The European Union Centre (EU Centre) in Singapore is now a Research Centre under the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Nanyang Technological University.
The EU Centre was set up in response to a call for proposal by the European Union (EU) to establish the first European Union Centre in Southeast Asia to promote better understanding of the EU and raise its visibility in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) responded jointly to the call proposing a Joint Centre with equal participation by both NUS and NTU. This led to the “founding” of the EU Centre, a joint NTU-NUS entity in June 2008, co-funded by the EU, NTU and NUS.
After 11 years as a joint NUS-NTU entity, because of the changes in the conditions of the grants provided by the EU, the sustainability of the Centre under the current co-funding model was in doubt. It was thus decided during the EU Centre’s Steering Committee meeting in 2018 that with the completion of the third EU grant agreement in September 2019, the best way forward would be for the EU Centre to be integrated into one of the Schools or Colleges of NUS or NTU.
Support of the NTU’s President Office resulted in the decision made in 2019 to integrate the EU Centre into the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CoHASS) at NTU.
With its integration into CoHASS, the EU Centre is reviewing its key objectives and re-orientating its focus. We enter into 2020 looking for a new vision and mission. Instead of focusing on outreach as we have done so in our earlier years, the focus from now will be more on research and teaching. We hope to secure grants to fund special modules and summer programme to expose our students to interesting exchange with European students on global, regional and societal challenges. We want to connect students from Asia and Europe to engender cross fertilization of ideas and build collaborative research networks for policy research. Attention will be paid to identifying core research partners in Europe to work on emerging challenges facing our societies – from demographic issues to use of new technology and the changing nature of politics and policy making in a digital era. We hope to help grow the already dense and fruitful ties that the University has developed with several European partners and find niche areas in which the collaboration between CoHASS and other European universities and institutions can yield benefits for our students, faculty and the broader community.