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The Europaeum
Formation 1992
  • 99 Banbury Road, OX2 6JX, Oxford, United Kingdom
Dr Paul Flather
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein

The Europaeum is an organisation of ten leading European universities. It was conceived of in 1990–1991 by Lord Weidenfeld and Sir Ronnie Grierson to support the ‘advancement of education through the encouragement of European studies in the University of Oxford and other European institutions of higher education having links with Oxford’; for ‘the movement of academic staff and students between these institutions’; and for ‘the study of the languages, history, cultures and professions of the people of Europe’. Europaeum programmes include research projects, annual conferences and graduate summer schools, lectures, joint teaching programmes, public debates, staff mobility schemes, linked scholarship schemes, and a developing knowledge platform.


The development of the Europaeum can be split into various phases: a successful launch period; a key development period; a phase of innovation; Eastward extension; and a phase of renewal.

Phase I: Launch 1992-1996

The mood of the times, including moves towards integration in Western Europe and the re-emergence of Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of Communism, encouraged a will to promote pan-European ideas, programmes and initiatives, even styles of thinking - and universities clearly had a key role to play. The Europaeum's international network was launched in 1992 by Oxford, Leiden and Bologna. Oxford played the lead role, both spearheding a significant fund-raising drive across Europe, and giving the consortium the status of an official university department.

The Europaeum helped to spawn two independent centres: the Institute for the Advanced Study of European and Comparative Law (IECL) and the Centre for European Politics, Economics and Society (CEPES), which sadly closed in 2003.

A range of exciting scholarships for European graduates to come to Oxford were set up as well as collaborative activities such as international conferences, summer schools, and academic mobility.

Phase II: Consolidation 1996-2000

The network expanded to include Bonn University (Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn) in 1996; then Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) in 1997; the then Geneva HEI, now the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in 1998. Each partner would have its own local Europaeum committee, with ideas and feedback coming to the Europaeum Committee, which was converted into an international Council with formal representatives from all partners.

A regular newsletter was set up from Oxford, alongside its own website, and a database to try to link academics working in European Law, Politics and Economics.

It was also agreed to appoint a part-time Secretary-General, to focus on the overall growth and development of the Europaeum, to steer a growing association into a new phase of development, and to emphasize the work on young scholars and links beyond academe.

Phase III: Innovation 2000-2003

The Secretary-General formally took up his part-time post in spring 2000, and immediately developed a Business Plan that would lay out clear objectives, update the mission, outline strategies for development, and structure, with a financial plan through to 2005. The Secretariat moved to its own premises in central Oxford, on the Banbury Road, leased from the Oxford Voltaire Foundation.

Charles University, Prague, joined in 2001, taking membership up to seven. The Europaeum was then ready to embark upon a period of innovation and play a fuller part in the changing European higher education area.

The Europaeum Review, edited by the Secretary-General, was launched in 2001, serves as a forum for intellectual exchange, and increases the profile of the association.

Finally, academic mobility was boosted under the Europaeum Visiting Professorship scheme enabling leading academics to teach and research at partner institutions within the association, helping nourish future academic and teaching links.

Keynote speakers at Europaeum events during this period have included Tim Berners-Lee, Umberto Eco, Ralf Dahrendorf, Jacques Delors, Timothy Garton Ash, Sir Marrack Goulding, Avishai Margalit, David Marquand, Ben Okri, Chris Patten, Romano Prodi and Mary Robinson.

Two innovative programmes, an MA in European Politics, Culture, History and Institutions, linking Bologna, Leiden and Oxford, and a plan for modular programmes in European Business, Culture, and Institutions, initially to link Leiden and Oxford, were run as pilot projects.

Phase IV: Extension 2003-2007

With fresh momentum, the Europaeum soon found itself involved in a burgeoning number of projects, still based on the principles of rotating venues for conferences, meetings and summer schools.

In 2003, Complutense University of Madrid joined the Europaeum. Helsinki University followed in 2004, and the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, in 2005, bringing the association to its target of 10 members.

Rapid progress was made on joint teaching initiatives: in 2004-5, Oxford, Paris and Leiden launched a new jointly-offered Europaeum MA in European History and Civilisation.

To provide overarching focus, three new major themed programmes were launched, each running with linked workshops, seminars, conferences and lectures: the Humanities and New Technology programme in 2003, the Islam-in-Europe programme in 2004, and the US-Europe TransAtlantic Dialogue programme in 2005.

Following the death of Roy Jenkins, one of the founders of the Europaeum and former Chancellor of the University of Oxford, a memorial fund was set up to raise funds for European scholarships, and these have been directly linked to the Europaeum by the trustees. The first two awards were made in 2004, reflecting early fund-raising success, and from 2005 five or even six awards have been each year, four or five incoming to Oxford and one outgoing to other Europaeum partners. Some 50 gave been made to date. The scheme is now firmly seen as a key element of the Europaeum programme.

Phase V: Realism 2008-2012

With most targets of the Phase IV of ‘extension’ met, membership up to 10, consolidated research groups, developing scholarship schemes, a growing publications list, and a wider presence, this next phase promised much – and one of the goals demanded by the Academic Committee was higher visibility, always considered a two-edged sword.

What emerged was that there should be an even bigger focus on younger scholars, on graduate workshops especially for doctoral and even post-doctoral students who tended to be neglected within HE systems, to extend the current grant schemes, to simplify further the organisation, perhaps to expand to 12 members, and to try to produce a clearer focus and mission.

A new Board of Trustees was established in 2009-10, to take over fund-raising, networking and overall supervisory duties from the more cumbersome Council, which was converted into the Academic Council focussing on academic matters. The trustees included the two founding fathers, George Weidenfeld and Ronald Grierson, as well as the third co-opted member of the former Europaeum Council, with M Keller elected to the chair, while Dr Andrew Graham from Oxford was appointed a permanent chair of the Academic Council to produce continuity.

Phase VI: Reconsolidation 2012 -

The Europaeum is entering a second phase of what the Trustees are terming ‘consolidation’ both in terms of reviewing the central focus for the association at a time of retrenchment yet greater internationalism, and in terms of producing a more secure financial basis, in a climate when it is much more difficult to earn additional funding.

The newest members are Pompeu-Fabra University of Barcelona, which hosted 2013 Summer School on Rights and Citizenship and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

A new joint academic programme was launched in 2012 by the Universities of Prague, Leiden and Paris, around the theme of European Politics and Society, aiming for about 20 graduates spending their second year of study on a two-year graduate prgramme, at a partner institution. The programme was named in tribute to the late President of the Czech Republic and important human rights activist Vaclav Havel.

Joint MA Programmes

The Europaeum organises two Joint MA Programmes, the MA European History and Civilization and the Europaeum Václav Havel Masters Programme (EMAP). Partner universities of the one-year degree MA European History and Civilisation are the Leiden University, University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and the University of Oxford. Participating students will visit each of these universities for one trimester.

The Europaeum Václav Havel Masters Programme, named after Václav Havel, the late Czech dissident and President, is a two-years Masters Programme in European Society and Politics. This programme is organized by the Leiden University, University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and the Charles University in Prague.

Scholarship Schemes

Jenkins Memorial Scholarship

The Jenkins Scholarship Scheme honours the lifelong achievements of Roy Jenkins, the former President of the European Commission (1976-1981) and Chancellor of the University of Oxford (1987-2003). The Roy Jenkins Memorial Fund was set up in 2003-4, to create scholarships to bring students from the countries of the European Union to study at the University of Oxford, and to support Oxford students going onto further study in Europe. Awards are c £13,600 per annum, usually for one year. Jenkins Scholars will be eligible to study at Oxford for a master's degree in the humanities or social sciences, the disciplines closest to Lord Jenkins’ own political and literary interests. Applicants may be submitted from the university partners within the Europaeum.

Oxford-Geneva Bursary

The Europaeum organises study bursaries - one to support an Oxford graduate to pursue a short study programme at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, and one to support a Graduate Institute student to study at Oxford. Appropriate programmes of study can include periods of specialist library or archive work; supervisions with desired tutors; taught programmes including specialist summer schools, or field work, including work with organisations based in and around Geneva or Oxford.


Member universities
Country University
 Italy University of Bologna
 Czech Republic Charles University in Prague
 Finland University of Helsinki
 France University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne
 Netherlands Leiden University
 Poland Jagiellonian University
 Spain Complutense University of Madrid
 Spain Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
  Switzerland Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
 United Kingdom University of Oxford
 Portugal Associate member: Institute of Political Studies, Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon
 Germany Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich

See also

  • Anne Dreydel, who initially twinned the Universities of Oxford and Bonn

External links