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History of ESPLAT

The foundation of ESPLAT goes back to a series of conferences on Psychology Learning and Teaching (PLAT) founded and hosted by the Psychology Network of the British Higher Education Academy. With the foresight to develop internationally, director Dr. Annie Trapp initiated a small group meeting including several partners from different European countries and the U.S.A. in order to gather promoters of an exchange of Psychology Learning and Teaching. The first meeting took place in 2007 in the traditional halls of Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. 

A subsequent meeting followed in 2008 with the founding of a network for the enhancement of the teaching of psychology in European higher education, Florence, Italy (organized and conducted under the auspices of the University of Paris).

A milestone of this network came in 2009, with the bid and founding of the European Psychology Learning and Teaching (EuroPLAT) network by the European Commission within the Erasmus program. Each country within the European Union with tertiary Psychology Education was represented in this network with at least one partner (and Turkey). The network was represented for the first time in the same year at an international conference with a EuroPLAT teaching strand at the European Congress of Psychology, Oslo, Norway. In 2010, the 5th Biennial Psychology Learning & Teaching Conference (PLAT2010) was held in in conjunction with EuroPLAT, Edinburgh, UK.

In 2011, another EuroPLAT teaching strand was conducted at the European Congress of Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2012, the first stand-alone EuroPLAT conference was organized in Vilnius, Lithuania. Unfortunately, the founding of the EuroPLAT network ended in 2013 with a final EuroPLAT teaching strand at the European Congress of Psychology, Stockholm, Sweden, and the collaborative Work on enhancing Psychology Education on a European level experienced a caesura.

​Finally, an international group of scholars, partly former members of the EuroPLAT network, decided to resurrect the tradition of scholarly exchange on Psychology learning and teaching in 2016. As a consequence, the second EuroPLAT conference was conducted in Salzburg, Austria in 2017 under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Joerg Zumbach. At this conference, the inaugural meeting and founding of the European Society for Psychology Learning and Teaching (ESPLAT) took place with an election of a founding executive committee under the presidency of Dr. Sally Wiggins. With the support of the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA), ESPLAT was officially constituted and registered in Brussels in late 2018.

The inaugural ESPLAT conference took place in Utrecht in the Netherlands in September 2019, hosted by Dr. Helen Bakker and Dr. Jolanda van Beek.

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