The College of Europe is the first institute of postgraduate studies which specialised in European affairs. It was created in 1949 soon after the second World War, at the very start of the European unification process and before the establishment of the first European Community, the Coal and Steel Community. The idea was to bring together teachers and graduate students from different European countries, who would deal with issues important for the future of the continent from a truly European perspective, and not from a mere national point of view. Among the founders of the College, one finds European luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Alcide de Gasperi, Paul-Henri Spaak.
The College has two campuses, one in Bruges, in Western Europe, the other in Natolin (Warsaw) in Central Europe. Its faculty, now consisting of around 150 visiting professors, a limited number of permanent professors and 28 teaching assistants, as well as its student body, consisting of 415 students is truly pan-European.