GLOBAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

Masters in Liberal Arts and Humanities

The Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), in association with Chandigarh University, Mohali, launches a Master’s course on Liberal Arts and Humanities. The course aims at convergence of technology with liberal arts. The technology led change is facing a major challenge of realigning the virtual world with the real world.

This is a multi-disciplinary fully residential two year post-graduate degree program with a provision of availing a diploma after completion of one year. The aim is to broaden the professional horizon of prospective leaders. A comprehensive skill set ranging from problem-solving ability, communication and writing proficiency, shall be provided. Experienced global faculty from India and abroad have been drawn for the program. Special interactions with the guest speakers, persons of excellence from diverse fields, have been organically weaved in the course design.

The curriculum is specially designed for participatory learning. The core courses are essential to empower the fellows with the basic analytical tools to understand, analyse and apply in diverse contexts. In addition to the core and elective courses, the programme will offer additional courses that offer opportunity for independent study, an experiential learning program or a series of seminars. On-field training will offer the students an opportunity to apply the skills learned during classroom sessions. Provide students a perspective on their chosen fields and help them compare their abilities and interests with the requirements in the field.

This program will be useful for those aspiring to join civil services, students preparing to join social services stream and who have taken time off from their jobs to make their life more informed and aesthetically enriching.

For more information, please check the Global Fellowship Program Website

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What Makes Liberal Education More Important Than Ever?

The world is continuously being shaped by new technological innovations. Technology is finding its way in all spheres of life, leading to a rise in the demand for engineers, software programmers and IT professionals all over the globe. Other than a technical degree, degrees in business, medicine, hospitality, nursing, communications, education and law are equally in high demand. Although these are honourable teams to study and make a living in, the question worth pondering over is whether each of these streams is able to provide a comprehensive set of tools to study and analyze the complexities and richness of human life.

Why Liberal Arts?

Liberal Arts education prepares a student’s mind to freely pursue knowledge for its own sake. It not only provides a multi-faceted view of the world, but equips one with the ability to see and understand in broader perspective others’ opinions. Liberal Arts encourages the questioning of assumptions and helps to understand the use of facts as even facts can be interpreted differently in different contexts. It enables us to be thoughtful enough to distinguish between what humans can do and what would be wise to do. It can help us to learn to collect data, interpret it correctly and make informed decisions on a range of topics.

Need to Mainstream Learning on Liberal Arts and Humanities

The subjects studied in liberal arts range from art, history, literature, philosophy, religion, music, theatre, speech, sociology, politics, economics to gender studies, business, biology, archaeology, marketing, logic and mathematics. Liberal Arts education provides a comprehensive understanding of the social sciences, humanities, natural and formal sciences. What is the need to study history, literature, philosophy, theatre and religion? These fields help us to understand ourselves and nature of human life and human behavior. In philosophy, students study the thoughts and dialectical pursuits of Plato and Aristotle. Creative imagination is nurtured by introducing students to the pursuit of knowledge ingrained in intricate layers of music and theatre. Political studies, sociology and gender studies prepare the mind to examine the realities of society. The aim of the liberal arts education is to prepare young generations to care about humanity and work towards its growth from within their particular disciplines.

At the unveiling of the iPad 2, stressing the importance of liberal arts and humanities, Steve Jobs stated,

It’s in Apple DNA that technology alone is not enough – its technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices.       

– Steve Jobs, Former CEO, Apple

The heart will sing if mind is directed to holistically explore knowledge and get translated into action tomake living more humane. And it will become worthwhile if it contributes to transform the lives of millions living on the margins and integrate the local needs with global standards.

Distinctiveness of Chandigarh University, Mohali and IDC Program

Globally, there are a number to make, which have taken such initiatives, including  Princeton University, Harvard College, to transform Birmingham, King’s College London and Amsterdam University College, to name a few. In India too we have Chandigarh University, Mohali, Ashoka University, Jindal School of Liberal Arts, Flame University, St. Stephen’s College and LadyShri Ram College among others. All these courses have some or other uniqueness.

However, the Global FellowshipProgram in Liberal Arts and Humanities, curated by the Chandigarh University, Mohali and Institute for Development and Communication (IDC), an established Research Centre in North-Western India, has four distinct features. First, it offers well researched inter-disciplinary content as it is supported by IDC, which is actively involved in multi-disciplinary research. The courses offered will provide the students with an in-depth understanding of the contemporary challenges, dilemmas involving justice, conflict resolution, and sustainability challenges. Second, it has a strong group of scholars who have global vision but are sensitive to local culture, history and traditions. Appreciation of multicultural, experiential and contextual dimensions in diverse socio-cultural, global, regional and local contexts is encouraged.

Third, the experiential learning flows from the rigorous theoretical insights drawn from vast empirical knowledge base. Students will be able to successfully apply this knowledge to professional settings, social environments and public policy domain.  Fourth, the pedagogy has been designed in a way that it provides benefit of both debates and lively discussions in classrooms as well as training in the field on the on-going projects while giving the students enough time to contemplate what they have learnt.

The choice to study liberal arts leads one to enter an ongoing conversation, where scholars from different disciplines examine the meaning of being humane. Chandigarh University, Mohali has created a platform where scholars can interact, discuss and find solutions to the most pressing issues facing humanity.

Technology-driven societies are facing a major challenge of realigning the ‘virtual world’ with the ‘real world’ and also the ability to think critically with a sense of empathy that comes from training in the Liberal Arts and Humanities.

– Prof. Pramod Kumar

The program will make an excellent choice for curious minds, people who have taken time off from their jobs to make life more informed and aesthetically enriching; practising civil servants and those aspiring to join the civil services; and students who are preparing to join the social sciences stream to pursue research with inter disciplinary perspective. Flexible curriculum offered with a wide range of course options gives students the opportunity to be masters of their career. Provision shave been made for a combined degree in liberal arts and various streams such as MBA, hospitality, media studies, journalism, and law. Research skills acquired during the course of the degree can be honed by pursuing further education in research, for example, PhD in social sciences and humanities subjects such as political science, sociology, economics, history and philosophy.

Outcome of the GlobalFellowship Program

The program offers rigorous training to improve soft skills and transferable skills of the students. Transferable skills such as critical analysis and evaluation, creativity, communication skills, problem solving, ability to synthesize new ideas, effective research skills, cross-cultural knowledge and data analysis are frequently sought by employers in consultancies, NGOs, research institutes and marketing companies. Holistic training in liberal arts inculcates ‘lateral thinking’ in students and this trait is highly valued by employers in a globalised world. 

There is going to be greater demand for liberal arts majors than programming majors or maybe even engineering because when the data is being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data.

– Mark Cuban, Owner, Dallas Mavericks

Nripdeep Kaur, Assistant Program Coordinator, Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh

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