Campus of BiTS provides students with an education in Austrian Economics that is so ambitious that it can clearly lay the groundwork for an academic career. On the other hand, the program also provides skillsets valuable to those entering the private sector after their studies. It is thus an ideal combination for students who want to keep their opportunities open while being genuinely interested in a holistic understanding of society. In addition, the BiTS being located in the heart of Berlin at the heart of Europe offers a vibrant atmosphere, much entrepreneurial spirit, a brisk startup scene, and access to a large network of many likeminded researchers, policy makers and and businessmen. Further information about the program can be found here. The monthly study fee amounts to 899 €, which is approximately 1020 US$. The program is initiated by Dr. Hendrik Hagedorn, a former Mises Summer fellow, and Prof. Dr. Stefan Kooths, head of the Forecasting Center at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany’s most traditional economic research institute.