Since 1990 the AMSU has drawn in a rich array of institutional partners, from museums to media centres, science foundations to policy consultancies. Its participants can be found from ministries in Europe to the theatres of the Mediterranean. Its lecturers are drawn not only from academic ranks, but also from business and inter-governmental organisations, from among journalists and writers, architects and lawyers.
The courses and the tone are fiercely 21st century. Medical advances and the latest research results are examined, as recent developments in scientific research in Dutch 17th Century Art. An alternative approach to gathering information and reporting the news in order to increase the participation of the general public in fostering a workable civil society in local communities is studied at the same time with journalists worldwide.
The studies are conducted in English and those teaching come from as wide a range of countries as the participants themselves. From America to Zimbabwe, from the top of Sweden to the tip of South Africa.
By combining the resources of its partner institutions and the informal dynamism of its programmes, AMSU offers Europe a recipe for imagination and development quite different from other organisations. It wishes to play a role in conceiving an answer to the challenges the 21st century.
At stake here is not only the future of a small international and interdisciplinary institute such as the AMSU, or the humanities. The recent outcry for more cultural, political and social engagement of the citizens of our multicultural Europe puts a huge strain on all our educational institutes.
In the words of one of the great spokesmen and scholar in the European history of ideas:
For the principles of toleration, democracy, equality, equity, personal freedom and the liberty of expression - the underpinning of modernity - cannot be defended and preserved unless people understand their meaning, how they arose and why they matter.
(Jonathan Israel, Pierre Bayle Lecture 2004)
The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University is an initiative of:
As a European Centre for Arts and Sciences, Felix Meritis is a permanent home for education, the humanities and European networks. It hosts many organisations in the forefront of making Europe's civil society a reality. It is this reservoir of "European" knowledge and ideas that makes Felix Meritis the ideal partner of The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University.