Open Course “Alternative Designs in Higher Education”

The course will focus on liberal arts and sciences model of higher education, which becomes increasingly relevant in Russia following the appeals for more individualized and flexible university education. Is it the most promising direction of higher education and does it really provide “competencies of the future”? How do graduates fit the demands of a constantly changing labor market? In which aspects does traditional education lose points to liberal arts and sciences education? What is the experience of those who employ this model, what are the advantages and pitfalls of the model, and can it be influenced by the community of external stakeholders?

The course will help the audience broaden its horizons and develop their understanding of higher education in international context. It will introduce many different institutions that employ the liberal arts and sciences model and help the audience answer many burning questions gradually, allowing space for their own judgment. It will seek to explain many tough concepts in a newbie-friendly way and in an engaging manner for people with various backgrounds and experiences.

The course instructor is Daniel Kontowski, SAS Head of Education. In addition, the course will feature the following guest lecturers:

From 4th February until 24th of March 2020.

Tuesday and Thursday from 7:15 PM to 8:45 PM (some lectures will be rescheduled for holidays, see the updates here).

The course is taught in English. Participants will receive a certificate of course completion issued by SAS if they attend regularly. 

Online broadcast on SAS YouTube channel.

  • February 4, Lecture 1
    The Liberal Arts It’s How They Do it in the US? 
    Daniel Kontowski & the SAS faculty Erika Wolf, Mike Schapira, David Melbye
  • February 6, Lecture 2
    The Value of Curricular Freedom through Students’ Eyes
    Guest lecture by prof. Teun Dekker, Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
  • February 11, Lecture 3
    The Uses of a Liberal Education
    Guest lecture by prof. Sheldon Rothblatt, UC Berkeley (USA)
  • February 14, Lecture 4
    The 21st Century Labor Market Dynamics and Implications for Liberal Arts Education the Importance of General Skills through the Human Capital Theory Lenses
    Guest lecture by dr Pavel Sorokin, Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics (Russia)
  • February 18, Lecture 5
    The Initial Design of School of Advanced Studies (SAS)
    Guest lecture by prof. Andrey Shcherbenok, SAS 
  • February 20, Lecture 6
    Experimental University
    Guest lecture by Dara Melnyk, SKOLKOVO Education Development Centre (Russia)
  • February 25, Lecture 7
    Organisational Challenges for the Liberal Arts in a Neoliberal Academia
    Guest lecture by prof. Davydd Greenwood, Cornell University (USA)
  • March 3, Lecture 8
    Student-Centredness, Ownership, and the Importance of Community in Liberal Arts Education
    Guest lecture by Jakob Dirksen, University of Oxford (UK) & Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany)
  • March 5, Lecture 9
    A Liberal Arts Experience: from Berlin to Chicago
    Guest lecture by David Kretz, University of Chicago (USA)
  • March 10, Lecture 10
    The Founding Fathers of European Liberal Education
    Daniel Kontowski, SAS
  • March 12, Lecture 11
    Liberal Arts and the Disciplines: a Panel Discussion with Melina Aarnikoivu, University of Jyvaskyla (Finland) and Project Design Session participants
  • March 17, Lecture 12
    ‘The Oxford Tutorial’ A pedagogical Concept Worth Copying?
    Guest lecture by prof. David Palfreyman, University of Oxford (UK)
  • March 19, Lecture 13
    Students Like Us? Voices from New Liberal Arts Degrees in England
    Guest lecture by dr. Kathryn Telling, Sussex University (UK)
  • March 24, Lecture 14
    The Liberal Arts in Central and Eastern Europe during the 1990s
    Daniel Kontowski, SAS 
  • March 25, Lecture 15
    Landscapes and Dilemmas: Russian, American, and Global
    Daniel Kontowski, SAS
  • March 26, Lecture 16
    Lessons Learned: Liberal Arts at the SAS
    Daniel Kontowski & the SAS Community