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IU Institute for European Studies receives EU grant to fund 'Centre of Excellence'

  • Aug. 25, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The European Commission has awarded the Institute for European Studies at the Indiana University School of Global and International Studies a three-year grant to support research, new course offerings and career-enhancing opportunities for students.

IU joins a select network of Jean Monnet Centres of Excellence established by the European Union at universities in the United States and abroad. It is the only U.S. university selected for a center this year.

The 99,384 euro grant (equal to more than $112,000 U.S.) will support workshops that bring experts and educators from both sides of the Atlantic to campus and to the IU Europe Gateway in Berlin. The grant will support the development of new courses that address issues at the top of the transatlantic agenda, including integrating refugees into European cultures and societies, cybersecurity and privacy, and economic inequality and innovation.

The grant also will enable the Institute for European Studies to expand its highly successful Midwest Model European Union, a three-day conference that brings students from universities across America to Bloomington, where they assume roles as representatives of the EU’s member states. 

“It is in the EU’s interest to get scholars and students from around the world to try to address and grapple with some of the problems confronting Europe and the EU today,” said Tim Hellwig, the institute's outgoing director and a professor of political science. “Today Europe is very much front and center when it comes to world problems. The European Union is under fire in a way that it has not been in since perhaps its 50-year existence.

“It’s going to add financial support for students studying the EU,” Hellwig added. 

“Over the next three years, the funds will allow us to expand the breadth and depth of our programming for faculty and especially students, to create new collaborations with other Monnet Centres and to bring more specialists of Europe to campus from within the United States and across the Atlantic,” said Brett Bowles, associate professor of French who took over as the institute's director Aug. 12.

Lee Feinstein, dean of the School of Global and International Studies and a former ambassador to Poland, an EU member state, noted the news' timing. “This grant recognizes the excellence of our faculty and its research on Europe, and could not come at a more important time as the EU faces unprecedented economic, security and societal challenges,” he said.

The Institute for European Studies promotes the advancement of knowledge through research and instruction and has 193 faculty affiliates representing 35 departments, schools and offices throughout IU. Its mission is to enhance the training of specialists who have a strong command of European languages and of Europe’s cultural heritage and complex political legacy, to increase public understanding of Europe and the extent of U.S.-European interdependence, and to serve as an institutional resource. It offers Master of Arts and Ph.D. minor degrees, undergraduate minors in European and European Union Studies as well as professional certificates.

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The grant also will enable the Institute for European Studies to expand its highly successful Midwest Model European Union, a three-day conference that brings students from universities across America to Bloomington, where they assume roles as representatives of the EU’s member states.

The grant also will enable the Institute for European Studies to expand its highly successful Midwest Model European Union, a three-day conference that brings students from universities across America to Bloomington, where they assume roles as representatives of the EU’s member states.

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