The current lack of such a European area for forensics resulted in many investigations gone awry in recent years. The Madeleine McCann case, for instance: British and Portuguese law enforcement and justice officials battled and blamed each other for their part in what became an unsuccessful, hugely complex and very costly investigation.
Universities in different countries teach their students the national – and often very different – methods of forensics, with little or no regard for the strong international aspect of their profession.
However, the recent start-up of the EFSA ’20 and several activities that come with it, present us with the right momentum and an excellent opportunity for education to catch up. Therefore, a strategic partnership of universities and private forensic companies from 4 different countries started a new 3-year project –European Forensic Education Network (EFEN) – in order to stress the need for a European forensic educational area to accompany its scientific counterpart, lay the solid foundations of the necessary European network of stakeholders to do so, and deliver a first substantial, European forensic study program to support this goal.
The universities and institutions involved in this partnership are located in different European countries; the Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel (EhB) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) in Belgium, the Società Italiana de Fisica and the Indagini Mediche E Forensi in Italy, Avans University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands and Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom. More information about the individual partners can be found here.
Project preparations began in 2012 and it was officially kicked off in September 2015. The successful collaborations facilitated the development of the four EFEN modules, which were tested in a trial version in 2016-2017.
The second year of the EFEN program will commence with Module 1 on the 25th of September 2017.