For decades, German and European scholars, particularly
in the social sciences, have treated the north of Europe and the
Baltic Sea region like a sort of poor cousin. No matter how great
popular interest in, and sympathy for, the north of Europe may be,
political science research institutes have no northern European
focus, and there exists only loose forms of co-operation with the
relevant institutions and think tanks in Scandinavia. The overall
level of competence in politics and society about the European north
is relatively low.
Against this background, the Baltic Sea
School at the Department for Northern European Studies of Berlin
Humboldt University, in co-operation with its partners in the Baltic
Sea region, has been intensifying its efforts over the past years
to raise the level of regional competence among young scholars.
Thanks to the generous financial support by the European Commission,
the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and other institutions
we are able to promote junior scholars in the humanities and social
sciences, develop study programmes, and organise international workshops,
seminars, and conferences. Growing demand, particularly from the
young member states of the European Union, shows us that we are
moving forward on the right path.
However, today there is still a lack of integrated Baltic Sea
area study programmes at higher education institutions in Germany.
Study opportunities are rare and scholarly research confined to
single and isolated projects. You find more detailed information
(mostly in German) about existing study and research activities
at Humboldt University, in Berlin and Germany on this website if
you follow the links Baltic Sea Studies
and Baltic Sea Research.
It is the goal of the Baltic Sea School to introduce a master
degree programme in “Baltic Sea Region Studies” at Humboldt
University as a complement to already existing programmes at our
partner universities, open to post-graduated students in the social
sciences and humanities including Scandinavian and Nordic Studies,
history, and economics. The conceptual framework of this master
degree programme has already been put up, and also put to practice
in a one year long pilot project (see Master
2003). Now we are working to secure adequate financial and human
resources in order to establish “Baltic Sea Region Studies”
at Humoldt University on a permanent basis.