In 2000, the forerunner to the NCRE - the Centre for Research on Europe - was founded at Canterbury. A grant from DG RELEX of the European Commission was awarded in 2002 and from this time onwards the Centre was renamed the National Centre for Research on Europe.
The NCRE remains the only EU-dedicated tertiary level centre in New Zealand. Over the past two decades, the NCRE has developed significantly in terms of its academic research profile, innovative EU Studies graduate and undergraduate teaching, as well as in its public diplomacy outreach activities. During this period the NCRE initiated effective collaboration with the other seven NZ universities (Auckland, AUT, Victoria, Waikato, Massey, Otago and Lincoln) and in 2006 established the EU Centres Network of New Zealand (see link below). Trans-Tasman partnerships were also developed with sister institutes at ANU, RMIT and Monash.
The NCRE is a multi-disciplinary centre that brings together graduates, post-doctoral fellows and academics from a wide range of disciplines to research and study the European Union and Europe-related issues and topics. The focus is inclusive and policy-driven, melding academic work with practical requirements.
The NCRE also performs a wider societal role and serves as one element in the EU's outreach within New Zealand and the Pacific. Raising a critical awareness of the EU, informing government, the media and public opinion all play an important part in the NCRE's core function.
Above all, the NCRE has begun the essential process of training and developing a new generation of New Zealand graduates who have a high level of expertise and interest in the EU.
The National Centre for Research on Europe is governed by an Advisory Board composed of both University of Canterbury and external members.