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Presse coverage of the Go North! conference




Neues Deutschland

The Berlin daily covered the Go North! conference in an article by Stephanie Reisinger entitled »The special Berlin view on the North« (»Die besondere Berliner Sicht auf den Norden«). It was published on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Department for Northern European Studies at Humboldt-Universität:

»Graduates of the Department for Northern European Studies at Humboldt-Universität can be found in almost every profession.

This is atypical of an institution actually dedicated to language training, literature and medieval studies, with focus on the core countries of Scandinavia. Yet the Berlin department is the only one in Germany that also offers cultural studies. Moreover, the perspective of the discipline has been broadened to also include the "wide North". This means that for the Department for Northern European Studies, the North begins at the southern shores of the Baltic Sea reaching out from there to Greenland in one direction and via the Baltic states to Russia in the other.

The notion of the "wide North" made itself quite clear during the Baltic Sea conference in the senate hall of Humboldt-Universität that ended on Wednesday. Participants and speakers came from Denmark and Norway but also from Russia, Poland and Estonia. The conference marked the first in a series of events in the framework of a new programme run by the Baltic Sea School at the Department for Northern European Studies – the BalticStudyNet. This new programme which gets funding from the EU aims at enhancing the attractiveness of Europe as an educational destination.

Since the establishment of the Department for Northern European Studies ten years ago, there have been continuous efforts to promote Baltic Sea Region Studies. Hence it is fair to say that today Berlin and Humboldt-Universität represent the centre of Baltic Sea Region Studies in Germany. The new BalticStudyNet programme was selected by the EU as one of seven projects in a competition among 57 applicants. Now the Baltic Sea researchers at Humboldt-Universität aim at establishing Baltic Sea Region Studies as a master degree programme, with all courses given in English. This master degree programme will be the first of its kind in Germany.«

[From: Neues Deutschland, April 8, 2005; translation by Carsten Schymik]



universitas vilnensis

Diana Šileikaite und Vaiva Žeimantiene, lecturers at the Department of German Philology of Vilnius University and participants in the Go North! conference, reported from Berlin for the university journal universitas vilnensis. Their article was originally published in Lithuanian under the title »Berlyne pradetas vykdyti naujas ES ERASMUS MUNDUS programos projektas „BalticStudyNet“« (»New ERASMUS MUNDUS programme launched in Berlin: "BalticStudyNet"«)

»Discussions centred around these key questions: "What makes the Baltic Sea area attractive? How can interest in the region be aroused in order to attract the greatest possible number of students from different countries?" It was pointed to newly emerging possibilities, as almost all Baltic Sea countries have become members of the EU. The Baltic Sea area could be seen as a role model of co-operation for other European countries, particularly in the socio-economic, educational and cultural fields; it could become a kind of laboratory where different social and economic problems are being solved in a dialogue of cultures. In this respect, the future will bring about new challenges.«

[From: universitas vilnensis, no. 4 (1660) 2005; translation by Carsten Schymik]



Berliner Zeitung

The BalticStudyNet was also featured in »View to the North« (»Blick nach Norden«) an article written by Henrike Schulte for the Berlin daily Berliner Zeitung and published in the run-up to the Go North! conference:

»In the early 1990s, following the breakdown of the Soviet Union, it seemed remarkably natural to re-discover the idea of the Baltic Sea as a region with a homogeneous culture, and then to proclaim it as a project of promoting co-operation and mutual understanding between the different countries. Predictions of a bright future characterised by economic growth, technological innovation, high educational standards and scientific co-operation, made the Baltic Sea a pilot region within the enlarging European Union. Despite this development, however, Germans have little knowledge about the Baltic Sea region; we know a lot more about, for instance, the Mediterranean. This is particularly noteworthy since German history shows that there have always been close ties and relations with Scandinavia and the wider Baltic Sea area. And until today there exists a lively exchange in politics, culture, and the economy. (…)

Since January 2005, the BalticStudyNet programme conducted by the Baltic Sea School at the Department for Northern European Studies receives funding from the EU. The Baltic Sea School is going to host an international conference about present and future perspectives of studies and research related to the Baltic Sea region.«

[From: Berliner Zeitung, March 30, 2005; translation by Carsten Schymik]