Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize



 The Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize for Erasmus Students


About the Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize

The Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize for Erasmus Students is awarded annually to a Master degree candidate of a Coimbra Group University, in any academic discipline, who, having previously undertaken an Erasmus exchange with another Coimbra Group University has in the opinion of the selection committee best demonstrated the added value of that exchange to their Master degree work. The Prize awarded is of the value of €5,000


How to apply

Eligible candidates will have obtained their Master degree during the twelve months preceding the application submission deadlineApplications should be sent to the Coimbra Group representative of the candidate’s university (see list of representatives below) at the latest by 30 November 2017.

The individual Coimbra Group Universities will forward their choice of candidate (a maximum of three candidates) to the Executive Board of the Coimbra Group by 31 January 2018. The decision of the selection committee to be established by the Executive Board will be communicated at the end of March or in early April 2018 on our website. 

Below you will find the Regulations governing the Prize, a list of contact persons at individual Coimbra Group Universities, and the template to accompany the applications. 


Contact persons at Coimbra Group universities 

Template to accompany applications


2017 Laureate of the Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize for Erasmus Students

It is with great pleasure that we can announce the result of the work of the selection committee established by the Executive Board to assess the nominations from member universities for the Arenberg-Coimbra Group for Erasmus Students.

The 2017 Laureate is Ms Aura Nikkilä from the University of Turku, who spent her Erasmus exchange period at the University of Granada. You can find the recommendation of the selection committee below.

The selection committee consisted of Professors Jeff Haywood, Joaquim Ramos de Carvalho and Lenka Rovna. The Executive Board has thanked the committee for their work.

We heartily congratulate Aura Nikkilä on winning the 2017 Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize and look forward to meeting her at the General Assembly in Edinburgh where she will receive her Prize from the Duke of Arenberg.

Aura Nikkilä Award Ceremony Speech


Recommendation, 31 March 2017

The selection committee established by the Executive Board for the 2017 Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize for Erasmus Students is pleased to unanimously nominate Ms Aura Nikkilä from the University of Turku (Finland) for this year’s award.  Ms Aura Nikkilä spent her spring semester as an Erasmus exchange student at the University of Granada in the academic year 2011-2012.

Ms Aura Nikkilä has shown that the value of the Erasmus experience is particularly significant for gaining international and intercultural experience as well as for developing research interests including a theoretical framework and the specification of the topic of her thesis.

Ms Nikkilä spent 5 and half months at the University of Granada in 2012. Her motivation for selecting Granada was her knowledge of the language as well as her interest in art history. Living in Granada helped her to comprehend the language, even the Andalusian dialect, but most of all to experience an international environment in the rich historical background of an old city, which in the past was, and is again, marked by the presence of different cultures. Ms Nikkilä took all her courses in Spanish, and especially the course dealing with comics studies which played an important role in her professional growth.

It was in Granada that the idea of focusing on comics studies took shape. The course work concentrated on a comics book by Finish author Ville Tietäväinen called ‘Näkymättömät kädet’ describing the story of a Moroccan man who became a refugee in Spain. The novel, and Ms Nikkilä’s MA thesis deal with, according to the laureate:  “global inequality, irregular migration, questions of ethnicity and racism, religion, honour and insanity, along with the crossing of borders. The main theoretical frame that I built my analysis on is transnationalism”.

Ms Nikkilä stressed how the Erasmus exchange, and the time she spent in the multicultural environment of Granada, influenced her way of seeing the world, her academic career as well as her understanding of the entangled history of Europe.

Having successfully defended her thesis, Ms Nikkilä was awarded the mark Laudatur, the highest grade for the thesis work. She is currently a PhD student at her home University of Turku.

The Committee would like to congratulate Ms Aura Nikkilä on this year’s Arenberg-Coimbra Group Prize and wish her a successful career based on her Erasmus educational experience.

We would also like to congratulate the other candidates, whose testimonials were additional excellent examples of the impact of their mobility experience and their academic qualities. We are pleased to recognise also the commitment to the Erasmus project of the Coimbra Group Universities where they were awarded their degrees and undertook their exchange periods of study.



Laureate presentations and articles

2016 Ting-jung CHEN (Göttingen-Uppsala) 10 June Poitiers
Ting-jung Chen - Policies of the Foreign

2015 Benjamin VAN SOLDT (Leiden-Aarhus) 27 May Leiden
Benjamin van Soldt - Europe through Erasmus

2014 Steven OTTERMAN (Göttingen-Groningen) 13 June Groningen
Steven Otterman - Can European Citizens' Initiative address the EU's democratic deficit

2013 Juho TERRIJÄRVI (Turku-Heidelberg) 23 May Galway
Juho Terrijärvi - Validating Uncoordinated 51-like kinase as an oncological target

2012 Julia TOTH-CZIFRA (Budapest-Leiden) 30 May Göttingen
Julia Toth-Czifra - A Critical Edition of Kornél Esti

2011 Francesco LUBIAN (Padova-Heideberg) 26 May Padova
Francesco Lubian - Prudentius' Dittochaeon: an outlook on its genre and structure

2010 Alessandro DE BORTOLLI (Padova-Bergen) 23 March Brussels
Alessandro De Bortoli - Atrial Fibrillation

2009 Markus DAVIDSEN (Aarhus-Heidelberg) 4 June Genève
Markus Davidsen - New religions in cyberspace

2008 Sofia Lemmetyinen - Dialogue without Borders: Sant'Egidio Activities

2007 Mila OIVA (Turku-Kraków) 2 June Turku
Mila Oiva - Building Alternative Identities










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