September 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the first University College in the Netherlands: University College Utrecht. To celebrate this wonderful occasion, a panel debate focusing on the merits of interdisciplinarity will take place. Interdisciplinarity is an emerging topic in higher education, especially in relation to the future needs of our complex world. However, what is interdisciplinarity? How do we define it? As a Liberal Arts and Science program, UCU has experience with multiple disciplines. But how does interdisciplinarity fit in?
Interdisciplinarity is one of the core educational practices at UCU, as we have - since 1998 - given students the unique opportunity to combine different disciplines in different tracks, and to take part in courses that are located between established disciplines. Our hypothesis is that interdisciplinarity is necessary for the fostering and development of new academic fields and innovative research, and that consequently we should educate our Bachelor students intensively in interdisciplinary thinking, theory, and skills.
This event will be watched in person by a live audience as well as be broadcasted live. A media connection with UCU alumni across the globe will further the scope of the debate, and showcase the international and interdisciplinary character of UCU. The audience will provide input for discussion through technological means, which the moderator will incorporate into the debate. During the event, each panel member will be asked to respond to and elaborate on our Interdisciplinarity hypothesis during a 7-minute exposition. This exposition could, for instance, reject or defend our premise on interdisciplinarity, but it could also consist of a brief, personal exposé on how interdisciplinarity has shaped their research. The panel will be chaired by UCU Director of Education dr. Sabine Uijl.
Confirmed Panel Members:
- Prof. dr. Rosi Braidotti, Utrecht University - Braidotti is a Distinguished University Professor and the Founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. Throughout her work, Braidotti asserts and demonstrates the importance of combining theoretical concerns with a serious commitment to producing socially and politically relevant scholarship that contributes to making a difference in the world.
- Alfredo Brillembourg, MSc, Urban-Think Tank - Together with Hubert Klumpner, Brillembourg founded the Urban-Think Tank. He has received many awards, including the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award and the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale Golden Lion. They also founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory at Columbia University. Since 2010, they hold the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH).
- Prof. dr. Naomi Ellemers, Utrecht University - Ellemers is a social psychologist who examines the behavior of people in organizations. Her main topics of expertise are Diversity and Inclusion, and Integrity and Ethics at work. Her aim is to understand how the group affiliations impact on individual behaviors. She also examines how individuals are guided by the ethical climate at work, for instance in the financial sector.
- Prof. Wendy Carlin, University College London and in September a guest at Utrecht University School of Economics - Carlin is a Professor of Economics at University College London and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. She leads the international CORE project which aims to reform the undergraduate economics curriculum. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the UK's Office for Budget Responsibility. In 2015, she was awarded a CBE for services to economics and public finance.
- Mr. Martijn Snoep, Chairman Authority Consumers & Markets (previously lawyer at De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek) - Snoep specializes in international regulatory matters. He represents companies facing (potential) multi-jurisdictional competition law or other regulatory breaches, dealing with internal investigations, litigation strategy & defense, corporate governance, compliance issues, cost management, personal liability and follow-on damage actions.
The Symposium will be live streamed in UCU Dining Hall from 13:20 onwards. It will also be available online here.