Since 1950 the Nordic Summer University (NSU) has been an independent, academic institution, which organises symposia that draws international participants across disciplines in the Nordic and Baltic regions.
NSU fundamentally operates as a generator of ideas. It seeks to develop scholarly and innovative initiatives by building international networks and communities engaged in cross-disciplinary research enquiries and critical thinking. The NSU gives priority to topical subjects of study that are often on the margins of disciplinary boundaries not already established at the universities.
NSU stimulates research development and offers open access to new knowledge in a non-hierarchical environment for established academics as well as independent and emerging researchers, artists and other professionals. All aspects of NSU are democratically organized by its participants. Activities in the NSU consist of thematic study circles, each of which meet regularly within the Nordic and Baltic region in summer and winter seasons over a three-year period.