Launched in 2013, the two-week Summer School programme is built on Kent’s specialist knowledge and international reputation as the UK’s European university by offering a number of undergraduate students and external applicants the opportunity to participate in academic sessions and cultural activities in these two world-renowned European capitals.
This year, students at the University’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) explored the theme of ‘Europe and the World’, which drew upon the academic strengths of the School. Within this context, various sub-themes were also covered; these included migration, the European Union’s (EU) relationship with emerging powers such as China, and its response to the global economic crisis.
Students also participated in a series of guest lectures, seminars and debates delivered by academics, policy-makers, diplomats and European civil servants. This Summer School was designed to allow them to discover how the EU functions, with a particular focus on how it acts as a global organisation and the challenges it faces in today’s world.
Students at Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture, located in historic Montparnasse, explored the theme of ‘Revolutions’. This allowed them to gain a greater understanding of how French culture has long been at the centre of innovation in the fields of architecture, film, literature, art, philosophy and drama.
Students spent two weeks in Paris in an interdisciplinary environment, attending seminars given by academics from Kent and visiting important sites and museums related to the programme. These included the Pompidou Centre, Versailles and the Picasso Museum.
Sophie Punt, Summer School Co-ordinator at the University, described this year as ‘one of the best to date’. It was successful in many respects she said but ‘overall this year’s Schools have provided students with not only with enhanced intercultural and analytical skills, but also provided them with an opportunity to see Europe and its role in the world from a range of different perspectives’.