News release: European exchanges with multiples benefits

Media and Promotion Office (2001) News release: European exchanges with multiples benefits. Other. University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

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At a time when so many European eyes are fixed finnly on the Euro and the enlargement of
the European Union is near at hand, the University of Central Lancashire is beginning to
develop academic and cultural links with universities in Central and Eastern Europe.
As a result of a bid put together by Professor Michael Parker, the Depa1tment of Cultural
Studies has just been awarded a grant from the British Council in Poland to set up and
maintain a staff exchange as part of their Literature Initiative Programme. Initially the
exchange will involve the University of Central Lancashire and Lodz University in Poland,
but the Department aims to develop this into a three-way link. Discussions are underway
with Charles University, Prague, in the Czech Republic. The British Council is particularly
keen to promote a tri-partite exchange programme in which individual academics can
contribute to and enrich teaching and research in partner institutions, and where all pa1ties
can collaborate in each other's academic and cultural development.
Lodz is the second biggest city in Poland and, like Preston, is a place with a long history of
involvement with the textile trade. That being said, the cultural differences between the two
are marked and there is much to be learned on both sides during the week-long exchanges
which will take place over the next five years. Professor Parker sees many advantages in
the academic links between the two universities. Although both universities have a
considerable number of teaching and research areas in common - Irish Literature and PostColonial
Literatures, to name but two - staff may well have very different approaches to
these subjects and certainly bring different cultural perspectives to these areas of study.
Like the Depa1tment of Cultural Studies' involvement in the Maastricht Center for
Transatlantic Studies, the AMATAS project and the international conference scene, this
development reflects the university's commitment to the wider academic community.
6 December 2001

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