College of Europe

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Group.png College of Europe  
(UniversityHistory Commons WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
HeadquartersBruges, Belgium
TypePostgraduate institute

The College of Europe (French: Collège d'Europe) is a postgraduate institute of European studies with its main campus in Bruges, Belgium and a smaller campus in Warsaw, Poland. The College of Europe in Bruges was founded in 1949, by leading historical European figures and founding fathers of the European Union, including Salvador de Madariaga, Winston Churchill, Paul-Henri Spaak and Alcide De Gasperi, to promote "a spirit of solidarity and mutual understanding between all the nations of Western Europe and to provide elite training to individuals who will uphold these values".

The College of Europe is historically linked to the establishment of the European Union and its predecessors, and to the creation of the European Movement, of which the college is a supporting member. Given the era in which it was founded (beginning of the Cold War), the founders connections (all at the time being closely aligned with US interests) and the connection to the CIA-funded European Movement, it is likely that this college secretly was a US effort.

Students are usually selected in cooperation with their countries' ministries of foreign affairs, and admission is highly competitive. The academic year is opened by a leading European politician. The College of Europe shares several traditions with the École nationale d'administration (ENA) of France, but has a more European focus.

According to The Times, the "College of Europe, in the medieval Belgian city of Bruges, is to the European political elite what the Harvard Business School is to American corporate life. It is a hothouse where the ambitious and talented go to make contacts".[1] The Economist describes it as "an elite finishing school for aspiring Eurocrats"[2]

The second campus in Natolin (Warsaw), Poland was opened in 1992.

Courses

Annual intakes are highly selective and student selection takes place in the Spring, usually in association with the foreign affairs ministries of their respective countries of origin. The offered academic programmes typically require a university degree in economics, law, political science or international relations plus advanced knowledge of the working languages of the college.

The one-year programme lasts from September until the end of June and is taught in English and French. It includes lectures, research seminars, workshops and meetings with external specialists and various language courses. To be awarded the degree, students must take oral and written examinations at the end of each semester, and submit a 15 ECTS master's thesis in English or French. The thesis gives students the opportunity to undertake individual research, conducted primarily in the second semester, under the supervision of a faculty member. The programmes are enriched by study trips to the European institutions and, for students at Natolin (Warsaw), also to neighbouring countries. Due to the college's extensive network of contacts, students have the opportunity to meet and discuss with policy-makers, practitioners and representatives of the business community throughout their year at the college.

From 1949 to the 1990s, students in Bruges enrolled in three programmes:

   European Economic Studies (i.e., studies of international economics with an emphasis on the EU)
   European Legal Studies (i.e., studies of European law)
   European Political and Governance Studies (i.e., studies of political science and public administration focusing on the EU)

In recent years, other programmes have been created:

   European International Relations and Diplomacy Studies

At Natolin (Warsaw) campus, the study programme European Interdisciplinary Studies offers four majors: EU Public Affairs and Policies, The EU in the World, The EU and its Neighbours and European History and Civilisation.

Degrees

Degrees

The College of Europe in Bruges traditionally awards three degrees, one in European Economic Studies, one in European Legal Studies and one in Political and Governance Studies. Since the 1990s the college has also established some new degrees.

The current degrees awarded by the College of Europe in Bruges are:

   Master of Arts in European Economic Studies (MEES)
   Master of Arts in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies
   Master in European Legal Studies (LLM)
   Master of Arts in European Political and Governance Studies
   Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (MATA)

The College of Europe in Natolin awards the degree of Master of Arts in European Interdisciplinary Studies.

Currently, the master's degree requires a 15 ECTS master's thesis in English or French, while the rest of the academic year consists of courses and lectures.

The Master of Arts in Transatlantic Affairs (MATA) programme was inaugurated in 2017. It is the first-ever two-year programme of studies at the College of Europe. Offered together with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University, Medford, MA, USA), the programme leads to a joint diploma. Students spend one year at each institution, and can start the programme on either side of the Atlantic. They can choose to follow one of five study tracks (Economic Studies (Bruges); International Relations and Diplomacy (Bruges); Interdisciplinary Studies (Natolin); Legal Studies (Bruges); Political and Governance Studies (Bruges)). The first year of studies is entirely dedicated to coursework, including multidisciplinary courses on transatlantic affairs. During their second year, students in the MATA programme do a high-level internship as well as one semester of coursework culminating in the submission of a master's thesis.


 

Alumni on Wikispooks

PersonBornDiedNationalitySummaryDescription
Nick Clegg7 January 1967Politician
Luc Coene11 March 19475 January 2017BelgiumEconomist
Central banker
Belgian central banker
Louise Fréchette16 July 1946CanadaPolitician
Frans Alphons Maria Alting von Geusau26 June 1933NetherlandsDiplomat
Academic
Stephen Kinnock1 January 1970Married to the former Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Luis Garicano1967SpainAcademic
Economist
Valerie Plame13 August 1963USSpook
Alexander Stubb1 April 1968FinlandPolitician
Helle Thorning-Schmidt14 December 1966Wife of Labour MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock


References


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