Meeting the grand challenges of our time
In the coming decades, Europe will need to rapidly respond to a number of converging challenges such as migration, climate change, inequality and the erosion of democratic institutions.
Common to these challenges are that they are characterised by complexity, uncertainty, ethical dilemmas, and urgency, and that they force us to rethink how we should act as European citizens. The course combines theory and practice and provides practical tools to engage with complex and urgent social, economic, environmental, and political challenges.
In the 2022 course, students will work in interdisciplinary teams, in close collaboration with local institutions, on a research project that explores the relationship between diversity and citizenship. At the same time, students will collaborate with other students and researchers from the seven universities in the Arqus Alliance to discuss, assess, and compare each other’s results. These approaches will reveal the implications of diversity for the principles and responsibilities of European citizenship.
1. Winter School
Diversity, interdisciplinarity and societal challenges. The course kicks off with an intensive five-day winter school in Granada where students from the seven Arqus universities will work together. The Arqus Winter School will consist of a combination of lectures, workshops, and excursions to give an overview of interdisciplinary approaches to diversity in the humanities and the natural sciences, and how these issues connect to governance and citizenship. Read more
2. Research project
After the winter school, course participants will – in groups – run their own interdisciplinary challenge-based research projects in collaboration with local institutions. To support this work, the course combines international online learning modules, where one will learn from leading experts and collaborate with students across Europe, with local sessions supervised by researchers. The end result will be a research report and presentation. Through this work students will develop key skills needed to participate in an interdisciplinary research project, including collaboration with stakeholders and researchers from other disciplines, the framing of research questions, how to select and use relevant methods, the writing of a research report and how to peer-review the work of other researchers.
3. A student-led forum
A group of students will join in a student-led forum facilitated by the Arqus Alliance where they will get the opportunity to work and engage with students from the 6 other universities. In addition, the course builds on active student participation. By participating in discussions, workshops, and joint reflection, students will contribute to the learning of other students. As leaders of their own research projects, they will make key decisions regarding the directions of their research topics. Students will also be able to participate in the planning of the local course sessions, which means that they will play an active role in shaping both the content and the form of the course.