Ireland was one of the first EU member states to develop discrete European Studies programmes at higher education level. However, recent years have witnessed a decrease in the number of European Studies programmes, falling student numbers and an evident downgrading of the subject area. Broad economic constraints and political challenges to the ethos and orientation of Irish higher education have impacted on the vitality of the European Studies tradition. This article contends that this trend away from European Studies in Ireland is concerning, but that it can reversed. Drawing on experience and best practice elsewhere; better utilising a diversity of pedagogical tools and techniques; tapping into international networks and financial supports; building a cohesive Irish European Studies community; and communicating the merits of the European Studies model of education are important means of strengthening this branch of Irish higher education. In addressing the challenges facing the field, there are opportunities for European Studies to become a pedagogically innovative programme of study capable of nurturing a vibrant and dynamic student community and of producing highly skilled and coveted university graduates.
European Studies; Ireland; teaching and learning; pedagogy; teaching European studies
Teaching, Learning and the Profession
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