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University of Copenhagen
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UCPH gets new degree programme in Eastern European Studies

Language programmes — Polish and Balkan Studies will be merged with Russian as a part of the new Bachelor in Eastern European Studies. Future students can apply now.

In recent years, we have published several articles about the death of languages at the Faculty of Humanities. But now we have good news from the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies.

It will still be possible to study Polish and Balkan Studies (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian) at the University of Copenhagen as part of a new bachelor’s programme in Eastern European Studies. The merger is to help save the two subject areas from closure.

In the spring of 2016, the dean of the Faculty of Humanities Ulf Hedtoft earmarked Polish and Balkan Studies for closure, which led to widespread protests from students and staff.

A good solution

After the protests, work was set in motion to maintain Polish and Balkan Studies in a new constellation. The language programmes have been merged with Russian from the autumn semester of 2018 as part of a wider Eastern European Studies programme.

Our students find jobs, as there is almost no unemployment among the graduates

Tea Sindbæk Andersen, assistant professor, Balkan Studies

The new solution is welcomed by Tea Sindbæk Andersen, an assistant professor in Balkan Studies and representative of the academic staff at Eastern European Studies. She has been involved in the planning of the new study programme.

“I find it terrible that so many language programmes have been closed. But the new study programme in Eastern European Studies ensures that we keep the three language programmes, Polish, Russian and Balkan Studies. When you consider the fact that we were on the verge of being closed down, it is a very good solution that we in the future will be able to work together across the different language programmes.”

National and regional subjects

The degree programme is structured so that the student chooses his or her language line from the first semester, but will then get joint instruction together with other students in Eastern European history. Second semester focuses on the selected language programme, and in the third semester, the students across the different language lines will all focus on Eastern European history and society.

“We will not compromise on the language. In fact, we will strengthen it. We share our specialisations in a new way, because we both have regional and national subjects. And what we, in particular, focus on, is the need to understand Eastern European society and to be able to read the sources in the original language.”

Compulsory study abroad

There is also a master’s degree in Eastern European studies, and the study programme includes a compulsory period of study abroad, where students can immerse themselves in their language areas.

“We include the study abroad, because this is a prerequisite for learning a language. We know from the Balkan Studies that this is where students really move. And we know our students get jobs, as there is almost no unemployment among graduates

You can apply now to Eastern European Studies to start on the spring semester of next year. Find more information here.