The region in classrooms

Friday, 30 November 2018, Piran, Slovenia

Opening conference of the Jean Monnet project Knowledge Hub on the Euro-Mediterranean region (MED-HUB)

How to better teach Euro-Mediterranean issues?

Background

For the citizens of the North and South Mediterranean alike, knowledge about the Euro-Mediterranean region is important not only as an intellectual duty, but also due to its obvious and increasing policy relevance. The establishment of the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) in 2008 as one of the priority projects of the Union for the Mediterranean was motivated by the idea of a more unified and integrated Euro-Mediterranean higher education and research area. Ten years into its existence, EMUNI recognises that to approach the challenges facing the Euro-Mediterranean region and the EU, the study of the Euro-Mediterranean region needs to improve. An important aspect of this is both to better integrate the Euro-Mediterranean issues and aspects into the curricula of existing study programmes and to get the students themselves to recognise and debate the relevance of the EU values in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Project objective

EMUNI’s aim is to build a Knowledge Hub on the Euro-Mediterranean region (MED-HUB). We seek to explain, discuss and develop the EU’s engagement in the Euro-Mediterranean region on the one hand and generate interest in the EU’s activities by students on the other hand. MED-HUB will reinforce the link between academia and policy-makers, North (EU and accession countries) and South Mediterranean (MENA region), and engage the youth-students in identifying and addressing most topical issues of societal and political relevance. The proposed project builds on the experience of EMUNI with projects and events, including its summer schools on Euro-Mediterranean Studies and annual conferences tackling contemporary regional challenges (entrepreneurship, brain drain/circulation etc.).

Event format and preliminary agenda

The one-day event is the first of seven events planned to achieve the described objective. It will be followed by five thematic workshops and a final conference, presenting the results.

Agenda

8.30-9.00: Presentation of the project and reflections on the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation from the North and the South

9.00-10.30: The region in teaching

How are Euro-Mediterranean issues taught to university students today? Are there differences between the North and the South of the Mediterranean? Are there study programmes that could be considered Euro-Mediterranean by nature or are issues of regional importance integrated into other study programmes, modules and themes? What are the selected themes? How appropriate are the existing teaching methods and approaches for the production of a regional identity?

Speakers

  • Ana Bojinović, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  • Nataša Urošević, University of Pula (Croatia)
  • Rasha ElKholy, Heliopolis University (Egypt)
  • + others (TBC)

 

10.30-11.00: Break

11.00-12.15: The region in research

Does the knowledge on the Euro-Mediterranean region translate into policy actions? Do policy actions open new meaningful research questions? Which policy issues are flagged as worthy of research? Does scholarly research foster a dialogue and does it contribute to building a cooperative, rather than conflicting attitude between different parts of the Mediterranean?

Speakers

  • Tamara Elzein, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Lebanon)
  • Münevver Cebeci, Marmara University (Turkey)
  • + others (TBC)

12.15-13.15: Lunch break

13.15-14.45: Good practices serving the regional integration

What are some of the good practices demonstrating that research and teaching can help with the integration of the region? How did these initiatives come about; how did they develop; what obstacles did they overcome in accomplishing their aim? What are the lessons learnt?

Speakers

  • Hani Sewilam, RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and American University in Cairo (Egypt)
  • Lurdes Vidal Bertran, European Institute of the Mediterranean (Spain)
  • Natalia Sanmartin Jaramillo, Center for Vocational Education and Training (Slovenia)
  • + others (TBC)

 

14.45-15.00: Break

15.00-15.45: Concluding session

Proposals from all the panellists and the audience on how teaching, researching and academia-policy dialogue generally could be improved.

15.45-16.00: Conclusions and next steps for the project

Participants

The opening conference will create an integrated community of the experts and academics in the field of Euro-Mediterranean studies. It aims to build basis for a long-term partnership between EMUNI and researchers with an established portfolio on the Euro-Med. Equally, it seeks to stimulate some promising researchers who have not worked on the Euro-Med so far to place more focus onto this region in their ongoing research, enlarging the cohort of people studying the region.

An important aspect of the conference is that it includes students/youth. They are not only be recipients of knowledge, but also active participants. They will be exposed to the debates, but will also present their concerns about the region, their motives for understanding and engaging with it and thereby justify the need for the integration of the Euro-Med issues into the curricula.

The conference participants will be representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean; policy-makers, officials, researchers (including think tanks), senior and junior academics and those employed in international organisations.

The conference will foster networking opportunities and exchange of experience and good practice between the participants.

Output of the event

The conference is expected to formulate and outline and scope of thematic workshops organized with the aim of initiating an approach towards Euro-Mediterranean studies. It will also result in a report about the directions of creating new curricula on Euro-Mediterranean studies.

Registration is free of charge. We should inform you of the registration link in the next days.