International Network General Studies
The ZAK and the 15 representatives of the General Studies programmes of German and international universities and colleges laid the foundations for the "International Network and General Studies" on 27. November 2009 as part of the commermorative conference "60 Years of General Studies at the University of Karlsruhe (TH)/ the KIT". ZAK director Prof. Dr. Caroline Y. Robertson von Trotha invited participants to exchange their experiences, to start cooperation, and to develop practical perspectives for General Studies programmes as well as new visionary approaches to them. The initiative can be attributed to the educational reforms of the Bologna Process.
The guest speakers Prof. Michael Adewumi (Vice Provost for Global Programmes, Penn State University) and Dr. Machiel Keestra (Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam) gave an introduction to international experiences in the domain of General Studies and on best practise examples. The participating universities and colleges presented their General Studies programmes and their visions for these offers. The result was a multifaceted picture of different approaches stressing the importance of mutual cooperation and exchange.
In founding the network, the participants have set themselves the task of drawing up a "white paper" with recommendations for institutions of Higher Education, persons in charge, organizers, and policy makers. The primary goals of this white paper will be to discuss the social relevance of General Studies programmes and the educational challenges, to share suggestions for further action, and to demonstrate how much the programmes have to offer.
At the moment more than 30 universities and colleges are part of this network. Meetings take place once or twice per year.
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The following presentation show the goals and format of the Network.