Necessary and Sufficient Conditions in Higher Education

I think that most important decisions, realisations and insights in life are essentially irrational, or a least a-rational, processes.  This may sound odd, but I mean that who you fall in love with, which music you like, what politics you espouse, which career you choose – the things that shape your...

Interdisciplinarity and Intellectual Excitement

I’ve been blogging on the connection between studying at university and work recently. I think this is important because the overwhelming majority of our students will not work in universities; there is no obvious reason, therefore, why studying a single university discipline is the best thing for most...

Expertise

What is expertise? ‘Expert skill and knowledge in a particular field’. What is a field? That is much harder. Is this woman an expert in her field? I asked this question of a group of students. The answer was, ‘Yes, she’s an expert because she has a PhD’. But her PhD is in...

Rigour in interdisciplinary education

What is rigour in education? A rigorous education must be intellectually demanding. It must require students to present work which is accurate, well-written, well-researched and, where appropriate, contains interesting detail. None of these qualities is the sole property of a particular academic discipline...

Education for ‘specialisation’ in the knowledge economy

There are many reasons to believe that a liberal and interdisciplinary education in arts and sciences is the best to prepare you for work in a knowledge economy. In this world, service jobs overwhelmingly dominate and workers are required to show flexibility, creativity, empathy, team-working skills and so...

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