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Tracks and Core

EPICUR Title

The development of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) oriented learning and teaching and of a future joint LAS program is based on two thematic Study Tracks – "European identities" and "Natural and societal sustainability" – and on a Track Core focusing on general core competencies. The development of the Track Core and especially the Tracks is to be conducted in collaboration with students. 

Curriculum Design

The Tracks and the Track Core consist of existing courses at EPICUR universities and of new courses and offerings developed in the EPICUR context. All EPICUR teaching and learning embraces LAS didactics and explores different forms of collaboration across universities and instructors and in terms of method of delivery (face-to-face, blended, online). While based in curricular teaching and learning, EPICUR, the Tracks, and the Track Core specifically feature extra- and non-curricular learning and engagement, including their recognition via diploma supplements and badges.

Curricular Elements

EPICUR teaching and learning offerings are open to students from all EPICUR partners. This holds for curricular and for extra- / non-curricular formats as well as for individual courses and for a Study Track. Participation in an EPICUR offering is not a commitment to complete an entire Track. Rather, the EPICUR Track certificate will be granted to students who have a documented record of completing the following courses and requirements:

Academic Scope

In their academic scope, the two EPICUR Tracks bring together perspectives from the humanities, social and natural sciences. In addition, they address the "grand challenges" of Europe and beyond, i.e. they are of high academic and societal relevance. As with many LAS programs, LAS-based teaching and learning in EPICUR includes a core curriculum that provides skills training and interdisciplinary integration. These three components of the EPICUR WP3 activity are not detached from each other but integrated conceptually and in terms of academic scope.

Tracks and Core

Track in European Identities

The "European identities" Track deals with the histories, languages, literatures, media, cultural geography, and social structures of Europe. "Europe" is neither limited to the EU nor in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, religion, and class. Rather, it is inclusive and encompassing and has a dynamic understanding of "identities" so as to include cultural change, shift, and intermixture. Inter- and transdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

Track in Natural and Societal Sustainability

The "Natural and societal sustainability" Track focuses on interdependencies between societal, economic, environmental, and cultural drivers of sustainability challenges and resulting conflicts of goals and interests. The Track emphasizes the application of system thinking to the topic of sustainability and addresses real-life complexities from the local to the global level. Beyond interdisciplinary perspectives on sustainability, students develop their ability to critically reflect and engage on current sustainability challenges.

Track Core

The Track Core is a general education program in the LAS tradition aimed at building students' interculturality, language skills, and ability to reflect on knowledge acquired. Its design entails foundational, stand-alone courses as well as courses featuring overlap with the thematic Tracks (e.g., a qualitative research design course in European migration patterns). In the Core, students improve their ability to understand complex concepts, learn to integrate new with previous knowledge and knowledge from other fields, and to develop new ideas and communicate them clearly.

EPICUR Courses

The classroom-based teaching and learning in EPICUR can comprise (1) courses to be developed for partner universities and (2) existing university courses to be identified for inclusion in EPICUR. In order to develop and identify these courses, we have the following, common understanding of what constitutes and EPICUR course:

Course Content

Thematically, an EPICUR course must fit to either one of the Study Tracks or to the Track Core and adopt an interdisciplinary and international/-cultural perspective in its approach to the subject matter. The prerequisite knowledge for the course must be defined such that a student can make an informed decision about their preparedness. 

Didactic approach

Didactic approach: In their LAS-orientation, courses must be engaging, interactive, and student-centered and should enable the acquisition of transferable and practical skills. EPICUR courses should foster multilingualism via didactics and can be taught in all languages. Course descriptions, however, must be available in English. In order to enable broad accessibility, the use of passive multilingualism, assessment in English, and of translations and translation tools is encouraged. Students input should contribute to curriculum development.

Academic Administration and Infrastructure

EPICUR courses must be credit-bearing at the home program; credit recognition is left to the partners' discretion. Courses must be accredited and evaluated according to the home institution's standards. Also, they must be accessible to students from at least two partners and should offer preferential admissions for students from EPICUR partners. Furthermore, courses should include collaborative teaching between at least two partners, stimulate social inclusion and equity for students from underrepresented groups, and can include micro-credentials and recognition of non-accredited / co- or extra-curricular learning ("badges").