On 25 and 26 April 1996, the first Socrates/Erasmus annual conference was held in Bad Godesburg, Bonn, at the invitation of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service). During the second year of operation of Socrates, a wide-ranging discussion took place in universities--both in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union--about the future shape of university education and relevant co-operation in this area. The former Erasmus programme is now a subsection of the Socrates programme, the scheme now dealing with co-operation between universities. This will continue to fund cross-border student and teacher exchanges, but in addition, special emphasis will now be laid, as part of the Socrates programme, on strengthening curriculum-related collaboration between universities. Another new feature is that co-operation will now take place in topic-related networks, with a view to making courses and teaching-methods more innovative and better co-ordinated.
Despite the scarcity and comparative modesty of the grants, more than 100,000 students still choose to spend part of their course-time abroad on Socrates/Erasmus, demonstrating the continuing popularity of the programme.
Contact: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Pressestelle, Kennedyallee 50, D-53175 Bonn, Tel.: +49 (228) 882-401/454/455, Fax: +49 (228) 882-444.
A new initiative launched by the Aspen Institute in Washington aims to investigate activities by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aimed at bringing about peace/resolving conflict in the states/regions of South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Israel/Palestine. The two-year study, co-ordinated by Professor Benjamin Gidron of the Ben Gurion University in Israel and Professor Stanley Katz of Princeton University, will assess the role, impact, and activities of the NGOs working to achieve permanent peace in each of these conflicts.
The institute's Nonprofit Sector Research Fund (NSRF) has made money available for the conduct of the investigation in each of the three regions mentioned. The project's joint directors (Dr Rupert Taylor of the University of Witwatersrand for the South African region, Dr Seamus Dunn of the University of Ulster for the Northern Ireland region, Dr Tamar S. Hermann of the University of Tel Aviv and the Open University of Israel for the Israeli region, and Dr Manuel Hassassian of the University of Bethlehem for the Palestinian region) are organizing meetings in each of the conflict regions, to which the whole research forum is being invited for consultation and joint planning. The first meeting took place from 19 to 21 April 1996 in Israel. The results of the two-year project are to be unveiled, under the title `The Role of the Third-Sector Organizations in Conflict Resolution', at the biennial conference of the International Society for Third-Sector Research, to be held in 1998.
The NSRF seeks to increase awareness of the activities of the non-profit-making sector--including philanthropic enterprises and the values that underlie these--by providing financial support for empirical research and basic investigation by scholars and practitioners. It runs both national and trans-state award-programmes in California and Michigan. Applications are judged on a comparative basis, and the final decision to award a grant lies with the NSRF executive.
The Aspen Institute aims to promote lasting ideas and values at leadership level in today's world. It seeks to do this on a world-wide scale by organizing non-party seminars and policy programmes for leaders in the fields of economics, government, the media, teaching/training, art, and the non-state sector in democratic societies.
Contact: The Aspen Institute, David Williams, PO Box 222, Carmichael Rd, Queenstown, MD 21658, Tel.: +1 (410) 202736-5831, Fax: +1 (410) 820-5460, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As in every other year, the Social Science Research Council is once again offering research grants, mostly in conjunction with other organizations. The main focus in 1996-7 will be in the following areas: eastern Europe (under the aegis of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) in the case of Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and former Yugoslavia); the Soviet Union and its successor states; the Near and Middle East; Japan, South Asia; international migratory movements; international security and peace; the Abe Fellowship Program; the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies; German-American relations. The deadlines for application range from now until the 15 February, depending on the area of research and the type of programme involved.
Contact: Social Science Research Council, 810 Seventh Avenue, NY 10019, USA, Tel.: +1 (212) 377-2700.
As part of its China programme, the Volkswagen Foundation has agreed to support a pilot project for the promotion of `European Studies' (including the study of security policy) in the People's Republic of China. The `Project on the Promotion of Research into Europe and Germany in the People's Republic of China by means of a Sino-German Co-operation Project, 1997-9' is being overseen by Professor Reimund Seidelmann and Dr Christoph Lotter (both from the University of Gießen) and is intended to promote Sino-German co-operation in the field of political science--particularly as it relates to Europe and Germany. As part of this programme, guest scholars specializing in European and German studies at four different universities and research institutes in the People's Republic of China will come to work at the institute of political science at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. Within the framework of a special programme covering information, research, and teaching, it is hoped that these scholars will (1) gain an insight into the current state of research into political science in Europe and Germany; (2) familiarize themselves with the form and content of research and teaching in international relations/European studies; (3) offer teaching sessions on developments in China; (4) compile a textbook (in Chinese) providing an introduction to the process of European integration and unity; and (5) help build up contacts that will help promote German research on China.
The project is part of a scheme to expand European and Chinese studies. Related to it is a postgraduate research-project on Peking's Taiwan policy, being conducted by Chong Zhang, and a professorial research-project into Peking's foreign and security policy since the mid-1980s, being conducted by Dr Christoph Lotter. There are plans to invite other young Chinese academics to do teaching and research, and to affiliate them to the project.
As part of the project, four (German-speaking) Chinese scholars will come to Germany for research, teaching, and information purposes in the 1997 summer term (April to August 1997). The head of the project, Professor Reimund Seidelmann, would welcome the involvement of interested colleagues. He would also be very pleased to receive invitations for the Chinese guests to give talks and take part in discussions, briefing sessions, etc., as a way of helping them get to know Germany better. Since the project has no funds available for travel within Germany, travel and accommodation costs in each case would have to be borne by the institution issuing the invitation.
Contact: Prof. Reimund Seidelmann, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Karl-Glöckner-Str. 21 E, D-35394 Gießen, Tel.: +49 (641) 7025205, Fax: +49 (641) 7025212.