European Studies Centre

Sichuan University

  主页 ::

EU-China European Studies Centres Programme

1.1     Title

               Searching for the Core of European Integration:  The Historical, Cultural
                                         and Religious Impacts on Its Process

1.2  EU Partner(s)
       Vrije Universitiet Amsterdam, The Netherlands
       Researchers from Bonn University, Universitate Paris 10, France

1.3  Project Period:   April 2005 --- December 2007

1.4     Summary
     This proposed project is to strengthen the teaching, research and management ability of ESC at SCU, to improve the research/teaching quality and quantity, and to secure the overall function of ESC at Sichuan University and in West China. The project priority is to create an interdisciplinary EU Studies Programme at the Graduate Level, concentrating on European culture, history, political development and religion and their contribution to and impact on the European integration. The project involves the researchers and teachers of humanities and social sciences at campus and the European partners, as well as public and private organizations in West China, benefits the undergraduate and postgraduate students of European Studies through the specially designed activities of ESC Working-mechanism Building, MA Programme Establishment, Chinese-EU Scholars’ Mobility and Workshops.

1.5     Objectives

1.5.2.   Overall Objective

     The overall objective of our proposal is to expand and maintain the presence and visibility of EU and West China in each other through the efficient function of ESC at Sichuan University in its collaborative research and teaching programmes with its EU partners, to achieve a mutual benefit by providing university students and scholars in higher education, as well as people interested in EU-related issues in the region of West China, with multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary information and knowledge. The most dominant aspect of this specially designed research and teaching programme is interdisciplinary, engaging the ESC and related personnel both at Sichuan University, the European partners and the scholars with EU expertise in ESCs nationwide. In considering the existing ESCs and their academic focus, ESC at SCU, with its strength, emphasizes on cultural, historical, political and religious factors of EU integration in EU studies. The final goal of this effort is to improve the efficiency and strength of the ESC at SCU in its regional role and function in EU studies in West China as an organizer and information centre.

1.5.2.   Specific objectives
     Specifically the project is to improve the mechanism and managing ability of ESC at SCU, to build ESC at SCU an EU data and information centre to meet the needs of the region; to strengthen academic research capability of the concerned faculties, and to implement the MA programme of EU Studies with interdisciplinary modules at the ESC of SCU with the support of its EU partners; to increase student and staff mobility, enhancing the mutual recognition of the units/modules between the partner institutions; to improve subject expertise and teaching competencies of Chinese graduates and academic staff; and eventually with all the strength mentioned above to build the ESC a solid institute conducting teaching and research on campus and providing information and advisory services off campus.
     The specific objectives of the project mentioned above will be realized by reforming and establishing a new EU Studies curricula and course structures, and improving the qualification of EU Studies teachers and instructors. The core problems in this area at present are: insufficient function of ESC as an overarching institute organizing and offering a unified curricula and graduate programmes in EU Studies, and the isolation of the courses of EU concerned topics offered now in the universities of China in individual discipline, and the lack of focus of the research interest and the team-work mechanism of the faculties in EU studies. By reforming the curricula, the tandem partners of the project will jointly develop interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary core curricula in the field of EU Studies that qualify graduate students for their expertise and challenge in EU-related employment in the public and private academic, government or service sectors.
     Generally the purpose of this project is to contribute to help the Chinese party, the ESC at Sichuan University, develop its multi-disciplinary research capability and its Postgraduate Programme in EU Studies (at MA level first and eventually at PhD level) and develop academic curricula on EU Studies with a focus on EU Integration that will benefit the comprehensive higher education programme in this particular field at Sichuan University and in West China as well, to enhance the partnership and exchange by joint curricula development and to prepare these linkages for further sustainable development in joint research/teaching. The collaborative network will serve as a basis for mutual communication of culturally different approaches to comparable problems. Recognition standards and degree awarding will be jointly planned and executed. This will eventually contribute to building a sustainable co-operation between the peoples and between the regions of the both sides.

1.6  Orginazation of the Project at ESC, SCU

General Manager: Prof. Jian Shi, Vice President of Sichuan University & Director of ESC, SCU

Project Management Group (PMG):
Vice manager: Prof. Henk Overbeek, Coordinator for EU partner
Vice manager: Prof. Feng Duan, ESC, SCU
Prof. Kailai, Xu
Prof. Zhuyu Li: Assistant to Director & Project managers
Secretary: Dr. Ning Hong

Project Academic Committee(PAC): Prof. Ping He, Prof. Qiang Li (Beijing University), Prof. Henk Overbeek(European Partner), Prof. Xianyi Pan, Prof. Xinlin Song (Renmin University of China), Prof. Jian Shi, Prof. Jiadong Tong (Nankai University), Prof. Kailai Xu, Prof. Dan Yi
Secretary: Prof. Zhuyu Li
1.7     Detailed description of activities
Map of the activities in the Proposal

Activities &


Main Content

Activity 1
(in first 3 M)

Project start
Construction of Website and Database

Activity 1.1: Management Mechanism
Activity 1.2: The Construction of the ESC Website & Database

Activity 2
(in 21 M)

Establish the MA Programme of EU Studies

Activity 2.1:

Curricula Development (CD)

Activity 2.2: Training of Teachers

Activity 2.3: Cooperating with European Partners

Activity 3
(Simultaneously with Activity 2,
in 21 M)

Strengthen the Research Ability of ESC at Sichuan University

Activity 3.1: Working Module 1:
Cultural and Social Backgrounds

Activity 3.2: Working Module 2:
Historical Views

Activity 3.3: Working Module 3
Religious Impacts

Activity 3.4: Key Experts Mobility between EU and China

Activity 3.5: International Workshop

Activity 4
(in 3 M)

Programme Evaluation, Sustainability

Activity 4.1: Programme Evaluation and Completion Meeting

Activity 4.2: ESC at SCU Strategic Development Planning and Sustainability

The details of each activities will be listed in the following:

Activity 1: Management mechanism, team work and the project website & database (duration in first 3 M)
Objectives: Establishing a comprehensive management mechanism, strengthen the ESC as a team and a network, upgrading the efficiency of ESC through the building of its website and database. There are two sections in Activity 1:

Activity 1.1   Management Mechanism, Team Work
1.1.1  Prepare and organize the 1st Project Committee Meeting
     a) Each sub-project has to sign a sub-contract with the General Manager of the project.
Identify and assign tasks and responsibilities to each sub-project leader.
     b) Each sub-project holder has to prepare an outline of his/her map of the sub-project
and confirming the first year activity-plan.
     c) All the above may put on the website of ESC, SCU.

Activity 1.2   Establish the Web Home Pages and Database of the Project

To establish a website of the Project of ESC, SCU in ESCP in the Chinese Higher Education Website directly linked to Each sub-project leader will prepare and present the final outline with detailed description of the website reference page and the database of the project team. The database will also serve as a communication medium between the partners and among the participants being accessed only by them via password
1.2.1 The construction of Web Home Page (in English and Chinese) for the project and of reference web pages at the official websites of the project partners         in their native languages.
1.2.2 After modifications, the final version of Web Home Page will be made available to public on the internet, the database will remain at exclusive use by         the project partners protected with password and the reference page will be given to the EU partners to be translated in their native languages.

* Web Home Page of the project in English and Chinese including all outlines of sub-projects
* The reference web pages in the native languages of the project partners

Activity 2:  Establish the MA Programme of EU Studies (duration in 21M)
Objectives:  The main puporse of Activity 2 is to build a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary EU Studies curricula and build a new MA (eventually Ph.D.) programme. To meet the needs and satisfy the enthusiastic requirement both from the students and faculties, the ESC at SCU should complete such a programme under the ESCP. Students are provided with standard courses of high quality, benefiting from an enriching diversity of methodological approaches. While admission is open to graduates of all disciplines, the program is particularly geared towards applicants in humanities and social sciences and to promote their expertise and interest in EU Studies that will lead them further to related employment or PhD programme.
The programme conveys the fundamental knowledge and principles of the history of European integration, the impact of culture and religion to European intgration and policies and institutions of the European Union.
     The programme will offer a series of  EU Studies courses to the undergraduate students of general interest in EU and European issues, and enroll its own graduate students and offer an MA/Ph.D. programme based on ESC to the students with focuses on Culture, History, Political Development, and Religion of Europe and their relavance to European integration. Curricula composed for the programme will be made cooperatively with the 3 major Research Groups in ESC, SCU, and the curricula will be developed with the co-operation and support from the European Partners as well as other ESCs in China. Through the establishment of the graduate studies programme in EU studies, to strengthen the ESC and its function as an efficient academic body and prepare its sustainability for its future development.

Activity 2.1  Curricula Development (CD)
Curricula Development will design and improve the syllabus and curricula of EU Studies. The working model for CD can be briefly outlined as the following:

We will develop a General Guide for the development of specific curricula Cultures and History, Religion and Political Science in EU Studies as well as for the reformation and updating of the existing curricula presently offered in the Schools of Humanities and social sciences at Sichuan University. The Curricula Guide will include the following sections:
*  needs’ assessment in sectors having to do with the communication and exchange of all levels;
*  principles that should govern development and teaching of new curricula;
*  the curricula referring to EU Studies, particularly impacts of the culture, history and religion on EU integration;
*  references to teaching materials to be used in the curricula development

The final Development Guide will be launched at the Website of Sichuan University as a formal Graduate Studies programme.

     We will develop a General Guide for the development of specific curricula Cultures and History, Religion and Political Science in EU Studies as well as for the reformation and updating of the existing curricula presently offered in the Schools of Humanities and social sciences at Sichuan University. The Curricula Guide will include the following sections:
*  needs’ assessment in sectors having to do with the communication and exchange of all levels;
*  principles that should govern development and teaching of new curricula;
*  the curricula referring to EU Studies, particularly impacts of the culture, history and religion on EU integration;
*  references to teaching materials to be used in the curricula development

The final Development Guide will be launched at the Website of Sichuan University as a formal Graduate Studies programme.

Design an interdisciplinary Curricula System for EU Studies Programme at MA level:
     To improve the existing courses and develop new courses of EU Studies, especially concentrating on the following modules, which are the core development base of the applicant in Activity 3 of the Project in the Disciplinary Areas. The major consideration of the newly designed graduate studies programme is to improve the ESC’s research ability through teaching and constructing new courses.

The interdisciplinary curricula consists of courses:
*Cultures /Module 1: Ideological, Cultural and Social Background of European Integration and EU Enlargement.
*History /Module 2: A Historical View of European Integration and Its Searching for Identity.
*Religion and Political Science /Module 3:  Religious Impacts on Social and Political Changes in Europe and Their Contributions to the Shaping of European Integration Ideas.

The following is the basic structure of the CD for the MA in EU Studies:
                                                                        (Those in italicized words are the existing courses)
I.  Four Basic Courses (32- 36 academic hours, 3 credits each) :
1)Studies of European Integration
2)A History of European Culture
3)Economic Achievements and Problems in the Process of European Integration
4)The European Union as a Global Actor
Note:  Students have to choose 2-3 out of the 4 courses during the first academic year.
II.  Five Specialized credit Courses (32-36 academic hours, 3 credits each):
1)The Cultural Foundations of European Integration
2)The European Religious Culture and European Integration: Theory and Hypotheses
3)Comparative Study of Chinese and European Civilizations
4)Cultural Industry Policy in the Process of European Integration
5)Development of Culture Anthropology in European Integration
6)  The Dynamics of European Integration
Note:  Students enrolled in the programme have to choose 3-4 out of the 6 courses in the second academic year.

III.  Selective Credit Courses (30-32 hours, 2 credits each):

  1. Christian Democracy and European Integration
  2. Culture and National Identity: "the East" and European Integration
  3. Migration in European Integration: Past, Present and Future
  4. EU Tourist Culture and European Heritage Protection
  5. Higher Education and Sciences Developments in EU
  6. Justice and Order in the European Union/ Introduction to the Institutions, Procedures and Law of the EU
  7. Economic Aspects of Core EU-Policies

Note:  Students enrolled in the programme may choose 3-4 or more during the two academic years of the study.

     Textbooks and teaching materials will be chosen and collected from EU partners, internet searching and related institutions or authors. Carrying out comparative study and quality analysis of the teaching materials, and creating a comprehensive agenda for each according to the needs and requirements from both the graduate students and faculties, joint with Activity 3 for all experts in the sub-projects. Public teaching materials will also be considered in the needs of the community.

Activity 2.2  Training of Chinese Teachers and Implementing New Degree Programme
     Activity 2.2 will focus on improving the young faculties’ knowledge and research skills through their visit to EU Partners.
2.2.1  The activity will sponsor young faculties (including full time and part time) to visit the European partner universities on a short term. Selected faculties         and postgraduates will visit and work in the related departments in EU partner universities and learn to prepare for the teaching of one or two courses         listed in Activity 2.1 and also prepare a new course related to EU Studies.
* The Chinese visitors to EU partner University will be under the advisory of the EU partner’s coordinator, and the Project Committee of ESC will supervise the young faculty’s training and evaluation in their teaching and research work.
2.2.2  A domestic Seminar, entitled “Seminar on Curricula Development of EU Studies in China” designed to be held at Mid-May, 2006 at ESC of Sichuan University, will be mainly for ESCs in China and also the local parties interested in EU issues.

Activity 2.3  Cooperating with European Partners
     Activity 2.3 will develope and strengthen the cooperation with new and old European partners on teaching methodolegy improvement, compiling teaching materials and curricula development.
     As shown in the Certify Letter from our EU Partner, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, European experts will join the Project both by visiting ESC at SCU for Curricula Development on EU Studies (Activity 2) and also by collaborative research project (Activity 3). Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Sichuan University have signed an official Cooperation Agreement in 2002, and have student s and faculty exchange since then.
2.3.1   European experts will be invited to visit Sichuan University in 2006-2007 to co-conduct the new courses listed in 2.1.2 (European experts will also be expected to make their contribution to the research projects in Activity 3.1-Activity 3.3.) The visitors from EU Partner will be expected to prepare draft outlines of new teaching materials according to the human resources of the applicant:
-    To present and discuss the outlines prepared, deciding the detailed structure and content of the Module chapters.
-    To discuss the structure and type of the multimedia software that will include the Module based on the testing and evaluation of similar products and the particular needs of the Module itself as well as of the potential users in institutions in China.
-    The visiting European scholars who teach at ESC should stay one month in Chengdu.
2.3.2   A special curricula for public will be prepared in the project, according the market requirements. EU partners will be invited to prepare some parts related to the contemporary situation of EU.
     That is, developing a public-friendly curricula focusing on European Integration and enlargement, mainly focusing on the culture, history and religion impacts on the EU integration. The curricula will be designed for and offered to the government officials, business representatives and company decision-makers, e.g. Provinicial Bureau of Investment, Provinicial Bureau of International Tour, and also companies of trade, manufacture, and tour industry in Sichuan, opening a window to show their various concerned issues related to EU, European integration and EU policy-making and law-enforcing mechanism, helping to increase their strength in the global economic context and competition.


  1. Project partners will share their newsletters and information.
  2. Expand the enrolment of the MA candidates in EU Studies in West China.
  3. Offer public/open lectures to the government policy-making offices and general public.

Activity 3:  Strengthening the Research Ability of ESC (duration in 21M)
Objectives: The main objective in Activity 3 is to raise and improve the research ability of the faculties in ESC of SCU under the three working modules mentioned in Activity 2.
     To reach the goal on strengthening the research ability of ESC at Sichuan University, we need to confirm each expert’s research goal within the ESCP project. Each sub-project in different modules should be confirmed by sub-project leaders. We have detailed research sub-projects from staffs in ESC during the preparation of this proposal. Activity 3.1-3.3 will list the details. The committee will encourage a mutual promotion of Research and Teaching in EU studies related both in Activity 2.1 and Activity 3.1-3.5. The priority of the mobility between China and EU partners will follow the detail research plan or/and teaching design, which will be selected and decided by the Project Academic Committee (please see II 3.3).
    All sub-proposals in the Activity 3.1-3.3 in the following are related the Head Title of the proposal: Searching for the Core of European Integration:  The Historical, Cultural and Religious Impacts on Its Process. In the three modules, sub-project marked with * means that it has an EU partner expert to cooperate both in Activity 3.1-3.3 and Activity 2.1, 2.3 in the frame of the Action.

Activity 3.1  “Ideological, Cultural and Social Background of European Integration and Enlargement” includes the following sub-projects:
3.1.1  European Ideological Background and Its Impact on European Integration.

      1. European Identity in Cultural Development in the 19th Century and Its Implications upon Current EU Integration.
      2. Cultural Diversities and European Integration.

3.1.4  Research on EU Tourism and Tour Industry Development Policy in the Frame of European Integration.
3.1.5  The Impacts of Migration and Migration Culture upon European Integration.
3.1.6  Cultural and Ideological Diversities after EU Enlargement and the Impacts on Its
Further Development.

Activity 3.2  “A Historical View of European Integration and Its Searching for Identity” includes the following sub-projects:
3.2.1  A History of European Political Thought.
3.2.2  A History of European Union Studies.
  Studies of EU Cultural Industry Policies and Protection of European Historical Heritage.
3.2.4  A History of the East/West Exchange and Its Contribution to European Identity.
3.2.5  A History of the Social Changes in 15-16 Century and Their Impacts on European Integration.
3.2.6  A History of Regional Economical Development and Its Promoting for European Integration.

Activity 3.3   “Religious Impacts on Social and Political Changes in Europe and Their Contributions to the Shaping of European Integration Ideas” includes the following sub-projects:
3.3.1  Christian Democracy and European Integration.
3.3.2  Multicultural and Religious Elements in European Integration Policy-Making.
3.3.3  Cultural and Religious Diversities and Their Influence on EU Developments after Its 5th Enlargement.
3.3.4  The Economical and Political Integration in Europe and Its Lessons.
3.3.5  Studies of the Religion Conflicts and Compromises in European Integration Process.
3.3.6  A Religious Approach to the Forge and Development of European Identity.

All the above 3 sections will be considered as an overall frame to strengthen the research ability of ESC at Sichuan University. The Academic Committee of the Project will discuss with sub-project leaders for a detailed process and confirm:
* All these research sub-projects will be ensured as a mutual-promotion of Research and Teaching;
* The sub-projects’ contribution to the consulting and service function of ESC to the public and the related departments of the local Government;
* A mid-term evaluation and report on the project progress in the end of 2006;
* Publicizing period research achievement in Forums, Journals, Workshops, Homepage of ESC, SCU;

Activity 3.4   Key Experts Mobility between EU and ESC Partners

3.4.1  Research fellowship for Chinese key experts should be focusing on strengthening the key faculties’ research ability, teaching skills and enriching their knowledge through their visit to Europe. The Project will offer the support for Chinese experts in 2006-2007 to visit European partners for a short term. The candidates should be the key experts in Activity 3.1 – Activity 3.3. Selections will have to be approved by the Academic Committee of the Project of ESC, SCU.
     The visiting faculties from ESC, Sichuan University will work on their research in their confirmed sub-projects with EU experts in a cooperation frame and attend related seminars in the host university or institution of the partners.

3.4.2  European visiting schoalrs will be sponsored by the project, specially on culture and relgions study aspects related Activity 3.1-Activity 3.3.

Activity 3.5  International Workshop on Strengthening Cooperation with European partners
     An International Workshop entitled “The Ideological, Cultural and Social Background of Enlarged Europe” (4 days) has planned to be held in Mid-May, 2007, Chengdu, with 8 academic participants (in which 4 experts will cover their duties in Activity 2.3.1 and Activity 3.4.2), from Germany, France, Netherlands and Italy, and around 15 Chinese experts from other ESCs and 12 participants from ESC, Sichuan University. The workshop will be partly based on research achievement in the sub-projects listed above, and also other projects based on the participants’ research related the Head Title of the Action.
According to the signed agreements with our Partners in EU, we will have a further co-operation with Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Meanwhile, we will continue to cultivate existing partnerships with ZEI, University of Bonn, Germany, LASP (Laboratoire d’analyse des Systems Politiques), University Paris X, France in ESCP. Experts from these institutions may work with us on sub-projects listed in Activity 3.1-3.3, may also join Activity 2.3 & 3.5, depending their contribution to the Project.

Activity  4:  Project Evaluation, Sustainability (duration in 3M)

Activity 4.1  Final Meeting for Programme Evaluation and Completion

     Near the end of the project (November, 2007), a 4-day meeting will be held in Chengdu to present the results and the new teaching and research methodologies developed for modeling and managing the sub-projects and MA curricula. The output from the meeting will mainly focus on the achievement of objectives (to be published as peer reviewed conference proceedings), which will be addressed entirely by the Final Report to the PMO and to the EU Commission. The experts will provide the sub-project and the co-coordinator with reports on the progress status of the working module, the results obtained and their compliance with the work programme in a timely manner. These reports will cover such items as the percentage of completion of each task, estimated time of completion, actual man months expended and an estimate of the man months required to complete the tasks.

Activity 4.2  ESC Strategic Development Planning and Sustainability New Programme Application

     As the conclusion for the project, ESC at SCU will work together with its EU partners for a detailed plan of future cooperation, which will cover new projects and curricula design, sub-projects related to the major designs, preparation for application for new programmes such as Asian-link, the establishment of a regular working mechanism of ESC with the support and cooperation of its EU partners, and the systematic management and service of ESC as a research and teaching institute at SCU.

Publications and other outputs
module-related: The project will contribute to accomplish 3 books (in English or Chinese), addressing the specific topics regarding the three modules as stated in Activity 3.1-3.3 separately. Books may include case studies, research outcomes and specific China-Europe related exercises not yet part of any other similar books available.
     Meanwhile we plan to finish 20-24 research working papers and have them published in national and international journals. We will continue the editing and publication of the European Studies Forum, 6 issues of which have been published till now. The members of the project will take an initiation to attend national and international conferences with their papers and research achievement related to this project,and 4-6 textbooks for EU studies.
One of outputs in the project will be the development and design of online courses for EU Studies. The use of multimedia will enable students enrolled to participate from other universities without physical mobility; once web-based modules are developed, opportunities to attract new students from other places than universities in heterogeneous backgrounds (may be government officials and employees of both public and private sectors) will contribute to lifelong learning and the successful completion of the study courses in due time.

     ESC faculty must be prepared to meet the special requirements of distant teaching: they must become proficient in the communications technology employed; they must be prepared – either on their own or working in teams with other specialists – to design courses that take full advantage of the potential of ESCP; faculty teaching web-based courses must possess strategies and skills to communicate with their students electronically in the absence of visual and oral cues; qualification workshops or seminars advertised to higher education instructors and graduate assistants have to consider these aspects; dissemination of results will be made at the PMG meetings and through the Web Home Page of the project, and related achievement in text-form will be published.
WEBSITE : Web Home Page of the project – electronic brochure, newsletter and so on; this website will be used as a platform for communicating and disseminating the results of the project (e.g. newsletter), and it also contributes to the efficiency of the project by locating all documents and material in one place.