Pol/IR Researchers Success in EU Erasmus+ Funding!

The Politics and International Relations team at Canterbury Christ Church University has been successful in its bid for three prestigious Jean Monnet funding grants which together will enhance our teaching and learning of the European Union.

The funding is part of the EU’s long-established Lifelong Learning Programme, now known as ‘Erasmus Plus’, Jean Monnet activities that are designed to stimulate excellence in teaching, research, reflection and debate in any aspect of European integration studies in higher education institutions around the world. Jean Monnet funding is awarded to academics who display excellence in both teaching and research, and whose institutions support cutting-edge EU studies within their pedagogic offerings.

Most prestigious of all is the awarding of a Jean Monnet Chair, to Dr (soon to be Professor!) Amelia Hadfield, Senior Lecturer (Jean Monnet Professor) in Politics and International Relations. Entitled Canterbury Pilgrims: The Journey to European Integration, the Chair’s role is designed to offer a wide range of teaching and learning activities, from engaging with policy-makers, to local and national civil society, as well as Canterbury-based high school students.

A multiple winner of Jean Monnet funding, Dr Hadfield said: “The Canterbury Pilgrims activities established here at Christ Church represents a structured set of offerings. Students and staff can expect to benefit from two third-year modules in EU foreign affairs, webinars, master classes and workshops on EU public and foreign policy. Taken together, these activities are designed to dispel persistent misrepresentation and bias about the EU, instil a renewed understanding of EU integration, and highlight the significance and challenges of EU membership to our students, and to a wider British audience.

“Beginning this September, the Canterbury Pilgrims activities will run for three years, helping to make prominent the high-quality teaching and learning on offer here at CCCU’s School of Politics and IR, on a wide range of local, European and international issues.

“The rationale of the Canterbury Pilgrims project is simply to draw on the traditional role of Canterbury as an historic ‘centre of illumination’ for students, staff and society by promoting a clearer understanding of relations between the UK and Europe.”

The additional two EU grants won by the team introduce two distinct Jean Monnet Modules to the new BSc in European Politics, as well as complementing existing offerings in current Politics and International Relations degrees.

Here is a clip of Drs Hadfield and Lieberman explaining what the funding award means!

Dr Sarah Lieberman and Dr John FitzGibbon, both Politics and IR Senior Lecturers, will be unrolling first and second year courses on the history and political economy of the EU, respectively, from September 2014, providing an engaging and in-depth introduction into the political and economic foundations of Europe.

Now present in more than 70 countries throughout the world, Jean Monnet activities (including Modules, Chairs, Centres of Excellence) operate as part of the curricula in more than 800 universities. Internationally respected as a brand of excellence in EU studies teaching, Jean Monnet activities remain a much sought-after aspect of EU funding, which collectively brings together a network of more than 1,700 academics reaching 265,000 students every year.

What this means for students is extra resources to facilitate a true hands on learning experience for their EU modules with site visits to EU institutions, access to the latest online learning technologies and external validation that the teaching methods and material they are working with is of the highest international standards.

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