“Junior Campus EU+” is a cooperation between the University of Mainz, the TU Darmstadt, the Representation of Rhineland-Palatinate at the EU, the Ingelheim Center for Continuing Education (WBZ), and several secondary schools in the Rhein-Main-Region. It is a unique programme at the interface between school and university and aims at generating interest and enthusiasm among pupils for various types of studies and scientific/academic fields.
The project is satisfying the need of schools to integrate EU Studies into the syllabus and at the same time inspire pupils with the EU spirit. It likewise aims at generating interest and enthusiasm among pupils for various types of studies and scientific/academic fields.
Junior Campus EU+ 2017
The two day simulation with preliminary meetings at the schools was moderated and guided by academic staff from the University of Mainz and the TU Darmstadt, and further assisted by secondary school teachers. In addition to helping participants understand political procedures, the aim of the event was to introduce high school students to issues related to European politics and to make the general public more aware of the subject of European integration.
“Junior Campus EU+” 2017, held from 7-8 February 2017 in Bacharach, involved 51 pupils from the Römerkastell High School in Alzey and the Frauenlob High School Mainz who slipped into the role of European Council members of the 28 European Union member states and the accession candidate Serbia. After being instructed in the rules of procedure in the Council by academic staff, the member states representatives gave introductory speeches on the position of their state before the accession candidate presented its proposal in the Council. In the following sessions and days the member states discussed intensively on prerequisites for accession and drafted an accession treaty, while they also gave interviews to the media, played by the teachers, and repeatedly had informal conversations within the Council, at the lunch or with Serbian representatives. During the simulation, which included a debriefing of the pupils, the young Europeans learned how the bodies of the European Union work, how to find compromises in negotiations that involve diverging interests and had a first-hand experience on EU decision-making.
This initiative raised the interest of pupils in European integration, which will in the medium and long term also positively affect the demand for BA/MA programmes and teaching in European Integration Studies. It also fostered the cooperation between universities and (secondary) schools which agreed to continue and intensify cooperation in the following years. The 2017 evaluation of “Junior Campus EU+” clearly indicates that the interest of the pupils towards European integration has been further strengthened and that, in addition, new friendships between pupils from different schools have emerged. In particular, the pupils mentioned that the two-day simulation has increased their understanding of the difficulties of accumulating diverging interests.
Both universities will benefit in making their EU studies more attractive and raising the interest of pupils in European integration at an early stage. The teachers will benefit in getting
offered an inspiring way of integrating EU topics into their syllabus and at the same time creating a link towards university. The pupils will benefit the most from an interactive way of learning
and understanding EU governance guided by experts of the universities. However, it also provides an enriching opportunity for academics to teach and exchange outside of the higher education
context and share their enthusiasm for EU topics.
“Junior Campus EU+” is creating a high visibility of EU studies and CEDI within schools of the Rhein-Main Area. Especially these events have attracted the interest of local media.
“Junior Campus EU+” stimulated knowledge in a pre-university stage of young people and hopefully spark their interest for the EU and EU studies.