High Studies for Security and Defence
A training course organised by the Royal Higher Institute for Defence
with the support of the Royal Institute for International Relations – Egmont
A high-level multidisciplinary course in security and defence matters:
- 10 monthly residential seminars of two days, each focussing on a specific issue;
- 10 visits to Belgian institutions active in the field of security and defence.
30 Belgian participants (auditors):
- 12 senior officers or civilians employed by Belgian Defence;
- 18 senior managers or officials whose professional activity has an explicit link with security or defence, working for different public services or international institutions, in civil society, with an economic, industrial, political or academic background, etc.
Since the late 20th century, the need for a multidisciplinary approach in security and defence matters has been increasingly felt in the face of various crises breaking out in many places around the world.
An efficient but, more importantly, responsible management of security and defence starts with a good understanding of the existing phenomena, just as an accurate multidisciplinary analysis can prevent subjective, corporative or individual feelings to get the upper hand over reason: these are the objectives and challenges that the Auditors of the High Studies for Security and Defence (HSSD) will have to meet.
The HSSD are intended for senior officers or civilians employed by Belgian Defence, as well as senior managers or civilian officials whose professional activity has an explicit link with security or defence, working for different public services or international institutions, in civil society, with an economic, industrial, political or academic background, etc. The selection of candidates is a prerogative of the Minister of Defence, which decides on a proposal from the HSSD’s steering committe for candidates outside Defence, or from the Chief of Defence for candidates from Defence. All participants should have the Belgian nationality.
The HSSD are organised from September to June in 10 two-day residential seminars, each devoted to a specific issue. During these monthly seminars, participating members first attend conferences given by renowned professors or academic, political or diplomatic experts in charge of issues related to the seminar’s theme. Those lectures are followed by a debate with the speaker. Participants then form discussion groups where they share their personal experiences and views, enabling them to get a more comprehensive insight into the broached issues. During the cared meals, shared in a reserved dining room, the Auditors can exchange on the addressed issues, but can also and principally get to know each other and create real professional and friendly relations that will be very useful for their future career.
Ten visits to institutions active in the sector of security and defence in Belgium complete the HSSD, for example the Parliament, the Defence General Staff, the Federal Police, NATO, the EU and a selection of private companies.
Year after year in their feedback, the participants are unanimous in thinking that this formula is of great interest. The knowledge they gain from the workshops makes them even more effective in their tasks, thanks to the links they forged with each other, to the knowledge they exchanged as well as to the academic training they received.