‘VOWED’ Centre of Excellence Chair

Description / aims

The aims of "Virtually Excellent: Opening Europe to the World through Innovative Education (VOWED)" are fourfold:

  1. To ensure that students benefit from high-quality research-based teaching on a wide variety of EU integration and foreign affairs issues;
  2. To provide a foundation by which academics and students are influenced via a series of distance learning formats on a range of multidisciplinary themes; 
  3. To offer a series of outputs by which civil society can be viably informed of contemporary EU developments;
  4. To reinforce the various Jean Monnet activities currently running at the IES, under the aegis of Jean Monnet Chair Professor Harri Kalimo. 


  1. The development of 14 new online courses each designed to be distance-learning, and blended-learning ready 
  2. Three ‘Annual IES Autumn Lecture Series’ in 2017, 2018 and 2019 (8 lectures / series) 
  3. Annual IES Autumn Lecture Series Digital Repository (Lecture Streaming & Podcast Series): 2017, 2018 and 2019  
  4. An Online Master Programme on European and International Governance (60 ECTS) 
  5. Three ‘Annual IES Research Colloquium Series’ 


  1. To viably expand upon the IES' original Centre of Excellence status, by developing its initial commitment to digital education into a fully-developed suite of 14 online courses. This objective underwrites both the first and second aim of offering high-quality, research-based output offered in purely online formats, or through blended learning.
  2. To develop a fully-fledged online master progamme ready to be delivered through distance or blended learning formats. This objective addresses all three of the above-mentioned aims, being research-based and multi-disciplinary in content, highly innovative in its blended/distance learning form, and intrinsically geared to ‘civil society’ in nature. Making use of the IES’ own e-learning infrastructure, and the original suite of Online EU modules as a key part of its modular offerings, with teaching led by – inter alia –  the Jean Monnet Chair, the Online Master Programme also supports the fourth aim of an organic link between existing IES Jean Monnet activities.
  3. The third objective goes to the heart of the research-led teaching and academic services of the IES, namely to offer regular, interactive and contemporary debating activities on key EU themes like the economic crisis, foreign affairs and EU institutional performance. Reinforced by an accompanying suite of Lecture Series Podcasts, drawing together the cutting-edge research and teaching of the IES and leading policy-makers, and overseen by the Jean Monnet Chair, the Annual IES Autumn Lecture Series ticks all four aims, and makes a comprehensively viable and looked-for public service offering.