About the Project

These times of transition and reconstruction Europe is going through and also these times of conflicts and clashes Europe is experiencing, ask for knowledge, insight, imagination and responsibility from all who are active in the public domain. Bringing together students from different countries and disciplines who in the future will be active in this public domain -either in research, administration, politics, Ngo’s or even private enterprises- is the main goal of this project.

The focus is on the most topical issues and problems in society and in the public debate; such as poverty, migration, access to social services, ethnic and religious diversity and so on and so forth. A common feature of those topics is that the debates are often about inclusion and exclusion and that these topics pose challenges to the different nations, regions and Europe as a whole.

By sharing knowledge and ideas, by working on and presenting own projects, through discussions and informal meetings with lecturers and researchers from different countries, we hope to contribute to a broader knowledge and understanding of the diversity in circumstances and interests within different countries and of the diversity of opinions and perspectives in public debates. This was and is the leading idea of this biannual project that started in 1998 under the title ‘Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary European Societies’. The main incentives for starting the preparation of this series at the end of 1996 were the acceleration of the enlargement of the EU and the conflicts in the south East of Europe. Since the first Edition around 200 students have been active as participants in this project and around 30 different researches from over 25 countries.The Inter University Centre, an initiative of 200 Universities from all over Europe and North America, is hosting this project from the beginning. The course directors from Utrecht already had experiences with the IUC in the seventies and the eighties of the last century as the meeting place for students from East and West. Also today the IUC supports especially initiatives that pay attention to both regional questions and global challenges.