The Nordic Association for Canadian Studies / L'Association Nordique d'Etudes Canadiennes (NACS/ANEC) has been active for more than twenty years. NACS/ANEC was founded 1 May 1984 at the University of Aarhus and has become a well-established association in the academic world. 320 members today represent all relevant academic disciplines, and NACS/ANEC is visible at some twenty Nordic universities through official representatives and members.
The aim of the association is to promote Canadian studies in the five Nordic Countries: Denmark (including Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
Furthermore, NACS has for some years supported the establishment and development of Canadian Studies at universities in the Baltic states by various means, including the organization of two-day seminars, as well as the organising of conferences and symposia, etc. In past years seminars have been held in collaboration with our Baltic colleagues in Tartu, in Estonia; Vilnius, Siauliai, and Kaunas, in Lithuania; and in Riga, in Latvia.
Our activities as an association are concentrated in the following areas:
The network is a main priority. Scandinavia is a vast area. Most of the universities are small or medium in size. Canadianists or Canada specialists - staff as well as students - are not seldom alone in their speciality. This applies in particular to those located at the northern universities where there is a substantial interest in Canada.
Our network provides a means for them to communicate with other Canadian Studies academics in Scandinavia, through conferences, publications and various forms of communication.
The network is also a means for graduate students to find supervisors and assessors. We are very happy to have been able to connect the Baltic universities to our network. This will be of benefit to them and to us. We have very good contacts with our European colleagues and have profited very much from this co-operation, not least when it comes to moving into new academic areas.
We now have Canadian Studies courses of varying length and structure at almost all the Nordic universities. The University of Aarhus even offers a programme and a degree in Canadian Studies. The organisation, structure and quantity of the courses vary, due to five different national systems.
NACS/ANEC as such does not run these courses. They naturally "belong" to the individual universities but most of the faculty members involved are NACS/ANEC members. NACS/ANEC also assists the centres or departments, and when asked to do so, provide them with access to our network and encourage their work through our conferences, seminars and guest lecturers. This co-operation is of mutual benefit, as NACS/ANEC both provides them with new contacts as well as responds to their requests for lecturers.
Student exchange programs and in-service training for high school teachers are increasing and have become a higher priority for universities and public authorities. NACS/ANEC has taken this challenge seriously. As a consequence, a large number of Scandinavian students are doing part of their studies at Canadian universities, either for a full term or academic year or for a short period. Some of the most active Nordic universities may have up to a hundred students at Canadian universities. Their studies are generally within Canadian Studies in a broad sense.
Scandinavian universities have bilateral exchange agreements with more than twenty-five Canadian universities. They may be between or among universities, or under an EU program. Canadian Studies professors and NACS/ANEC have been instrumental in most of these agreements. These exchange programs have substantially increased enrolment at Canadian Studies courses in Scandinavia, since the students want to continue the study of Canada when they return "home" and will eventually bring forward new generations of Canadianists at universities, high schools, industry or public administration.