The teaching programme for Eastern European Languages and Cultures (EELC) at the University of Ghent is based on the following fundamental assets:
(1) academic knowledge of Eastern European languages and cultures
(2) integrated knowledge acquisition
(3) knowledge enhancement through internationalisation
(4) a historical and multidisciplinary approach to languages and cultures
(5) critical-analytical and transferable skills
All of the above features are meant to provide for:
(6) a solid preparation for a broad scope of employment and advanced studies
(7) the promotion of knowledge about and understanding of Eastern Europe within society
The teaching programme EELC offers students courses which allow them to acquire an intermediate (BA) or advanced (MA) level of (at least) two modern East European languages and and insight into Slavic cultures conceived of very broadly. A crucial point is that language acquisition rather than being considered an aim in itself, is treated as a means to access and understand East European cultures. The programme approaches culture through language, but at the same time considers language an integral part of culture. Both are indissolubly linked to each other and ask for an integrated perspective on language and culture. Integrated knowledge acquisition does not stop at teaching, but requires perfection through an immediate personal experience of the cultures in question. For this reason internationalisation forms an integral part of the programme. A quite specific feature of the programme is its particular stress on history and multidisciplinarity. The programme takes the historical evolution and mutual relations of Slavic languages and cultures as its point of departure. This is, why the programme specifically focusses on Old Slavonic and Eastern European history as key factors that link up modern Eastern European cultures. Students who complete the programme of EELC acquire the skills necessary to critically deal with and analyse factual knowledge, texts, opinions, etc. In addition, students will be equipped with skills that can be applied immediately in their prospective jobs and form a sound basis for further studies (esp. transferable skills from synthetising to reporting). Ultimately, it is hoped that graduate students will be able to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge about as well as consciousness of and interest in Eastern Europe.
The above vision statement lies at the very heart of the programme of EELC and its seven fundamental assets form the framework for all its strategic choices. Stability and sustainability of our vision alongside an openness for the continuing demand for improvement safeguard the long-term viability of our programme policy. The vision statement reflects the strategic aims of the University of Ghent. It capitalises on creative knowledge development and multiperspectivity and aspires to put into effect the University’s mission statement Sapere aude!