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Logo College of Europe

College of Europe

BruggeLawEconomicsPolitical Science

The College of Europe (French: Collège d'Europe) is an independent university institute of postgraduate European studies with the main campus in Bruges, Belgium. It was founded in 1949 by such leading European figures and founding fathers of the European Union as Salvador de Madariaga, Winston Churchill, Paul-Henri Spaak and Alcide De Gasperi in the wake of the Hague Congress of 1948 to promote "a spirit of solidarity and mutual understanding between all the nations of Western Europe and to provide elite training to individuals who will uphold these values" and "to train an elite of young executives for Europe." It has the status of "Institution of Public Interest", operating according to Belgian law. Since 1993 the college has also had an additional smaller campus in Natolin, Poland, focusing on Central and Eastern European studies.

Students are usually selected in cooperation with their countries' ministries of foreign affairs, and admission is highly competitive. The number of students each year used to be very low—for several decades less than 100—but has increased since the early 1990s. The College of Europe is bilingual, and students must be proficient in English and French. Students receive a master's degree (formerly called Diploma and Certificat) following a one-year programme. Traditionally, students specialize in either European law, international economics (i.e., European economic studies), or European political and administrative studies; in recent years, additional programmes have been created.

According to The Times, the "College of Europe, in the medieval Belgian city of Bruges, is to the European political elite what the Harvard Business School is to American corporate life. It is a hothouse where the ambitious and talented go to make contacts". The Economist describes it as "an elite finishing school for aspiring Eurocrats." The Financial Times writes that "the elite College of Europe in Bruges" is "an institution geared to producing crop after crop of graduates with a lifelong enthusiasm for EU integration." European Commissioner for Education Ján Figeľ described the college as "one of the most emblematic centres of European studies in the European Union". The BBC has referred to it as "the EU's very own Oxbridge". The college has also been described as "the leading place to study European affairs" and as "the elite training center for the European Union's political class". RFE/RL has referred to the college as "a Euro-federalist hot-spot." The Global Mail has described its students as "Europe's leaders-in-waiting."

Each academic year is named for a patron and referred to as a promotion. The academic year is opened by a leading European politician. The College of Europe in Belgium shares several traditions with, and is often compared to, the École nationale d'administration (ENA) of France, but has a vastly more international profile. Its anciens include the former Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the former Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb, the former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as well as Minister for Europe of Italy Enzo Moavero Milanesi, several of whom have also been professors at the college. Many of its anciens go on to serve as diplomats and senior civil servants in European institutions.
Logo Ghent University

Ghent University

GentEcology, Evolution, Environment Languages, Philology, Linguistic Studies

Established in 1817 by King William I of the Netherlands, Ghent University (Dutch: Universiteit Gent, abbreviated as UGent) is a public research university located in Ghent, Belgium. After the Belgian revolution of 1830, the newly-formed Belgian state began to administer the university. In 1930, it became the first Dutch-speaking university in Belgium—French having been the academic language up to that point. In 1991, the university was granted major autonomy and changed its name from State University of Ghent (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Gent, abbreviated as RUG) to its current designation. It is one of the larger Flemish universities, consisting of 41,000 students and 9,000 staff members. The current rector is Anne De Paepe (nl).

Ghent consistently rates among the top universities not only in Belgium but also throughout the world. As of 2014, Ghent University ranks 90th globally according to Times Higher Education, 129th according to QS World University Rankings, and 70th according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

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