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EU-Subsidised Courses in Conference Interpreting and Conference Management
Thread poster: Parrot

Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
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Sep 4, 2004

Note: Personal subsidies are restricted to nationals of the EU Member States. Admission policies are implemented by the universities involved and may imply that priority is given to nationals of the EU Member States. Entry into the programme is competitive. Knowledge of one or more of the expansion languages is an asset.

Below is more or less a summary of the pilot projects and the University Networks implementing both degrees. Please note that both programmes are developmental and will thus vary depending on the schoolyear and audit results. Funds are available on two levels: the universities involved are subsidised, and individual students may avail of aid to mobility and for defrayment of certain expenses.

The European Master’s Diploma in Conference Interpretation

Information sheet

In the last few years, the Joint Interpreting and Conference Service (SCIC) has received a considerable number of enquiries from young graduates from all over Europe (and beyond) concerning postgraduate training programmes in conference interpreting. Often, these enquiries involved less widely used languages for which there were few, if any, training possibilities despite a growing demand throughout the European Union.



Whilst no university can offer interpretation courses covering all the languages, it would be highly desirable for them not to offer just the same 3 or 4 languages. This pre-supposes greater co-operation between the universities, more student mobility and short but intensive courses.


SCIC was also convinced that there were considerable synergies to be found in the establishment of a network of universities working together to provide training of a commonly-recognized high standard. The additional European dimension of mobility for students and teachers would also accelerate the spread of best practices further reinforcing the quality of training. Moreover, the continuing dialogue with the 'employers' would ensure that the course was forward looking and focused on market needs.


SCIC therefore requested the support of DG EAC (the Commission department for Education, Training and Youth) and the Thematic Network Project (TNP) in the Area of Languages to cooperate in launching a pilot project to develop a European "Masters" type degree in conference interpreting. In the framework of wider inter-institutional co-operation, the European Parliament was also invited to participate.

More than 30 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) submitted formal expressions of interest. A small core group was constituted with 8 universities from 8 different countries, SCIC, E.P., DG EAC and the TNP. The composition of the group ensured a representative cross-section of interests and experiences

The brief was to develop a common framework for a post-graduate programme open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines with a high level of competence in specific languages, particularly less widely used languages. The course content focuses on professional needs and emphasises international co-operation and mobility (study visits to the European Institutions, international organisations, ministries, etc., inter-university intensive programmes on specific subjects, visits and exchanges of teaching staff and students).

The new programme is targeted at young graduates seeking to enter the profession. A second modular version will also address itself to practising conference interpreters wishing to obtain additional qualifications.

The curriculum development of the new course started on 1 September 1997 and lasted for 12 months. Working drafts prepared by the consortium were widely disseminated in December 1997 and March 1998 to ensure the broadest consultation of all interested parties. The consolidated version constitutes the agreed basis for the newly developed programme and was trialled in the 1998-99 academic year by the consortium members with regular monitoring.

Work continued throughout the next 2 academic years reinforcing cross-border mobility to facilitate the dissemination of best practices, promoting less-widely used language coverage and holding meetings and workshops such as the joint SCIC-EMCI seminar to define agreed benchmarks for quality assessment of interpreting graduates.

In May 2001 the partnership, which had progressively grown to fifteen including 3 Candidate Country Institutions, was formally constituted as a Consortium.

For 2002-2003, the Consortium intends to continue progressively expanding by admitting 2 new observers from the enlargement countries and developing pedagogical projects e.g. new technologies in training, "retour" training methodology.

SCIC, the European Parliament and SOCRATES have contributed funding to the project.

Current Members (15) :

Karl Franzens Universität Graz - Austria
Hoger Instituut voor Vertalers en Tolken Antwerpen - Belgium
Handelshøjskolen Copenhagen - Denmark
Universidad de la Laguna La Laguna - Spain
Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris - France
Universidade Do Minho Braga - Portugal
Stockholms Universitet Stockholm - Sweden
University of Westminster London - U.K.
Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz - Germany
Turku University Turku - Finland
Eötvös Loránd University (Elte) Budapest - Hungary
Università degli Studi di Trieste Trieste - Italy
Charles University Prague - Czech Republic
Université de Genève Geneva - Switzerland
Uniwersytet Warsaw Warsaw - Poland


In line with the aims of the programme to ensure the widest dissemination of results, all interested parties are invited to attend regular presentations of the work in progress and occasions for general discussion and dialogue.
The SCIC-Universities Conference in February 2002 brought together more than 60 different HEIs, as well as governments, Institutions and professional bodies.

The core curriculum, contact addresses and other relevant information is regularly updated and available on:




- To meet the need for professional congress managers conversant with the needs of the European market and with a Master’s-level diploma recognised throughout Europe by international organisations and the congress industry.

- To develop a forward-looking teaching and learning programme which can increase the career flexibility of those already working in the congress industry.

- To increase the quality and competitiveness of the European congress industry by raising levels of professionalism.


In the framework of inter-institutional co-operation and the ‘global quality’ concept promoted by SCIC, a conference was organised (3 July 1998) with all the international organisations (UN, UNESCO, ILO, IMF, etc.) SCIC presented a proposal to create a University-level postgraduate course in conference management, which was warmly welcomed by the other participants, recognising the virtual lack of higher-level education provision in this field.

A ‘core group’ was set up comprising four Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) (Bologna-I, Deusto Bilbao-ES, Ravensburg-D, Sheffield Hallam-UK), ATLAS (the European Thematic University Network for tourism and congresses), the public sector (SCIC) and the private sector (European Meetings Industry Liaison Group and many industry leaders), supported by a wider Advisory Group of HEIs from ATLAS.

Participating Universities were selected on the basis of specific expertise, commitment and representativity.

The brief was to develop a Europe-wide framework curriculum for a specialist post-graduate programme open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines. Course content would be firmly focused on the needs of the industry and the ability to operate successfully across European borders.

Features include staff mobility, student mobility, hands-on project work involving a 3-month placement in the industry as well as direct course input from the major industry players.

Pilot courses have already been run by Deusto Bilbao (ES), Bologna (I), Ravensburg (D)and Sheffield Hallam (UK). First results indicate that industry acceptance is excellent with graduates being very much sought after.

Two new H.E.I.s, Angers (F) and NHTA Breda (NL) have joined the consortium and numerous others contribute via membership of the Advisory Group.

In the current phase, course content, modules and structure are being developed for distance learning delivery in order to maximise effectiveness and offer opportunities to graduates already in employment. It is expected that this variant will be particularly interesting for those already working in the meetings industry ensuring constant industry-wide quality improvement as well as enhanced personal development prospects.

Course development expenditure has been funded by SCIC and the SOCRATES programme. The Consortium is seeking diversified European private-sector sponsorship for future activities. For more information, please see:



(When I think of how I had to sit it out in improvised training rooms with invited AIIC mentors, only to get "kicked out" of the country without a diploma for the famous "further training", I envy the young people today... old Parrot, sigh)

[Edited at 2004-09-04 11:14]

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Local time: 20:13
Portuguese to English
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I am probably not posting this question on the right place, but I am quite new at this website and I still haven't managed to figure out how it works.

I am a Linguistics student in Portugal, and I am about to get my degree (1st university degree, that is). After this I would like to pursue my studies in the area of translation and interpreting, preferably in a different european country.
I would like to ask you if you know of some place where I can find information about european master's programmes in translation/interpreting.

I have heard about the MA in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Westminster in Lodon, England, which sounds quite promising from what I have read, but I really have no reference or concrete idea of the quality of this university and of the translation courses offered there....

got any useful points or tips you could send my way?


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Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:13
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Spanish to English
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Welcome, Helena Nov 13, 2007

I suggest you start a new topic, since this one is 3 years old. You'd be needing updated information.

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