17.12.2020 — Press release 56/2020Press release 56/2020 | 17.12.2020

The Tiburtius prize

Two successes for the HWR Berlin in the Tiburtius Prize 2020

The Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen awarded first and third prize for the best final theses to graduates of the Master’s degree programme International Economics.

Residential buildings in the foreground, the crane of a construction site can be seen in the background. Photo: Sylke Schumann, HWR Berlin
Clementine Davies won the Tiburtius Prize from the Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen for a Master's thesis about the influence of the credit and capital markets on the Berlin rental accommodation market. Photo: Sylke Schumann, HWR Berlin

The situation on the Berlin rentals market is dramatic. An accommodation shortage, rental price inflation, displacement, protests and a rental cap all make up for a pressurized situation. In her Master's thesis “Financialisation and Rental Housing: a Case Study of Berlin” written to complete her Masters in International Economics, Clementine Davies investigated the impact of social change on the rental accommodation market in Berlin and the growing influence of the credit and capital market. The HWR student was awarded the first prize of 3,000 € for her thesis awarded by the Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen (LKRP).

Speaking of her reasons for submitting Ms Davies’ thesis for consideration, her supervisor Prof. Jennifer Pédussel Wu said “I entered Clementine Davies for the Tiburtius prize not just due to the very high quality of her thesis focussing on a topical issue, but because she was an excellent student. As a research assistant and tutor for microeconomics, she has set new standards”. Professor Pédussel Wu from the HWR Berlin was impressed with the personality and methodological strengths of her student and her well-argued and wide-ranging conclusions.

In her analysis of five large stock market listed rental companies active on the Berlin accommodation market, Davies succeeded in demonstrating their shareholder orientation and short-term profit orientation. The failure to match house building to growing demand for accommodation has resulted in higher rents and has had a disproportionate impact on low income households. Davis concluded that the shortage of affordable accommodation cannot be rectified in the short term and will result in long-term problems. The only possible solution to this state of affairs is investment in construction. The author also argued that the public sector not-for-profit sector must also be accorded a greater role in the provision of rental accommodation. Davies’ thesis will be published as a working paper by the Institute for International Political Economy (IPE) at the HWR Berlin and will be submitted to a specialist journal. Davies is currently teaching at the CIEE Global Institute in Berlin, a public not-for-profit organization active in international education and exchange.

The third prize for the best final thesis submitted at a Berlin university was awarded to a further HWR Berlin student. Sophie-Dorothee Rotermund’s Master’s thesis focussed on the German banking sector. With the title “Assessing Systematic Risk: an Analysis of the German Banking Sector”, it was also a product of the Master’s degree programme International Economics at the HWR Berlin and was supervised by Prof. Martina Metzger, Professor for Monetary Economics.

The Tiburtius prize

The prize was named after Professor Joachim Tiburtius, Senator for Education in Berlin between 1951 and 1963. The Landeskonferenz der Rektoren und Präsidenten der Berliner Hochschulen (LKRP) awards the Tiburtius Prize for excellent final theses written by a student enrolled in a university in Berlin for a Master’s or doctoral degree on an annual basis. The prize was awarded for three Master’s theses and six doctoral dissertations in 2020.

Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (HWR) Berlin
Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (HWR) Berlin, with its 11,000 students, is one of the largest universities of applied sciences. It has a strong practical and international orientation, undertakes intensive and diverse research and maintains high quality standards. Its degree programme portfolio comprises Business, Administration, Law and Security Management as well as Engineering in 60 degree programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and MBA levels. HWR Berlin is the largest provider of cooperative study programmes and cooperates with over 700 companies. It promotes knowledge and technology transfer and supports start-up activities through Startup Incubator Berlin. The university maintains 170 active partnerships with universities on all continents and is a member of “UAS7 – Alliance for Excellence”. HWR Berlin is a leader in the internationalization of business administration degree programmes, occupying top positions in Germany-wide rankings compiled by the CHE, the Centre for Higher Education. A country-wide survey run by DEUTSCHLAND TEST repeatedly confirmed the university as a “TOP Business School” for its advanced training. HWR Berlin supports the initiative of the German Rectors’ conference: “Cosmopolitan Universities - Against Xenophobia".