Edinburgh Global

The Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts

In March 2024, the Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts met in person for the first time at the University of Edinburgh. The Collaborative is a partnership of Vassar College, the University of Edinburgh, the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and the University of Global Health Equity. This meeting brought the partners together to share challenges and aspirations around institutional strategy and impact.

The Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts gather at Old College

The member institutions of the collaborative share a commitment to integrating liberal arts principles into academic programs. The collaboration champions higher education’s role in fostering critical thinking, creativity, and inclusive leadership.

What is the Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts?

Video: Edinburgh Global - What is the Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts
In March 2024, the Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts convened at the University of Edinburgh. The collaborative consists of Vassar College, University of Edinburgh, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and University of Global Health Equity and builds upon several previous engagements by the collaborative.

Equipping students for pro-social action

Shared challenges and aspirations within higher education were central to the discussions. There was acknowledgement that traditional models can fall short in equipping students with the skills and mindset necessary to tackle global challenges, and delegates were united on the objective of nurturing critical thinkers primed for inclusive, pro-social action.

It was wonderful to share time and space with scholars and administrators committed to making higher education more engaging and impactful for students and we learned how much we could help each other given our differing contexts and perspectives--four continents all focused on a common challenge.

Elizabeth BradleyPresident - Vassar College

Shared strategy, planning and networking

The discussions led to renewed clarity on institutional strategies to enhance the transformative impact of higher education and a renewed commitment to sustained collaboration and innovation. Specifically, Professor Liz Grant helped outline the University’s commitment to challenge-led, interdisciplinary approaches through the work of the Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Crucially, the convening strengthened professional relationships among the delegates, underpinning a network of support and solidarity across the institutions.

Four Universities on four continents with four different academic foci came together because we recognise that the global challenges we face transcend borders and boundaries; and the faculty and students of each institution have a common goal – to use knowledge wisely for a safer, more just and equitable world. We came away believing in the value of education, and the importance of learning through sharing.

Liz GrantAssistant Principal Global Health – University of Edinburgh

The visit advanced the collaboration by:

  • Providing greater clarity of institutional strategy for the transformational impact of higher education
  • Building plans for future activities to drive outcomes
  • Developing the network of professional relationships around shared issues

Looking ahead, the Global Collaborative for the Liberal Arts remains steadfast in its mission to redefine higher education paradigms, armed with a newfound sense of purpose and unity. As institutions worldwide navigate the complexities of a rapidly evolving educational landscape, the collaborative stands poised to lead the charge towards a more inclusive, equitable, and transformative future.

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