Allianz Summer Academy

Date: 29 July-1 August 2009

This Summer, 6 DELC students and their coordinator Dr. Anne Sophie Krossa (Lecturer in European Studies at Lancaster), represented Lancaster University at a prestigious international event at this year's 'Allianz Summer Academy'.

Allianz Summer Academy is organised by Allianz Cultural Foundation and it supports art, culture and educational projects while building bridges between different cultures and promoting understanding within Europe. Academy is a unique project where each year students from 5 European Universities are given an opportunity to exchange their ideas about Europe and develop new approaches.

As one of five universities involved, Lancaster University represented the UK in this year's Allianz Summer Academy held at the Allianz Management Institute on the shores of Lake Starnberg in Kempfenhausen, just outside Munich. Six students from Lancaster (Daniel Qualtrough, Kate Foster, Kathryn Rees, Richard Dinsmore, Milda Beisyte and Simon Roper) were joined by similar groups from the Central European University in Budapest, the UniversitÓ Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Each team was asked to establish their own field of study regarding the general topic of "Making Europe Yours: Inclusion, Participation and Legitimacy".

Focusing particularly on media in Europe and the ways in which daily society is affected by the variety of forms of media available, the six members of the Department of European Languages and Cultures began work in December '08 to formulate a presentation and thorough written discussion of the opportunities and challenges faced in the expanding Europe of today.

The academy itself, taking place from July 29th until August 2nd, brought together topics as diverse as European foreign policy and economic statistics, prompting no small number of detailed, and at times rather heated, discussions. The extensive evening timetable of events allowed the participants to quickly become acquainted and it wasn't long before plans for the future were being made, including the Alumni Academy to be held in Madrid in April '10.

After splitting into a mixture of working groups at the academy, each with their own specific angle of investigation, the participants were able to compose a draft proposal of a host of policy changes which, given the chance, the academy group would recommend for implementation by the European Union.

Not only has this opportunity allowed Lancaster University to further promote itself as one of the leading forward-thinking Universities in Europe, but its success has paved the way for future groups to explore and develop their interests regarding the fundamental workings within the European project, forming a network of academy alumni who remain very much active via online resources and regular meetings supported by the Allianz Culture Foundation.

Milda Beisyte:

"Taking part in Allianz Summer Academy gave me a unique opportunity to discuss my personal opinions about European identity and the EU influence to everyday life in a non-academic, but at the same time intellectually challenging environment. To our young generation, being a driving force of future developments, such events are a great opportunity to voice our ideas and add to improvement of understanding within Europe. No doubt that Allianz Summer Academy inspired many of us to continue developing ideas in a spirit of European integration and keep working together on projects that will one day inspire many others."

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Further information

Associated staff: Anne Sophie Krossa

Associated departments and research centres: European Languages and Cultures, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences