Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Europe in Bruges has successfully switched to an adapted way of working and living, on and off campus. Altogether, academic staff, college administration, catering and housekeeping staff and, last but not least, the students have made a huge effort to face a new, challenging reality.
Needless to say, we will carry on taking all the necessary precautions to reduce all potential risks to the health, safety and well-being of the College community.
Interview with Zociana STAMBOLLIU, new President of the Alumni Association
On the 1st of July 2020, Mrs Zociana STAMBOLLIU succeeded Mrs Michaela SIMAKOVA as President of the Alumni Association of the College of Europe. A few days before she officially took over the torch from her predecessor, we had the opportunity to interview Mrs STAMBOLLIU at our Verversdijk campus in Bruges.
For the Greek-Albanian alumna of the John Maynard Keynes Promotion 2016/2017, it is still very special to come back to the city where she spent an extraordinary year and of which she still has lots of amazing memories. At the end of June, in the immediate run-up to that new challenging chapter as head of the Alumni Association, Zociana "Zoey" STAMBOLLIU was kind enough to answer a few questions. Discover the full interview HERE.
Myriam VAN HEES says goodbye to the Oost-Gistelhof residence
No more Oost-Gistelhof. After 20 years, a beautiful College of Europe chapter came to an end. The stately white building is no longer operational as a student residence. The end of an era with a lot of great memories for Myriam VAN HEES, the residence warden of Oost-Gistelhof. Myriam moved to the expanded Karel Verleye (Wispeltuin) residence in the Katelijnestraat in the inner city of Bruges to assist fellow residence warden Carla VERBEKE. You can find the news/interview story HERE.
The College of Europe Bruges campus welcomed its first students following the introductory courses on Monday 24 August. A second bigger group of the Mário Soares Promotion arrived on Monday 7 September for the official start of the 2020/2021 academic year.
Our postgraduate institute intends to be fully open and operational. The College is committed to delivering an outstanding academic and personal experience to its students, to maintaining focus on personalised teaching and exchanges, and it is taking all steps to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire College community.
The emphasis on small-group teaching by leading academics and specialists is fundamental to the College of Europe education and experience and will continue to be a central part of the College offering in the 2020/21 academic year. Similarly, lectures will take place in College of Europe buildings with all necessary technical support. If need be, students will be able to follow these classes remotely.
Arrangements for teaching will, of course, be subject to conditions prevailing at the time and always with the health and safety of students and staff as the first.College buildings, student residences, the library, the College student restaurant, are all prepared and adapted strictly following the guidelines of the Belgian government. Students who find themselves in quarantine are being well looked after, and are able to start their studies remotely from their rooms.
We remain entirely committed to offering our services while ensuring at the same time the health, safety, and well-being of our community. For these reasons, our full offer of executive training courses will be delivered online. Should you like to explore tailor-made online solutions or should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We remain available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the whole announcement of the Development Office HERE.
70 years College of Europe lecture by Rector Jörg MONAR
On Friday 28 August 2020, outgoing Rector Jörg MONAR gave a lecture to commemorate 70 years of the College of Europe. He introduced the audience to his interesting reflections on how Bruges became the seat of the College, and what life was like from the college’s early days.
A recording of the lecture is available on the event page for those who were unable to attend.
Official start for Rector MOGHERINI
On Tuesday 1 September, Mrs Federica MOGHERINI started her mandate as new Rector of the College of Europe. The official signing over of duties took place on Tuesday 25 August 2020 in the presence of Rector Jörg MONAR, whose mandate ended on Monday 31 August, President of the Administrative Council Herman VAN ROMPUY and Treasurer Norbert VANHOVE.
The College wishes to thank Rector Jörg MONAR for his dedication and service.
Library ready for start of new academic year
The College of Europe library at the Dijver campus in Bruges made all the necessary preparations to welcome the new students of the Mário Soares Promotion.
In order to keep the College community safe, students have to reserve a library seat or meeting room by following an online registration procedure. At the reception desk of the library, they also have the possibility to scan a QR code with their mobile phone that will automatically lead them to the reservation form.
In the library, red and blue signs on the tables of the different compartments indicate which seats can and can't be taken, all in respect with the social distancing rules. Students are obliged to wear a face mask and to clean their table after use with the disposable disinfectant spray.
Student welcome speech at the Bruges campus by Rector MOGHERINI
On Tuesday 8 September 2020, Rector Federica MOGHERINI welcomed the students of the Mário Soares Promotion on the first day of their academic year with a very inspiring message. Some of the students followed the welcome speech live in Room E of the Paul Henri Spaak Building at Dijver, others did so from different classrooms spread over both our Dijver and Verversdijk sites, or from their room in the student residence. You can find a synopsis of the Rector's speech HERE.
Student restaurant Garenmarkt creates safe environment for students
The catering service of the College of Europe Bruges campus makes every effort to make sure that the recently arrived students of the Mário Soares Promotion can enjoy lunch and dinner at the Garenmarkt restaurant in the safest way possible in times when protecting each other's health and well-being is crucial. Hans BASTIAENSSENS, Chef Catering - Hotel Services at the Europe Bruges campus, explains how his dedicated team has organised everything in order to be in line with all the necessary COVID-19 regulations. Discover the whole story via the following link.
Students debate the State of the Union speech with Rector MOGHERINI
On Wednesday 16 September 2020 at 9:15, Mrs Ursula von der LEYEN, President of the European Commission, gave her first ever State of the Union speech. The President set out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the European Union is facing and she shared her ideas for shaping the future of the EU.
Rector Federica MOGHERINI watched and debated the State of the Union speech with about 60 students of the Mário Soares Promotion, most of whom participated virtually in the debate via WebEx. Read the full story HERE.
Students of the Soares Promotion enjoy special activities programme
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the College of Europe Bruges campus was not able to organize the traditional study trip to Flanders Fields on Wednesday 16 September. But no worries, the Student Affairs Office came up with a full-fledged alternative programme for the students of the Mário Soares Promotion. And of course, there was also a special offer for the students in quarantine. Relive that special Wednesday for the students of our Bruges campus HERE.
- Over the past week a total of 22 students at the College of Europe in Bruges have been tested positive for COVID-19.
- The College of Europe is working together closely with local authorities to monitor the situation.
- All students who were in close contact with positive students are themselves being tested and will remain in isolation until they are cleared by a negative test.
- Furthermore, as of this weekend all 350 students, across seven student homes, will be quarantined for the next fourteen days.
- All college activities will be held online. Students will follow their courses from their rooms and can only leave the student homes to do groceries.
- Local police will monitor the quarantine measures and apply strict measures in case of any violations.
Mayor Dirk De fauw: “The rector of the College of Europe contacted us over the weekend regarding the relevant number of positive cases. On Sunday evening, I convened a meeting of our local crisis task force. Since then, we have been combining forces to monitor the health of the students and keep this local outbreak contained. For the sake of their own health and that of all our citizens, I call on the responsibility of the students at the College of Europe to respect the strict quarantine measures that have been installed. Violations will not be tolerated and will be penalized with an immediate fine of 250 euros.”
Rector Federica Mogherini: “For the College of Europe the first and absolute priority is the health and safety of not only all students and staff, but also all citizens of the city that hosts us and that we love so much. We have immediately put in place the strictest precautionary measures to contain the contagion, trace all contacts and test all students, in close and constant cooperation with the Mayor. I am grateful to him and all city services for this excellent cooperation, and to the citizens of Bruges for the way in which they have always welcomed and accompanied the students in their academic year in the city. I am sure our students will show the maximum level of responsibility and respect for the community that hosts us in these difficult circumstances.”
For more information: www.brugge.be/coronavirus
Rector Mogherini meets student representatives
On Wednesday 23 September, Rector Federica Mogherini and the Student Affairs Office met with the newly elected academic and residence representatives.
The reps were very motivated and had already come up with an extensive working document to help us guide and support the students during the difficult times they are spending in quarantine.
The College is very grateful for their initiatives and collaboration to make sure all students have an unforgettable year at the College of Europe in Bruges. And we are looking forward to working extensively and productively with them during these 10 months.