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The Best Liberal Arts and Science Teaching Expanded and Reinforced
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2017 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Strengthening the relevance and the quality of higher education is a key objective in Europe's educational policies. Current higher education lacks the emphasis on creativity and innovation needed to prepare students for the 21st century. In addition, as a result of a lopsided emphasis on research, there are concerns about the quality of university teaching. This applies particularly to undergraduate programs, even if these form the bulk of higher education. Liberal Arts and Sciences Programs, as they slowly (re)emerge all over Europe, hold true potential to meet these needs. They offer interdisciplinary undergraduate education, stimulating academic skills and students' ability to "think outside of the box". They also emphasize teaching excellence, and bridge the divide between teaching and research in undergraduate research. This strategic partnership brings together six of the forerunners in Liberal Arts and Sciences in Europe: UCR, LUC, VMU, LC, Warwick and ECOLAS. Together, these partners aim to expand and reinforce the best of Liberal Arts and Science Teaching, in order to strengthen the relevance and the quality of undergraduate education and LAS education - both by project partners and by others - in particular. These general objectives are met via 3 activities: * The development of LAS guidelines * The development of a Teaching Training Kit * The development of student and teacher undergraduate research guidelines and showcasing best practices Each of the strategic partners has a unique expertise in one or more of these fields - quality assurance, teaching excellence and undergraduate research in LAS - which makes cooperation particularly fruitful and strengthens the combined impact. This impact is enhanced by the fact that all output will be disseminated widely: digitally (video's, podcasts), in writing (a special issue of the Reinvention journal) and physically (in seminars and in meetings). Put together, the project activities will not only strengthen the quality and relevance of the education in the participating institutions, and existing and aspiring LAS colleges, but also of higher education as a whole. The Dutch experience with University Colleges, for instance, demonstrates the spill-over effect of broad bachelor programmes and an emphasis on teaching excellence and undergraduate research to higher education as a whole. In doing so, this project will ultimately benefit young Europeans via offering them an education that opens their hearts and their minds, and expands their horizon beyond compare.



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