AUT University’s School of Communication Studies and University of Canterbury’s School of Social and political sciences have recently received a $350,000 (NZD) EU-NZ grant to enable their honours students to participate in a three year mobility project with European institutions.
What does the grant mean?
The project, Inclusive Journalism Initiative (IJI): Reporting Europe and Asia-Pacific, enables students from both universities to spend a semester abroad studying at either the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) or the Swedish School of Social Science at Helsinki University.
The four universities submitted a joint proposal to receive funding from the EU-NZ Cooperation programme, enabling 25 journalism students over three years to spend one semester of their fourth year (equivalent to an honours year in New Zealand) on the other side of the world, learning the theory and practice of reporting on ethnicity, indigenous people, immigration, religion, economic insecurity, and multiculturalism.
The EU-NZ funding will support tuition, travel, and accommodation for each student that participates, as well as a monthly stipend to support living costs. AUT and University of Canterbury 350,000 New Zealand dollars to share, while DMJX and Helsinki University receive 190,000 Euros.
Why should students study abroad?
IJI aims to contribute to reforming journalism education internationally, and is widely supported by media organisations in Europe and New Zealand. It seeks to respond to the challenges journalism faces in the increasingly globalised world.
"Getting financial support to bring the idea of inclusive society to journalism education is a recognition of AUT's efforts to internationalise its journalism programme", says the project leader Associate Professor Verica Rupar, head of the journalism programme at AUT.
"The Inclusive Journalism Initiative brings together universities that offer a cutting edge journalism curriculum and this project is designed as our response to the challenges journalism faces in the increasingly globalised world".
The grant also allows for collaborative research to be conducted, and staff exchanges to occur. AUT and DMJX will be working on expanding this collaboration further, to eventually offer a joint degree to students.
AUT International Programmes Coordinator Monique van Veen believes the importance of this grant in contributing to such a high level of collaboration among universities is invaluable.