European Joint Master's in Strategic Border Management (EJMSBM)

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European Joint Masters in Strategic Border Management (EJMSBM)

In response to increasing challenges to European border security and management of migration flows, Frontex, the European Agency responsible for operational cooperation of the member states at the external borders has initiated the development of the European Joint Master’s in Strategic Border Management (EJMSBM), in collaboration with several European Universities and Academies, an innovative transitional joint degree.

The programme aims to advance and promote highest standards in cooperation and interoperability at EU borders and the harmonisation of learning and professional standards, as well as protecting and promoting fundamental rights within the border management and border control activities. It aims to empower European border guard managers to rely on and apply professional judgment by equipping them with skills and competences that are acquired through problem-solving in an applied professional context, and benchmarked and evidence-based knowledge developed in formal academic and disciplinary structures, providing a stimulating and innovative environment for teaching, learning and research.

The EJMSBM is designed to enable mid to high level border guard managers across EU to advance the practice and theory of European border management and to encourage further developments of the field. It prepares participants to collaborate with other professionals in an interdisciplinary and international context within the border management sector and it ensures the cross-fertilisation of European and international practices. It encourages a comparative approach to national practice, development of strategic thinking and exploration of common European solutions to international border security challenges in a safe learning environment. In each cohort, approximate 30 mid-high level border guard leaders, one from each agency with border security responsibility from all EU member states (MS) and Schengen associated countries (SAC), will have the opportunity to study together for 1.5 years, bringing in the classroom a unique mix of knowledge and expertise from all across Europe, designed to enrich the learning experience for all participants.

Originating from the border guard community and developed in collaboration by border guards and academics from over 20 EU countries, the European Joint Master’s is designed as a programme where the learning has practical application for the MS/SAC border guard organisations which are the ultimate beneficiaries. The programme is completely learner-centred focusing on the relevance of the learning requirements for operational competence. The joint master’s is inclusive of international expertise for delivery of the programme and accessible to all of the European organisations with a border guard function, contributing to enhanced cooperation of MS at both operational and academic level.

The programme is delivered over 3 semesters of 30 ECTS credits each, with a taught component of 60 ECTS credits comprising 10 modules and a final dissertation stage. Each module is delivered by a different Academic Partner, in collaboration with a border guard academy that brings in the professional expertise, offering an opportunity for the students to be exposed to the different border management practices at various national external borders in the Nederlands, Spain, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The topic areas include: strategic planning and evaluation, management and leadership, EU policies, technology and innovation in border security, risks and threat management, global context of border security, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies applied to integrated border management practices, with underpinning elements of fundamental rights, professional ethics and cooperation in border security that are integrated across the entire programme, as well as studied within the respective designated modules.

The flexible learning paradigm uses a blended learning approach including e-learning solutions. This facilitates access to the programme to the busy high level officers and allows them to remain connected to the operational environment and their job, as well as to their study group. The programme incorporates three phases of learning; independent learning phase; an intensive residential/contact week and an experiential learning phase which is applied in the operational context and takes place after intensive contact sessions. The programme will encompass particular approaches to adult learning such as a combination of hybrid Problem-Based Learning (PBL), work-based learning, case studies, field work, workshops and Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) which will be used to complement the more traditional lectures and tutorials.

All Academic Partners will coordinate a number of dissertation thesis; the border security organisations across EU are invited to express their research interests, aiming to explore the most relevant and actual challenges for the operational situation.

The programme is fully funded by the European Union through Frontex.

Consortium Partners :

  • 1. European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (referred to as Frontex)
  • 2. Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, [Sisekaitseakadeemia], Estonia (Associate Partner)
  • 3. Rezekne Higher Education Institution [Rēzeknes Augstskola], Latvia
  • 4. Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania [Mykolo Romerio Universitetas, Lietuva]
  • 5. Netherlands Defence Academy Faculty of Military Science (NLDA), The Netherlands [Nederlandse Defensie Academie Faculteit Militaire Wetenschappen, Nederland]
  • 6. National University for Distance-Learning Education [Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, (UNED)] Spain
  • 7. University of Salamanca [Universidad de Salamanca], Spain