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10 YEARS ON: National & Transnational Studies in Münster and Beyond

07 July 2018
WWU Münster

Eighty students, alumni, staff members, and guests came together at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our interdisciplinary MA programme National and Transnational Studies (MA NTS).

Opening the anniversary celebrations, WWU Rector Prof. Dr. Johannes Wessels highlighted the importance of the MA NTS as one of the University’s most interdisciplinary and international study programmes. With its high number of foreign students, averaging at 75%, the MA NTS has been contributing significantly to the international profile and cultural diversity of the WWU ever since its accreditation in 2008.

Before launching the new NTS AlumNetwork, course director Prof. Dr. Mark U Stein pointed to the steadily growing numbers of national and international applications which indicates the unbroken appeal of a transdisciplinary programme that transcends the conceptual boundaries of traditional thought and combines literary and cultural studies as well as book studies and linguistics. He also cautioned that the Land NRW is considering the introduction of tuition fees for international students — at a time when Europe is seen to keep non-Europeans out.

The anniversary programme was supplemented by several guest speakers. In a thought-provoking keynote, renowned photographer, writer, and broadcast journalist Johny Pitts (London) connected key topics of the NTS to his own photographic work and personal experience. Two talks by NTS alumnae Isabel Raabe (Oxford) and Selver Bener (Amsterdam) provided first-hand insights into the successful career paths of NTS graduates who are now spread across the globe – as scholars and lecturers at international universities or working in the media, for agencies, companies, or foundations.

10 YEARS ON also included the workshop “Strategies for the Sustainable Internationalization of an Interdisciplinary Field”, organized and chaired by PD Dr. Markus Schmitz. In the workshop, alumnae/i, current students, and faculty discussed how the NTS programme’s well-established informal network of internal and external partners can be translated into continuing exchanges, institutionalized partnerships, and stable collaborations between NTS alumnae/i scattered across geographical and disciplinary locations.

The celebrations concluded with a reception that offered plenty of time for students, staff, alumni, and other guests to catch up and network over food and drink. The event was kindly supported by the English Seminar, the International Office of the WWU Münster and the International Centre "Die Brücke".

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