Yesterday the Golden Times published an article about the continious and substantial decline of the number of Summer Universities. The number of announced courses fell from 75 in 2016 to 55 in this year. Philipp Blum, member of the Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) for two years, has his own idea what needs to be done to stop this dramatic trend.

Summer University – Ideas for Changes

By Philipp Blum


Philipp Blum

There are less and less Summer Universities every year. In my opinion, it is caused by several factors. One that I find important and one that we could change is the lost identity and missing concept of Summer Universities. While some people try to create content, others advertise it as drinking holiday – or vice-versa. Yes, we do have structural problems in AEGEE related to internal education, but I am very positive this is getting better: The SUPS, as well as new thematic events, freelance training events and more engagement with Erasmus+ will be fruitful. What I would like to tackle is the identity of Summer University and how to unify the idea of the project again, rather than to have 50 or more cities doing whatever.


  • The University in Summer University is missing
  • Outgoing Responsibles are not advertising SUs in the way they are intended and Summer Universities are not living up to what it could be. This is a spiraling effect.
  • The SU project is too flexible, whilst being too complicated. SC, SC+, TSU? SSC? Have you read and understood all the rules in the CIA?

My solution

  • The name should reflect the content: I would propose to name the SUs as follows:
    • Summer University: 16 or more hours of tuition.
    • Summer University Plus: 22 or more hours of tuition.
    • Travelling Summer University: 16 or more hours of tuition, can be focused on Tourism and Culture. Should have more clear focus on Travelling.
  • More tuition! As written above, I would not increase it so much, just a bit, for a start. 16 hours is not even 12% of the time in a week. Also, I would urge SUCT to be more strict with “What is content”.
  • Consistent rules:
    • SU duration: 8 – 28 nights
    • SU size: 15 or more participants
    • SU fee: 16€/night.
  • The learning objectives and the main topic should go more into the center of attention, instead of generic categories like “Sport”, “History and Culture”.
  • A fixed maximum non-negotiable price at 28€/night.


  • Why should the TSU have as many hours as a SU?
    • Because 16 hours is really not that much. Otherwise I see it as a random holiday, not a Summer University.
  • Why having a TSU anyhow?
    • I first thought not to have TSU at all. But then there might be SUs that travel a whole country and whose main content might be the touristic aspect.
  • What about the number of nights?
    • 8 nights is 2 weekends, and you have to take one week off anyhow. I don’t see how shorter events makes sense.
    • We have many weak locals that might not be able to do two weeks immediately.


  • A tad more content
  • A tad more money
  • A tad more consistency
  • Bring the University in University back!


  1. I understand some of the arguments, but i donät think that this is the best solution. Before we had Simple concept of LC and SC (language course and summer course) and the TSU. There were 3 very understandable differences.
    Language is very important for a lot of participants as it is a clear defined course topic and had always clear expectations. That was a small well defined group of SU clear connected to education.
    On the other hand the SC were clear connected to a very flexible topic. They were very often connected to cultural exchange or topics about one specific thing like sports, literature, music, etc.
    There were always some Party SUs, but even this is OK. They still had a cultural program and teached people a lot about a country and culture.
    + was just a sign for more course hours, that means more focused in the topic and less on free time and party.
    TSU was clearly focused and experience the adventure of an SU in more than one Local with travelling together.
    Organizing an SU was much less complicated before, as the SUCT was not controlling so much stuff and there weren’t the unloved mandatory workshops are most likely still very often cheated.
    And the funny thing is that in my first 7 years of AEGEE with the old system people came always back with a better knowledge about something. They had always a variety of cultural excursions and learned basic words in the hosts language and a lot about another countries traditions and still of living.
    Now the strict rules make people doing non SU stuff in the same time, just to break the strict rules.

    RESULT for me: Bring back LC!!! and loose the rules for most of the other stuff!


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