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Liberal Education


Liberal Education in EPICUR

At the heart of EPICUR is the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) tradition of learning and teaching. Contemporary LAS programs recognize the need for true interdisciplinary collaboration in order to identify and tackle the societal challenges facing the world today. Particular emphasis is placed on promoting intercultural awareness and understanding, on the development of critical analysis and reflection, and on the ability to provide leadership and to make articulate and persuasive arguments. 

In Work Package 3 ("Innovative learning & teaching formats for European Citizens of the future") we are developing two educational study tracks that align with the LAS tradition:

  • Natural and Societal Sustainability
  • European Identities

Within each study track, students have the opportunity to approach problems from novel interdisciplinary and intercultural perspectives across a wide variety of state-of-the-art teaching formats, including joint and parallel courses, joint block courses, excursions and summer schools, on-location and digital. In this manner, EPICUR students are exposed to an interdisciplinary curriculum, as well as to teaching methods that inspire critical thinking, autonomous learning and transformative learning. 

The LAS study programs in Freiburg (lead) and Amsterdam are starting points of WP3. The Adam-Mickiewicz University will join that bilateral with a LAS program in Poznań. In its scope and ambition, however, WP3 aims to integrate programs, faculty, and students from all eight EPICUR partners and to promote and disseminate LAS study elements across EPICUR. 

Similarly, WP3 is closely linked to the other EPICUR WPs that focus on multilingualism, the development of an interuniversity (virtual) campus, or regional integration including internships and service-learning formats. Not least, we place a strong emphasis on student involvement – not only as participants in EPICUR learning and teaching formats but as co-designers and multipliers. 

In sum, WP3 resonates perfectly with the European Commission’s overarching goals for European Universities:

  • the development of "student-centred curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses" and
  • the introduction of "a challenge-based approach according to which students, academics and external partners can cooperate in inter-disciplinary teams to tackle the biggest issues facing Europe today".

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