Creating knowledge post-Brexit

As the UK’s journey towards Brexit has reached the halfway point, the Guild is not the first network to state the importance of the free and easy movement of staff and students, and collaboration in research; nor should we be the last.

Yet, we also emphasise the significance of collective investment in innovation. To ensure Europe’s leadership in the knowledge economy we require concerted action between industry, SMEs, start-ups and universities, across borders. To achieve this, we need the common frameworks and programmes that currently exist through the EU, as well as dependable long-term planning and resources.

“We need, more than ever, international frameworks that enable scientific collaboration: common standards on research ethics, open access, intellectual property, and human resources.” Photo credit: Pixabay

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From Think Tanks to Harvesting Potatoes – a Student Trip to Latvia

The Latvia trip was a five-day journey organised by our MA-program in the very beginning of the year. Aside from the variety of events that were educative in so many different ways (especially as an introduction to the Baltic States in general, and Latvia in particular), the trip also made our class of students gain a closer bond. When we arrived in Riga on Wednesday we were free to explore the city on our own, in the day and night time, and we were invited for a dinner in a medieval-style restaurant where we met professors and students from a similar EU-Russia Masters of Riga University.

Students got to experience harvesting and cooking potatoes. Photo credit: Chun Sing Iverson Ng

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sTARTUp Day, the Biggest Business Festival in the Baltics – How did it all Start?

On the 8th of December the second edition of the start-up flagship event sTARTUp Day will take place in the AHHAA centre. Almost a year ago the first edition of sTARTUp day was organised, and it proved even bigger and better than anyone could have ever imagined. However, very few people know the history of the biggest business festival in the Baltics came into being. In order to tell the whole story, I asked last year’s head organizer, Lauri Sokk, and the man that started it all, Andres Kuusik, some questions.

Have you already bought your tickets? Photo credit: sTARTUp Day team

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Female Viking Warriors?

Stories about female warriors are frequent in Old Scandinavian poetry and prose. Several Eddic poems tell about Valkyries, (semi-)mythological warrior women taking part in battles, sometimes flying in the air, often acting as the god Odin’s agents. Many 14th century Icelandic sagas as well as Saxo Grammaticus’ Danish chronicle from c. 1200 describe (human) women as warriors, shield-maidens, sometimes as war leaders. The image of female Viking women is an important part of the general image of the Viking Age, known form both high and popular culture from Richard Wagner’s operas to modern TV series.

This is how the grave probably looked. Photo credit: Þórhallur Þráinsson

But during the last 100 years the scholars have been quite skeptical towards the reality behind the female warrior in the Viking Age. It has mostly been seen as a literary motif, a poetic fantasy. However, in a very recent article, a group of Swedish archaeologists (Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson et al.) have taken up the problem again and delivered a provocative conclusion: the existence of female Viking warriors can be proved by DNA analysis of a skeleton in a 10th century grave in Birka, Sweden. The starting point of the article is precisely the stories about female Viking warriors in the Edda and saga sources, and their conclusion is that the picture given there is now confirmed. Continue reading

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What brought me to Tartu?

What can bring a young student like me from Caucasus region to Tartu? This is a question, which may be answered in thousands of ways by various people, while, I have a simple answer: the endless desire for education. A small city in a Baltic region, but the SECOND largest city in Estonia, is the scientific and cultural center and a home for the oldest university in Estonia, Tartu University. Well, do you think this is the only reason I came here? Not really.


“This city really loves the students, it embraces us from the first day we come here.” Photo credit: Meline Avagyan

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A Hong Kongese crush on Europe

I was in the European Parliament in Brussels during the British referendum on 23rd June, 2016. Photo credit: Iverson Ng.

When I woke up in Brussels, Europe was never the same again.

It was the last day of the EU-funded study trip to Brussels when Brexit came to realization in June 2016, sparking debates on the future of Europe as we sat at the breakfast nook in Saint Nicolas Hotel. We didn’t expect our meeting with officials at the headquarter of European External Action Service would conclude with such historical event. But it was already written. So did my unfinished journey in Estonia. Continue reading

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Estonian Women Students’ Society’s summer camp for Estonian youngsters living abroad

Estonian Women Students’ Society’s (ENÜS) youth camp for Estonian youngsters living abroad was a wonderful combination of studying the Estonian language, experiencing the food, culture, and history of Estonia, all while getting acquainted with Estonians from all over the world, as well as with locals from Tartu.
Altogether 23 youngsters aged 15-19 with Estonian roots took part of the camp. 17 people traveled from abroad, 6 people came from different parts of Estonia. Participants traveled to Estonia from all over the world: Australia, Ireland, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Germany, Finland, and the US.

23 youngsters aged 15-19 with Estonian roots took part of the camp. Photo credit: Ingi Mihkelsoo.

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