Edinburgh versus Helsinki

New Europe New Scotland

The ex-Director of IASH, Professor Jo Shaw, has recently blogged about her one-year EURIAS fellowship at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in Finland, and about the role of institutes of advanced study in the twenty-first century:

I am convinced that for a university to maintain and develop an IAS it needs an a priori commitment to fostering the benefits of autonomy and scholarly enquiry that are intrinsic to their flourishing. A reductionist and calculating approach to benefits (‘does it wash its face financially?’) is liable to result in the downgrading of one of the most valuable aspects of international academic community, without appropriate staffing and funding. Management structures that integrate the IAS into the host institution, whilst preserving academic independence are vital. That said, IASs, their staff and their fellows also have responsibilities to intensify their collaborations within and beyond the host university and to tell the world all about it. They can no longer be, if they ever were, quiet inward-looking places.

You can read her entire blogpost here.