Hertie Now and in the Future - Benchmarking Report 2014



Hertie Now and in the Future assesses the Hertie School’s current academic, professional and external offerings and outlines a vision of where students want to see the School by 2024.

The report is based on information gathered through online research, a benchmarking questionnaire, and other survey and anecdotal input from current students and alumni. It compares the Hertie School with eight leading policy schools from around the world.

The report first assesses the Hertie School now in comparison to the academic, professional and external engagement offerings of other public policy schools.




Download the full report here.

Executive Summary

May 2014

Key findings on academic offerings include:

  • The Hertie School’s range of programmes is on a par with other schools', and the MIA will improve on that. The Hertie School does, however, lack some key course offerings seen at other schools.
  • Class sizes of 20-25 at Hertie are larger than 5 of the 7 policy schools for which data was available
  • 39% of Hertie students find a full courseload alongside the thesis detrimental to work quality/health, while 37 % find the workload manageable. 7% found the concomitant courses useful to writing their theses.
  • Hertie students would like to see better and more consistent thesis supervision as well as more flexibility in submission timetable.
  • Online access to journals at the Hertie School compares unfavourably with other schools and the library itself is open many fewer hours.

The Blavatnik School and SIPA represent best practices in academic offerings.


Key findings on professional offerings include:

  • The Hertie School alone teaches software and social media-skills but lacks critical skill offerings in leadership, people management and social intelligence applications.
  • Students want more focus on networking, innovation and team management skills.
  • 50% of students find that the career services at Hertie fail to meet their expectations.
  • Students' professional interests vary widely, but have a strong international focus.
  • Hertie lacks an online archive of documentary and audio-visual careers advice and sector-specific networking events.

Blavatnik School represents best practice in professional offerings.


Key findings on external engagement include:

  • Hertie holds 1-2 major public events per month, considerably fewer than best practice schools, such as the Kennedy School.
  • Hertie blogs only sporadically, while other schools blog weekly or even daily.
  • Hertie’s Twitter activity is low in comparison to other schools, which use their feeds to advertise events, the school and its programmes, and to promote faculty and student research, as well as public debate.

The Kennedy School represents best practice for external engagement.


The second section of the report designs a vision for the School in 2024, based on the findings and lessons learned from the benchmarking survey, HSA member input, and views expressed at the All School Meeting. It finds that Hertie must strive to be a high quality and high impact public policy professional school. This means the Hertie School must be able to characterise itself as a school that takes students seriously as players in the policy world, offers holistic and individually tailored education, and adopts a mentality of public service.

Better engaging with the political and entrepreneurial culture of Berlin is a key aspect of heightening the School’s impact. Improvements include better supporting student-driven policy start-ups, and using external engagement to establish Hertie as the home for "public intellectual" commentary in Berlin. Hertie's global outlook and outreach should also be deepened, through events and by blogging and tweeting more frequently.

Higher quality at Hertie can be achieved first and foremeost by smaller class sizes. Individualised attention including through academic advisors establishing a relationship with student advisees from week zero is also key. More and better focussed networking events, library and language classes will also be crucial to producing quality policy professionals and the best public policy research in Europe.


By its twentieth anniversary, Hertie should be a very important and fully entrenched player in the global policy world. Compared to now, it will be:

  • New (or expanded) building. Shared workspace. The venue for political events.
  • Well Known throughout Europe.
  • Holistic and individually-tailored education.
  • A community of extraordinary, rounded policy professionals