Centre for European Studies

The launch will take place at the Department of International Politics.

The launch will take place at the Department of International Politics.

17 February 2011

Creating leaders for Europe’s future through world-class learning

Today, 17th February, the University celebrates the re-launch of the Centre for European Studies (CES) as a cross-departmental, multi-disciplinary research-based teaching centre. The Centre’s vision is to be a world leader in the study and teaching of further European integration, and Europe’s relations with the outside world.

Originally founded in 1996, the CES became a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in 2000 after receiving official recognition by the European Union. At the time, the Jean Monnet Centre was the only such Centre in Wales, and one of a select few in the UK. In 2010 it was decided to re-launch the Centre with a vision of ‘creating leaders for Europe’s future through world-class learning’.

Dr Elena Korosteleva, Senior Lecturer in European Politics and Director of the Centre said, “The CES’s mission is to develop excellence, through innovative teaching, research and continuing professional development in all areas with a European focus.”

“Much of the research expertise at Aberystwyth University focuses on the fringes of Europe, including the EU’s relations with global powers (e.g. India, Turkey, Russia, USA) and the European Neighbourhood (Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, all of which have been very much in the news, and Eastern Europe). The CES will endeavour to weave all these research interests together, to expand our understanding of the EU as a global power’’.

The Centre will offer key-lectures, organise events, debates and visits for students, staff and the general public. Aberystwyth University prides itself on the teaching excellence and many Fellows of the Centre are already either institutionally or nationally recognised for their teaching expertise.

The launch event takes place today, 17 February 2011 at 11.00 in the Main Hall of the International Politics Building. The Centre will be officially launched by Lord Robin Teverson, Chairman of the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs and former Member of the European Parliament; and the Vice Chancellor Professor Noel Lloyd. Lord Teverson will then give a keynote address on the theme, ‘A Confident Europe in a Complex World’. The event, which is open to the public, will also explain the strategic goals of the Centre.

Professor Martin Jones, Pro Vice Chancellor responsible for learning and teaching said, “The Centre for European Studies clearly demonstrates the University’s mission to continue to be an internationally competitive teaching and research University and will provide students with learning opportunities of the highest quality by offering a distinctive environment for study. The Centre will ensure the University continues to produce high quality research and continuing professional development opportunities for all. I wish the staff and students involved every success with their endeavors. This shows exceptional initiative."

The Centre’s strategic aims will be to develop teaching capacity for undergraduate student understanding of the European Union; as well as offering progression pathways for postgraduate study or careers in European institutions, international organisations and multi-national businesses. Furthermore, the Centre will prepare postgraduate students for doctoral training or raise their employability profiles for high-level professional careers in Europe.

The CES’s activities will include a strong ‘student voice’, with both undergraduate and postgraduate students being involved with staff colleagues in the running of the Centre. The Centre will run a series of events each year including lectures, keynote addresses, seminars, European workshops, debates, trips and internships. Igor Merheim-Eyre, a second year student in European Politics said, “Growing up in the Slovakia of the 1990s, when the East had "returned" to Europe, I have become aware of our shared European history - from Galway to the Urals. I really look forward to getting involved with the Centre – we already have a Facebook following and I can’t wait for the events that are planned for the rest of this year.”

Athina Gkouti, PhD student and Administrator for the Centre is equally thrilled. “As a political scientist I am studying the relationship between the European Union, and Turkey – an EU candidate country. The research expertise we have at Aberystwyth University and within the Centre give us a unique insight into where Europe may go in the future.”

Dr Sangeeta Khorana, Lecturer in Finance and Deputy Director of the Centre noted, “Enactive learning is at the heart of our activities – already we have organised a visit from one of our Welsh MEPs, a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in June and  internship opportunities for students with the European Union in Brussels.

In these times of economic uncertainty, students with transferable skills will have the edge in the competitive employment market. Students involved with the Centre will able to gain a greater range of experience, which may be the deciding factor for an employer when recruiting new staff.”

Participating in the CES is a choice for anyone at Aberystwyth University who wishes to expand their knowledge on Europe. It is open to anyone affiliated to Aberystwyth University who is interested in enhancing their professional qualifications and expanding their knowledge and experience of all issues European in a supportive and encouraging educational environment.