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The Joys and Anguishes of Developing International Teaching Programmes Some reflections on SEE experiences in the field of European Studies Reinhard Meyers, WWU Münster Contents International teaching programs: some organisational patterns

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The joys and anguishes of developing international teaching programmes l.jpg

The Joys and Anguishes of DevelopingInternational Teaching Programmes

Some reflections on SEE experiences in the field of European Studies

Reinhard Meyers, WWU Münster


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Contents

  • International teaching programs: some organisational patterns

  • International teaching programs: the Subotica Process and curriculum development

  • The joys and anguishes of developing international teaching programs

  • Considered facit


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This PPT file can be downloaded from our Website

www.uni-muenster.de/Politikwissenschaft/

Doppeldiplom/aktuelles.html

  • There you can also find further material referring to our international double diploma courses


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (1)

  • Since the mid-1990s, the Dept. of Politics of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster is involved in developing international cooperative study programs in the Field of European Studies taking the particular form of Double Diploma Courses

    one joint international course structure + two national diplomas for a common bi-national/multi-national student body


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (2)

  • Programs at present exist

  • between Münster and the IEP Lille/F (Double Diploma)

  • between Münster and the Faculty of European Studies of Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca/RO (Double Diploma)

  • between Münster and the University of Twente in Enschede/NL (Double B.A. in Public Administration & Double M.A./M.Sc. in European Studies)


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (3)

  • The duration of the program

  • with Lille at first four years, now five

  • with Cluj-Napoca (still) four years

  • with Enschede three years for the B.A. and another year for the Master course

    N.B. The programs with Lille and Cluj are in the process of changing into a Bologna-type structure (3+2); however, the Dept. is experiencing severe cuts in its teaching staff establishment and may have to give up the cooperation with Cluj in the medium term


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (4)

  • Lille languages: French & German

    Students start their first year as a cohort in Lille after passing a binational entrance exam; they move to Münster as a cohort in their second year where they pass the Vordiplom; they then move again as a cohort to Lille in their third year where they pass the Grand Oral in front of a binational exam board; they then move back to Münster as a cohort in their fourth year where they write and defend their diploma thesis in front of a binational exam board; they then can either stay in Münster for their fifth year, or move back to Lille, or take part in the MA course run jointly with Enschede; the IEP diploma is awarded jointly with the German one at the end of the fifth year


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (5)

  • b) Cluj-Napoca languages German & English

    Students follow a common set of courses in their home institution during their first two years; they then change as a cohort to the host institution for another two years, at the end of which they write a German Diplomarbeit and defend this in front of a binational exam board. They are then awarded a German diploma and after some supplementary examinations in Cluj also a Romanian Licence


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International teaching programs: some organisational patterns (5)

c) Enschedelanguages Dutch/German & English

B.A. students pass the first two years in their respective home institution; common third year courses in English are offered for both German & Dutch students in Münster & Enschede; staff and students ideally travel a lot between these two cities. The Dutch require a B.A.thesis in English; the German side relies on continuous assessment of course work. Students acquire a German and a Dutch B.A. in Public Administration.

M.A. students pass a common series of English language courses taught both in Enschede and Münster by bi-national staff; they write and defend an English language Master thesis in front of a binational exam board; staff and students travel a lot between Münster and Enschede


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Useful further information: patterns (5)

cf. our double diploma website:

  • www.uni-muenster.de/Politikwissenschaft/Doppeldiplom

    or send your questions via email to:

  • [email protected]


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The Subotica Process and curriculum development patterns (5)

  • It is against the background described that, with the support of the Stability Pact & the German Rectors‘ Conference, a dedicated band of academics from Serbia, Romania, Great Britain, and Germany met in Subotica from November 2001 onwards, much inspired by the then Rector of the University of Novi Sad, Prof.Fuada Stankovic, and aided and abetted by the Dean of the Subotica Faculty of Economics, Prof. Stevan Vasiljev, in order to develop a …

    2-year Master Course in European Studies…


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The Subotica Process and curriculum development (2) patterns (5)

  • The original idea was to form a project consortium consisting of

the University of Novi Sad,

represented by the Faculty of Economics in Subotica

the University of Cluj-Napoca

the University of Timisoara

the University of Münster

the Nottingham Trent University

the Zentrum fuer Europäische Integrationsforschung at the University of Bonn


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The Subotica Process and curriculum development (3) patterns (5)

This consortium should address itself to the following tasks:

  • To enhance university cooperation in the field of study and research in European Studies, in correspondence with the Bologna process of establishing a common European Higher Education Area with a special focus on European Integration

  • To develop common curricula for European postgraduate studies that should be undertaken by the University of Novi Sad, in particular by its Faculty of Economics at Subotica, with the support of the above – mentioned universities

  • To establish a network for the permanent exchange of information in all relevant spheres of teaching and research related to European Studies, which would be coordinated, in the first instance, by the Faculty of Economics of the University of Novi Sad in Subotica


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The Subotica Process and curriculum development (4) patterns (5)

The novel idea of the enterprise would have been a border-crossing triangular cooperation between Serbian, Romanian, and Hungarian universities, supported by the Western European part of the consortium with advice, teaching materials, and exchange of staff.

The second novel idea of the enterprise would have been an opportunity for the students to spend their first year at the home institution and to chose any of the consortium partners for spending their second year.


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However… patterns (5)

  • the Hungarians decided that they were as yet too weak for the exercise

  • the Romanians discovered they had to travel from Timisoara to Subotica via Bucuresti & Belgrade

  • the Dutch Government decided in 2004 that they would charge non-EU students € 8.500 a year in study fees

  • Nottingham Trent got a new VC who was only interested in the amount foreign students could pay towards the running of HIS university….


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So what we finally got was… patterns (5)

  • a two-year English language Master course in European Studies run by the University of Novi Sad

  • in the teaching of which the Faculty of European Studies of Cluj-Napoca cooperates

  • supported by Professors Mike O‘Neill and R.Meyers on a more personal basis from abroad

    and, not to forget

  • a series of European Studies Summer Schools starting in Novi Sad from 2003 onwards with the intention to provide a crash course on European Integration, thereby preparing participants for entry to the Master Course


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The curriculum is as follows: patterns (5)

  • To obtain the MA diploma in European Studies (120 ECTS credits), the student should complete courses in four obligatory modules, one one-semester foreign language course as well as five elective courses (4 if they have previously earned credits in the Summer School of European Studies). Total number of credits for all completed courses should be 90.

  • Master’s thesis:The student can submit his/her Master’s thesis after he/she has earned at least 52 credits and with GPA  (grade point average) of minimum 8.00. Master’s thesis defended successfully is worth 30 credits.


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Finance… patterns (5)

…was coming forward for the project in 2001 – 2004

a) from the Stability Pact via the German Rectors‘ Conference

b) from the Central European Initiative mainly for the summer schools

c) from the University Budgets of Novi Sad and Münster to a limited extent to cover administrative costs and the cost of preparing summer school teaching blocks

d) from my third source funds bonus in order to pay summer school student assistants.

The sources under a) and c) have meanwhile dried up…


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Further information: patterns (5)

  • http://www.caesar.ns.ac.yu/eng/

  • Useful email adresses:

  • [email protected]

  • [email protected]

  • [email protected]


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One last word of warning: patterns (5)

  • In the academic year 2006/2007, students who started the postgraduate European Studies Across Borders in English the previous year, organized at the Centre for European Studies and Research (CAESAR) will continue their secod year. After finishing the third semester, they can choose between writing their thesis (magister of science) or switching to the PhD programme and finishing it with a PhD thesis.Due to educational reforms in Serbia conducted in compliance with the Bologna process and the new Law on Higher Education from 2005, the traditional postgraduate studies after which a traditional master's title (magister of science) is awarded, are being revoked. Instead of this, three year PhD studies are going to start in 2007/2008. Students who received both Bachelor's degree (after three or four years of studies) and Master's degree (after one or two years of studies) will be eligible for this programme.Those students who have completed their studies according to the old system of studying (four years), cannot enroll in PhD studies directly. They will have to complete master's studies and be awarded a master's diploma.Thus, the Expert Council for CAESAR, having the approval of the Teaching and Research Council of the University of Novi Sad, has decided to start with one-year master's studies in the academic year 2006/07.


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Will this be the future… ?? patterns (5)

We started on a rather grandiose scale, trying to con-struct a triangular European Studies across Borders Master course depending on a lot of staff mobility and cooperative compromises between different regional university systems…

We opened after a lot of organisational hassle in October 2005 with a two-year English language Master course in Novi Sad on a more limited regional basis: students came from Serbia, Montenegro, Moldavia; Novi Sad staff was supported by professors from Romania, Germany, and Great Britain…

We now look forward – mainly due to recent Serbian legislation – to a one-year Master in European Studies in Serbian AND PERHAPS another English-language Master course from 2007/2008 onwards…


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Provisional patterns (5)facit…

The project is a good example for the grinding down of a great idea on the stones of

  • limited administrative imagination underestimating the social and political potential of well preparing students for a role in a potential EU member state

  • limited, if not receding financial & personnel ressources dedicated to Higher Education in (Western ??) Europe in general and the support of SEE programs in particular

  • the commercialisation of Higher Education with the concomitant change in Departmental attitudes – from „Where can we help“ to „What will this bring – in costs and in gains – for the Department and/or the University ?“


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The joys and anguishes of developing international teaching programs : The Joys

  • Persons to choose as your allies

  • Students: They see in the new program

  • a chance to broaden their horizon,

  • gain new insights in and perspectives on the outside world,

  • to travel and to learn languages

  • and in toto to considerably increase their prospects on the employment market


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The joys and anguishes of developing international teaching programs : The Joys (2)

  • Colleagues:

  • Some participate in the new program

  • because it offers them a chance to escape from Departmental routine

  • because they like to practice their hand in academic innovations

  • because they are interested in improving their department’s standing in the university as a forward looking or enterprising institution reacting to the demands and requirements of the employment market

  • or simply because they like to wine and dine well in the convivial company of their foreign colleagues …


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The joys and anguishes of developing international teaching programs : The Joys (3)

  • Deans:

  • The less said, the better – or: the new program gets on best, if you are, at the moment of its formulation and development, the responsible Dean yourself…

  • Rectors:

  • Rectors can be immensely helpful

  • if they have a far-sighted strategic view of their University’s future development

  • and if they stress the importance of international contacts for

    • the advancement of learning

    • the international exchange of ideas and innovations in research and teaching

    • and the adequate positioning of their institution in a com-petitive academic education market based on employment-relevant instruction packages


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… The Anguishes programs :

  • Persons to beware of:

  • Colleagues:

  • 1) Is this really necessary that M. travels abroad again ??

  • [Why did not I have the idea for this project anyway ?]

  • 2) If we let ourselves in on this new Master course – will it

  • not increase my examination load and formalise my

  • teaching plans [ to the extent that I cannot ride my personal

  • hobby horses any longer but will have to abide at least

  • partly by what the syllabus and the examination regulations

  • demand... ] ?

  • 3) Horror of horrors: would the program demand from me

  • that I go abroad myself to take a bunch of students to A,B

  • or C for a week ?


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… the Anguishes (2) programs :

  • Deans:

  • 1) cf. 1) above under Colleagues

  • 2) Will the new program put the Politics Dept. in the limelight again proving that the rest of the Faculty is an assembly of snoring sleeping beauties ?

  • 3) Will the new program make financial or personnel demands on the Faculty resources, and, if so, how can we shove these back to the Politics Dept. without appearing too conservative or tight-fisted ?

  • 4) Will the new program turn into a hotbed of elite production [in technical terminology: a center of excellence] to which we have to object as staunch defenders of the 1968 generation of values seeing mankind’s greatest happiness in the levelling of intellectual promise and diversity to a common level of mediocrity ?


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… the Anguishes (3) programs :

  • Rectors:

  • 1) cf. 3) under Deans – writ large

  • 2) How can we profit – as an institution – from the additional (public, ministerial, employers’) acclaim the new program will bring to this university without having to commit us financially over the medium or even long term ?

  • 3) Will the new program not give rise to a brain drain effect by which we are going to loose the best and brightest of our students to the West instead of getting them back, after graduation abroad, as well-trained (and underpaid) teaching assistants ?


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… the Anguishes (4) programs :

  • The Man from the Ministry:

  • 1) What is a double diploma anyway ?? There is no provision for this in the University Law !

  • 2) We give you all our moral support and best wishes for your project – but we’ve just reduced the budget title for international cooperation, and you won’t get a single penny from us in material assistance !

  • 3) We have just hit on two brilliant obstacles to staff and student mobility: an ordinance demanding that staff is present in the Dept. and distributes the teaching load over four days a week – and the modularization of teaching packages meaning that students can no longer go abroad for just one semester…


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…the Anguishes (5) programs :

  • The Man from the European Commission:

  • 1) Serbia is not yet an EU member state and has not yet got Erasmus Agreement status. We are sorry, but we cannot support Curriculum Development Projects with that Country !

  • 2) A 45 page application form for Erasmus Curriculum Development projects [ not to be passed around !! ] … followed by a somewhat opaque decision-making process…


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Considered programs : facit

  • The fate of international teaching programs depends on and thrives with the willingness and ability of individuals

  • to engage themselves in their formulation and execution well beyond the normal call of duty

  • to run the risk and danger of self-exploitation by working hours far beyond the limits of the official working week

  • to find like-minded colleagues and colla-borators abroad who all pull at the same end of the rope.


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Considered programs : facit (2)

  • Contrary to integration theory, where Liberal Institutionalism stresses the importance of norms, rules, and values embedded in an organisational framework for integration under the motto of “Institutions matter”, my considered opinion after nearly two decennia in the field of international program making is that

    individuals matter

    or

    individual will and determination in the organisation of international teaching programs is not everything, but without individual will and determination everything is nothing !



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