The Small States Summer School at the University of Iceland‘s Institute of International Affairs is among ten projects that received the Erasmus+ Quality Award this year. The awards were presented with ceremony at the museum Ásmundarsafn in Reykjavík on 10 December.
The ten award winning projects have all received grants from the EU Lifelong Learning Programme; and the Small States Summer School has additionally been awarded a grant from the new EU Erasmus+ programme. All of the awarded projects have focused on innovation and novelty in education, contributed to the participation of diverse groups in international collaboration, and influenced education in both individual institutions as well as the educational system as a whole.
Pia Hansson, Director of the Centre for Small State Studies and Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, accepted the award on behalf of the University; a work of fine art designed by second year students at the Reykjavík School of Visual Arts.
The Institute of International Affairs launched the Small States Summer School in 2003 in collaboration with the UI Faculty of Political Science. The summer school was initiated by Baldur Þórhallsson, Professor of Political Science who is also Research Director at the Centre for Small States at the University of Iceland. According to Hansson over 400 students from all over the world have attended the school, and many have consequently chosen graduate studies in the field; at the University of Iceland and elsewhere.
“We currently offer both the summer school and a winter course in Vilnius; in addition to the extensive collaboration we have with various partners. We are now in the process of designing a course and curricula accessible to all who are interested in studying how small states prosper in Europe; especially with regard to the European Union and European integration,” says Hansson on the Icelandic Centre for Research’s website; the centre that manages Iceland’s participation in EU programmes.
“The centre has profited greatly through the years from international collaboration; especially in creating contacts with scholars all over Europe. We have received students from all corners of the globe, and the demand increases constantly,” Hansson continues and adds: “I believe that students gain from coming here to Iceland and witness a small state that has done well in international context.”