The Centre for European Studies (CES) is part of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente. Its purpose is to pool European studies and European research at BMS and to serve as a centre for coordination in that field. In that capacity, the CES functions as a contact point for students, lecturers, and researchers who are involved or interested in European studies. At the same time, it is an information point for the public sector, journalists, or companies in need of expertise in the area of European governance. The CES has established contacts with numerous other national and international institutes.
The CES is a virtual centre in the sense that researchers and lecturers involved remain members of their own departments. It has no research programme of its own. Our staff participates in the Institute for Governance Studies (IGS). Its coordinating activities are beneficial for the entire faculty. Through the CES, the ‘European’ activities of faculty members become visible for third parties. In that sense, the CES may be regarded as the faculty’s portal in this area.
The Centre for European Studies was established on 14 February 1998 during an international conference organised by the University of Twente entitled Democracy in Europe: The Treaty of Amsterdam Evaluated. During its existence, the CES has played an important role in the pooling of ‘European’ educational and research activities within the former School of Management and Governance (SMG).
Importantly, the CES was coordinating the Double Degree programme Europe Across Borders. This unique programme was launched in September 2001: two universities offer joint academic programmes on both the bachelor and the master level, leading to Dutch-German double diplomas, specializing in European Studies, at the bachelor and master level. Staff members of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (University of Twente, UT) and the Institute for Political Science (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, WWU) teach various courses jointly. Groups of students from Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries work together.
From 2013 on the Double Degree in the bachelor is gradually replaced by a Joint Degree programme Public Governance Across Borders, leading to one BSc-diploma (a joint specialization of the new bachelor programme European Public Administration, leading to a separate diploma). In the master from 2015 students can choose between a one year Single Degree programme European Studies or a two year Double Degree programme Comparative Public Governance, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) diploma in Twente and a Master of Arts (MA) diploma in Muenster.
The programmes offer students the opportunity to receive courses at both partner institutes. They develop professional key skills for concrete career oriented perspectives (including an academic career). Studying at two sides of the border enhances international mobility, as well as awareness of subtle cultural differences. The profile of the programme qualifies the participants for a career in a united Europe, be it at the national level in, e.g., the Netherlands and Germany, or at the European level in an international organisation.
As from October 2005 on CES staff was involved in the new international bachelor programme in European Studies. This programme, taught entirely in English, is unique in its multi-disciplinary approach to European integration, combined with its focus on issues of multi-level governance and (technological and social) innovation. Starting with a pilot-group of 12 (German) students in September 2005, the programme has proved to appeal to a far larger audience in the Netherlands, Germany and beyond. In 2013 the English spoken bachelor programme European Studies (ES) has merged with the Dutch Spoken bachelor programme Public Administration (BSK) into the new English spoken bachelor programme European Public Administration (EPA). This programme adopts a new educational philosophy, which has modules of 15 EC and is project-based. After a 1,5 year general introduction in Public Governance (institutions, politics, management and policies) students can specialize either in European Studies or in Public Administration.