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Tampere University and Sorin Sirkus are creating the first European study programme for circus teachers

Published on 17.9.2019
Tampere University
Sorin sirkuksen esitys. Kuva: Mia Bergius
Sorin Sirkus performed the Nurja show in 2011.
The Finnish National Agency for Education has granted approximately €360.000 of Erasmus+ funding for the “Circus ++ Youth and Social Circus Arts - an innovative and inclusive education for Europe” development project.

The three-year project is a collaboration with universities and circus schools from five partner countries. It is developing a curriculum for a Bachelor of Youth and Social Circus Pedagogy programme, which different European countries will be able to apply locally. The project is coordinated by Tampere University in partnership with Sorin Sirkus. The CARAVAN-International Youth and Social Circus Network is also responsible for the international coordination of the project.

In due course, students will be able to complete the new degree programme in the partner countries either in its entirety or as a combination of the parts completed in different countries. A university will award the degrees. The curriculum design work will end in the autumn of 2022 and the programme will begin in 2023.

The project is responding to both the expansion of the youth and social circus field in Finland and elsewhere in Europe and the increased need for skilled teachers the growth necessitates.
“The programme is primarily targeted at teachers of circus arts. In the new degree programme, they will learn high-level skills in a way that meaningfully combines theory and work-based learning in a European degree programme,” says University Lecturer Tiina Kujala.

“Circus arts help young people to find new strengths and resources within themselves, which support their learning and employment. Social circus pedagogy uses circus art to, for example, prevent young people’s social exclusion,” says Ringmaster Taina Kopra from Sorin Sirkus.

The partners of the project include
Finland: Tampere University and Sorin Sirkus
Sweden: Stockholms Konstnärliga Högskola and Cirkus Cirkör
France: Université Paris-Sud and Le Plus Petit Cirque (PPCM)
Ireland: National University of Ireland Galway and Galway Community Circus
Czechia: Cirqueon
CARAVAN - International Youth and Social Circus Network

Photograph: Mia Bergius