New Europe College
Institute for Advanced Study

New Europe College (NEC) is an independent Romanian institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences founded in 1994 by Professor Andrei Pleșu (philosopher, art historian, writer, Romanian Minister of Culture, 1990–1991, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1997-1999) within the framework of the New Europe Foundation, established in 1994 as a private foundation subject to Romanian law.

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Its impetus was the New Europe Prize for Higher Education and Research, awarded in 1993 to Professor Pleșu by a group of six institutes for advanced study (the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin).

Since 1994, the NEC community of fellows and alumni has enlarged to over 500 members. In 1998 New Europe College was awarded the prestigious Hannah Arendt Prize for its achievements in setting new standards in research and higher education. New Europe College is officially recognized by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research as an institutional structure for postgraduate studies in the humanities and social sciences, at the level of advanced studies.

Focused primarily on individual research at an advanced level, NEC offers to young Romanian scholars and academics in the fields of humanities and social sciences, and to the foreign scholars invited as fellows appropriate working conditions, and provides an institutional framework with strong international links, acting as a stimulating environment for interdisciplinary dialogue and critical debates. The academic programs NEC coordinates, and the events it organizes aim at strengthening research in the humanities and social sciences and at promoting contacts between Romanian scholars and their peers worldwide.

New Europe College–Institute for Advanced Study, or NEC – as it is usually called for short – was founded in 1994 by Professor Andrei Pleșu. For a post-communist country, the attempt to create a place where research in the fields of humanities and social sciences would be at home didn’t seem at the time a very realistic prospect. However, the project conceived by Andrei Pleșu was awarded the New Europe Prize for Higher Education and Research by a group of six institutes for advanced study (Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Wassenaar; Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala, and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), and this made its start possible; it enjoyed the help of a handful of people who were – and still are – deeply attached to it; and it was subsequently backed – and still is – by benevolent supporters . In 1998 New Europe College was awarded the prestigious Hannah Arendt Prize for its achievements in setting new standards in research and higher education. Meanwhile, the institute was also officially recognized by the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research as an institutional structure for postgraduate studies in the humanities and social sciences.

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The first generation of (five) Fellows of the newly founded institution often met informally, hosted by welcoming friends; NEC later moved to a rented flat, then to a small house, and finally to the house on Plantelor Street (property of the Swiss Confederation), which became its home. At its start, the Fellowships offered by NEC targeted exclusively Romanian researchers. The Institute gradually opened its doors to scholars from the neighboring countries, and over the last years to the world at large, so that currently the number of international scholars invited here in the framework of various Fellowship programmes exceeds the number of Romanian Fellows. They are coming to Romania and to the NEC for five or ten months, to live in what for many of them is a new urban and cultural environment, to devote to their research, and to share their ideas and projects in a free and unconstrained exchange.

Since 1994, when it came into being, NEC has supported through its Fellowship programmes hundreds of Romanian and international young researchers, by providing appropriate conditions enabling them to work on their individual projects, and by establishing a strong network among academics, locally and internationally. Over the years the Institute has acquired a unique position in the region and has established itself as a research center of international repute. Alongside its Fellowship programmes – and often in connection with them – New Europe College has been hosting an ongoing series of lectures given by prominent foreign and Romanian scholars, for the benefit of academics, researchers and students, as well as a wider public. The College also organizes international and national events (seminars, workshops, colloquia, symposia, book launches, etc.). See the entry “Public events” for more information.

Name Position
Andrei PleșuPresident of the New Europe Foundation
Valentina Sandu-DediuRector
Anca OroveanuAcademic Coordinator
Constantin ArdeleanuLong-term Fellow
Lelia CiobotariuExecutive Director
Alina HeraFinancial and Administrative Coordinator
Marina HasnașFinancial and Administrative Consultant
Irina Vainovski-MihaiProgram Coordinator / Publications Coordinator
Ana BuculeiProgram Coordinator / Assistant to the Rector
Ana SîrghiReception / Programs Assistant
Mircea SavaFellows Services / Events and Public Relations
Dragoș JulaSystem Administrator
Viorel AnăstăsoaieLibrarian
Maria AnghelescuLibrarian
Cristian MincuAdministrator / Driver
Valentina VoicuCook
Angelica IonCleaning Lady
Mihai NaneHandyman

New Europe College -- Directorate

Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Andrei PLEȘU, President of the New Europe Foundation

Professor of Philosophy of Religion, Bucharest; former Minister of Culture and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania

Dr. Valentina SANDU-DEDIU, Rector

Professor of Musicology, National University of Music, Bucharest

Dr. Anca OROVEANU, Academic Coordinator

Professor of Art History, National University of Arts, Bucharest

Lelia CIOBOTARIU, Executive Director


Administrative Board

Dr. Ulrike ALBRECHT, Head of Department, Strategy and External Relations, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn

Dr. Katharina BIEGGER, Head of Admissions Office, Deputy Secretary, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

Dr. Matthias HACK, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Bonn

Emil HUREZEANU, Journalist and writer, Ambassador of Romania to the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin

Dr. Dirk LEHMKUHL, Chair for European Politics, University of St. Gallen; Director of Programmes International Affairs & Governance;

Center for Governance and Culture in Europe, University of St. Gallen

Dr. Florin POGONARU, President, Business People Association, Bucharest

Dr. Jürgen Chr. REGGE, Formerly Director, Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Cologne

Dr. Heinz–Rudi SPIEGEL, Formerly Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft, Essen


Academic Advisory Board

Dr. Edhem ELDEM, Professor of History, School of Arts and Sciences, Boǧaziҫi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Dr. Luca GIULIANI, Rector, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Professor of Archaeology, Humboldt University, Berlin

Dr. Dieter GRIMM, Professor (emer.) of Law, Humboldt University, Berlin

Dr. Daniela KOLEVA, Permanent Fellow, Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia;

Associate Professor of Sociology, St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia

Dr. Vintilă MIHAILESCU, Professor of Anthropology, National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest

Dr. Ioan PÂNZARU, Professor, Department of French Language and Literature; Former Rector of the University of Bucharest

Dr. Ulrich SCHMID, Professor for the Culture and Society of Russia, University of St. Gallen;

Head of the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe, University of St. Gallen

Dr. Victor I. STOICHIȚĂ, Professor of Art History, University of Fribourg

Dr. Alain SUPIOT, Director, Permanent Fellow, Institut d'Etudes Avancées de Nantes; Chair, Collège de France

Present Financial Support

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland through the Center for Governance and Culture in Europe, University of St. Gallen

The Federal Ministry for Education and Research of Germany

The Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy of Austria

The Ministry of National Education – The Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding, Romania

Landis & Gyr Stiftung, Zug, Switzerland

Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (DaimlerChrysler-Fonds, Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung, Private Foundation, Sal. Oppenheim-Stiftung) – Essen, Germany

Private Foundation, Germany

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Köln, Germany

VolkswagenStiftung, Hanover, Germany

Seventh Framework Programme of the European Communities, ERC Executive Agency

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden

Location and facilities

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New Europe College is located in a traditional residential district of Bucharest, typical for its late 19th and early 20th century architecture, not far from the center of the city and from the University of Bucharest. The house now occupied by the College was built in 1910; it was thoroughly restored and remodeled when we moved here in 2000, to suit the needs of the College. The house includes a multipurpose conference hall sitting up to a hundred people, with sound and video facilities; in addition, there are two seminar rooms, where smaller groups can organize meetings.

NEC has office and accommodation spaces for its fellows.

Office space: six offices for the staff and three offices for the use of the fellows, with two or three working desks provided with computers per office.

Accommodation spaces: 5 rooms and one two-room apartment, arranged so as to be used both as living and working quarters with individual bathrooms. The apartment has a kitchen corner. Fellows living in the other rooms have access to kitchen facilities. There are computers installed in each of these spaces.

When needed, NEC rents for its Fellows additional apartments in the vicinity. Fellows housed outside the NEC premises have internet access.


Computer facilities:

  • Internet access for research purposes (fellows, library readers) and work-related information (staff)
  • the fellows have personal accounts
  • the readers in the library have public accounts
  • all persons using the facilities have storage space and access to the Internet

Right to use:

  • Fellows - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Library readers - Monday through Friday during the times when the library is open to the general public
  • Staff - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

The Fellows have the choice of using the computers provided by the NEC, or their own laptops with wireless connectivity, available throughout the building.


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