Lotta Lounasmeri, university lecturer in the Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies, finds that the location of Helsinki between East and West offers something special for students focusing on Europe and the Nordics. She herself has worked at the Centre for European Studies since 2016 as a postdoctoral researcher, and has a background in media and communication studies. “My research interest focuses on Finnish political culture in a Nordic and European context, and in my recent Academy of Finland project I explored the Finnish culture of decision-making particularly in the energy sector,” Lounasmeri describes.
She is teaching a special course in European media and public sphere in the Master’s Programme in European and Nordic Studies.
“The course aims to increase understanding of the relationship between media and politics in Finland and other European societies. We explore how this relationship has developed over the years and how it affects institutions, political culture and the media sector today.”
The course uses the method of case-based learning, in which international students can provide information about their countries or regions, or alternatively, offer a fresh perspective on the Finnish or Nordic systems.
“Exploring media systems and their historical roots with an international group is incredibly educational and productive,” Lounasmeri enthuses.
A broad-based programme with a Nordic focus
The programme brings together knowledge from the humanities and social sciences about Europe and the Nordic countries. Students become aware of current, extensive trends and their roots in European societies.
“With a solid foundation based on a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences or humanities, the programme both deepens and expands students’ skills by providing them with a more comprehensive understanding of how modern societies function and what role history, institutions and culture play in their development.”
The Master’s Programme in European and Nordic studies analyses the current and historical role of Europe in the world from the perspectives of political, cultural and historical studies. The Nordic context plays a central role.
“Europe is comprised of a huge number of peoples, languages and identity groups, and is also continuously evolving. The Nordic countries are emphasised as a particular geographical area, cultural and political entity and historical narrative.”
The programme focuses on the diverse identity issues of an ever-evolving continent.
“The programme provides students with the tools to discern how Europe has become Europe, and how different, sometimes mutually conflicting, perspectives, can be justified,” Lounasmeri notes.
The programme aims to provide students with tools for analysing social issues not only critically and analytically, but also thoughtfully and with empathy.
The graduates are well-equipped to work in international specialist positions in the EU, the communications sector, organisations promoting Nordic cooperation, and the like. Students enthusiastic about research work are encouraged to pursue postgraduate studies.
“The programme is highly international and invests in the development of interaction and presentation skills through teaching, as well as in the integration of students into the academic community,” Lounasmeri says.
Helsinki is an excellent city for students focusing on Europe.
“As a European university city, Helsinki can offer something special: it is located at a distinct intersection of East and West. Genuinely diverse cultural and historical influences can be clearly seen and sensed in this city.”