Liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century

A liberal arts and sciences programme traditionally provides a well-rounded education in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. It is undertaken in a spirit of free inquiry in order to both heighten your awareness of the human and natural world you inhabit and to support your personal development. Emphasis lies on acquiring the academic skills, knowledge and intellectual tools that will help you to be successful in any career that you choose.

Why a liberal arts and sciences education?

Today's society is in a constant state of flux, and our future leaders need to be flexible, creative thinkers, able to cope with the complexity of the issues facing the world. A liberal arts and sciences education is an excellent foundation in this context.

In addition to factual knowledge, a liberal arts and sciences education prepares you to become a multilingual, informed and engaged global citizen, with well-developed intercultural competences, able to read intelligently, think critically and write effectively on the processes shaping our world.

The AUC programme reflects this through its wide curriculum. Apart from the disciplinary courses in sciences, social sciences and humanities, the Academic Core courses provide the necessary academic skills.

You will learn to make complex connections across disciplines, cultures and institutions; become more creative in your problem-solving; and be more perceptive of the world around you. You will learn how to inform yourself about the issues that arise in your life, personally, professionally and socially, and to transform such knowledge into practical and ethical action.

The student body at AUC is international, as is the faculty, and students are encouraged to study abroad for a semester in their second or third year.

In addition, the frontiers of knowledge, both in academia and the professional world, now call for cross-disciplinary inquiry, analysis and application. New pathways across the traditional dividing lines between liberal arts, sciences and the professional fields are needed. Students need to integrate and apply their learning by addressing the 'big questions' in science and society. They will learn to connect analytical skills with practical experience by putting knowledge to use.

The AUC programme reflects this, aiming to create an academic community that is rooted in the very best traditions of the liberal arts and sciences, but actively oriented to the demands and challenges of the 21st century.

Below you can read more about liberal arts and sciences education, and about the role, characteristic, and cooperation of Liberal Arts and Sciences Colleges in the Netherlands. 

Published by  Amsterdam University College

11 April 2017