The College of Europe is the first and most genuinely ‘European’ of all the university institutes of European studies. It was founded in Bruges (Belgium) in 1949 by leading European figures as an independent private institution. Today more than 400 students from some 50 countries study for a year in Bruges and in Natolin (Warsaw). Courses are in English and French. 70% of students are funded by scholarships, most from European governments.
The College has a highly qualified faculty drawn from across Europe and beyond. Former professors at the College include Nobel Prize-winning economist Jan Tinbergen and Polish historian and politician Bronisław Geremek. As the careers of its alumni illustrate, a degree from the College of Europe opens up rewarding professional prospects in Europe and at the international level in both the public and the private sectors. The College’s residential life is a vital element of what its students experience. By living and working together, students from across Europe and beyond become familiar with the full cultural and social diversity of Europe and learn how to operate in an international environment.
The College of Europe offers courses on every aspect of European affairs, from politics and international diplomacy, to business and law.
Former UK students of the College of Europe have gone on to careers in EU and national institutions and into the business and NGO communities working on European affairs. They include, among others, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister 2010-15, and Stephen Kinnock MP, who is also husband of the former Prime Minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Both met their spouses while studying at the College.
Other notable College of Europe alumni include the current Chancellor of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, France’s current Minister for Europe, Clément Beaune, current Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, and former Foreign Ministers of Austria (Ursula Plassnik), Italy (Enzo Moavero Milanesi) and Northern Macedonia (Nikola Poposki) among many others. Indeed, the College offers its students an unrivalled network among European policymakers and has an active and prominent alumni association based in Brussels, with regional chapters around the world.