The University of Nicosia successfully implemented the Jean Monnet Modules (2008-2011) and the “Ad Personam” Jean Monnet Chair (2011-2014). The Centre of Excellence was the natural next step for the University of Nicosia, making it the first private university in Cyprus to receive this award and one of fourteen globally that were successful in 2014.
This award inevitably positions the University of Nicosia on the global academic map for European and International Relations studies, allowing it to network with elite institutions, academics and practitioners.
The project will promote excellence in teaching and research in EU studies through emphasis on coursework by expert faculty. Two of the courses that will comprise the teaching activities of the project are established and popular M.A. and B.A. courses offered by the Department of European Studies and International Relations of the University of Nicosia. The department is the only such department as well as the only graduate programme of its kind in Cyprus.
There will also be an emphasis on the use of open education techniques in the dissemination of didactic material. All learning tools and material that will result from the introduction of new courses as well as the evolution of existing coursework, as outlined above, will be made freely available. In this way, the University of Nicosia will join the growing number of Higher Education Institutions both within the EU as well as globally that increasingly adopt an Open Educational Resources approach to education.
The project will network with other institutions through the inclusion of Jean Monnet Chairs from other countries with state-of-the-art expertise in each of the planned events of the project. . This goal is even more significant in the case of Cyprus which is geographically relatively isolated from the rest of the EU and stands to benefit from intensive networking efforts but also to serve as a link between the continent and its region of the Eastern Mediterranean
The planned activities of the project extend beyond the area of teaching, and will foster dialogue between the academic world and policy-makers, in particular to enhance governance of EU policies and the understanding of issues of great importance for the EU and contribute to policy development. In collaboration with other local and international actors such as the European Parliament office in Cyprus, the Centre will proceed with the implementation of a series of activities including international conferences, workshops and roundtable discussions on issues of policy reforms in higher education, immigration, geopolitics and EU-Turkish relations.