Graduation Ceremony of IACA Master’s Programmes Students

IACA proudly celebrated the graduation of both of IACA’s Master programmes: the International Master in Anti-Corruption Compliance and Collective Action (IMACC), and IACA’s Master of Anti-Corruption Studies (MACS), in a festive ceremony at its Laxenburg campus on Friday last week.

The ceremony took place just ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day, when the Academy joins the international community in commemorating the passage of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), a vital instrument in raising public awareness for anti-corruption.

The graduation of the masters’ classes is always a special and proud time for IACA, but this year holds a special significance as the IMACC class is the very first group to graduate from this new programme.

The new graduates come from 22 countries/jurisdictions around the world: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Brazil, China, India, Kosovo, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Togo, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Zambia. Their professional backgrounds are equally diverse; they work in government ministries, anti-corruption commissions, international organizations, private companies, law enforcement bodies, and NGOs.

Graduation 2019 2IACA’s Officer-in-Charge, Ms. Christiane Pohn-Hufnagl, strongly encouraged graduates to engage with IACA’s alumni network of anti-corruption and compliance professionals in more than 160 countries/jurisdictions. She also expressed her gratitude for the generosity of the Austrian Development Agency and the Siemens Integrity Initiative for having provided scholarships that enabled students, particularly those from Least Developed Countries, to join the IMACC and MACS programmes.

The guest of honour at the ceremony was Dr. Wolfgang Peschorn, Federal Minister of Interior of Austria. In his speech he emphasized that the effective fight against corruption will facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, he particularly stressed that in line with Goal 16, strong institutions are instrumental in countering corruption and bribery in all their forms.

In their addresses, Prof. Hans-Heiner Kuehne, the Chairperson of the IACA International Academic Advisory Board, and Mr. Michael Hershman, co-founder of Transparency International and Chair of IACA’s International Senior Advisory Board stressed the vital importance of IACA in preparing professionals for the challenges of the fight against the scourge of corruption; professionals who truly understand the damage corruption causes to societies around the world. This is why they called on all the relevant stakeholders in the global anti-corruption community to support IACA in delivering its crucial mandate.

The event was also addressed by Ms. Atuweni Juwayeyi-Agbermodji, elected as the IMACC student speaker, and Mr. Bernardo Sebastian Damm Diaz, speaking on behalf of the MACS graduates.

Professor Peter Rosner of the University of Vienna, Chairperson of the Academic Defence Committee, and Mr. Pawan Kumar Sinha, Director of Academic Programmes at IACA strongly praised the range and high quality of the graduates’ work, including their master’s theses, and commended their commitment to the fight against corruption.

Ms. Atuweni Juwayeyi-Agbermodji from Malawi won the award for the best IMACC master’s thesis with her work "Corporate Liability for Corruption in Malawi: The Policy Legal and Regulatory Issues". The most innovative final project in the IMACC programme award went to Ms. Jiayan Peng of China for her study "A Sustainable Approach to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Compliance Program in a Multinational Company in the Manufacturing Industry".

Graduation 2019 3For the MACS programme, the best master’s thesis award went to Mr. Musa Modoi from Uganda for his work "An Examination of Key Determinants for Effective Recovery of Corruptly Acquired Assets in Uganda". Ms. Lannie Su from USA won the award for the most innovative master’s thesis with her work "Under the Umbrella: Youth and Anti-Corruption in Hong Kong".

The ceremony and reception that followed were joined by the families and friends of the graduates, representatives of the diplomatic community, the faculty, and IACA staff.

The MACS was launched in 2012 as the world’s first postgraduate programme in anti-corruption and compliance. It consists of seven modules, combining in-class and distance learning, and a master’s thesis. The MACS 2017-2019 class had the in-class parts of its final two modules in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, and in Tbilisi, hosted by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

The first IMACC class was launched in 2017, and it consists of six modules, combining in-class and distance learning, and a master’s thesis or a final project. This class had attended the in-class component of one module in Switzerland, hosted by the Basel Institute on Governance.

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