Taking stock of the College of Europe Development Office’s training and projects activities

By Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg MONAR

In this last issue of our newsletter, the Rector of the College of Europe, Prof. Dr. Dr. Jörg MONAR, reflects through an interview on the activities and services carried out by the College of Europe Development Office, the department in charge of managing professional training and projects at the College. The Office is now ready to start 2020, with its offer of 13 executive training courses, several EU and other international projects being carried out, and the commitment to keep providing training courses to equip participants with the necessary know-how to enhance their careers.

How do the activities of the Development Office, managing professional training and projects, contribute to the mission of the College?

The College’s primary mission since its foundation in 1949 has been to contribute to cooperation and integration in Europe through its specialised education offer. While its currently six different advanced Master programmes for postgraduate students constitute the core of this offer, the College also wants to make a positive difference to cross-border cooperation – both within Europe and between Europe and its international partners – by the provision of professional training to practitioners, both from the public and the private sector, who on a daily basis have to deal with the practical challenges of cross-border cooperation. In the organisation of its professional training and projects, the Development Office applies the same exacting standards in terms of quality of teaching and up-to-date topicality which have also become the hallmarks of its Master programmes. It relies on a well-established and tested community of experts from academia and practice to implement the training;  all of whom share the College’s conviction that any transfer of knowledge is only fully effective if it fosters mutual understanding and the search for constructive common solutions to common challenges.

Taking stock of the past six years, how would you asses the activities of the Development Office during your mandate?

Over the last decade – so not only under my rectorship – the Development Office has massively expanded both the range of subjects covered by its training and projects and its global outreach. Last years it offered more than 200 courses and projects covering more than 100 different topical fields to over 5,000 participants from 88 countries, which is a remarkable achievement by any standard. I am particularly proud of the dynamism of the Office’s team as well as its reactivity to constantly evolving training needs and attention to quality.

Which are, from your point of view, the challenges ahead for the department in the coming years?

With both the European construction and its relations with the world undergoing rapid change, the Development Office will need regularly to critically revise its offer, innovate and even anticipate on emerging trends and needs. It is operating in a highly competitive training and project market which penalises anyone tempted to take a rest on acquired reputation and laurels. But I am confident that our colleagues are fully aware of the corresponding challenges – and they can rely on the full support of the College as a whole.