Alliance University Launches School of Liberal Arts

Chetan Bhagat calls for “a liberal arts turn” in the Indian higher education sector at the launch of the School of Liberal Arts at Alliance University, Bangalore.


Bengaluru : Alliance University launched its school of liberal arts on Friday in an online event graced by Chetan Bhagat, the celebrated Indian writer. The school offers a one-of-a-kind undergraduate programme with the freedom for the students to choose subjects and design their degrees with majors and minors of their interest. This is the defining ethos of the programme that is captured in the maxim: “freedom to excel”.

The chief guest of the event, Chetan Bhagat emphasized the need for liberal art turn in the Indian higher education scene. Liberal arts, he said, was best placed to bridge the widening divide between the two cultures of art and science. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr Anubha Singh marked out transdisciplinarity as the unique feature of the liberal arts program at Alliance University. Given the complexity of 21st-century challenges like climate change, she spoke about the need for a reinvention of pedagogy that goes beyond mere interdisciplinarity.

The Pro-Chancellor, Mr Abhay Chebbi formally launched the programme and highlighted the growth trajectory of an institution that began 25 years ago as a pioneer in management education; to becoming the first private university in Karnataka; and now embarking on launching a school for liberal education – heralding that the uniqueness in Alliance Education lies in holistic transformation.

He congratulated the academic team members and mentioned that liberal education at Alliance will focus on one singular philosophy – students will be taught how to think and not what to think – and that Alliance University will become a preferred destination for all stakeholders with a focus on three key elements – Enhanced diversity; Strong foundation in Indian culture, heritage & ethos; and Transdisciplinary learning.

The interim Associate Dean of the School, Dr Anirudh Sridhar introduced the unique features of the programme and gave a brief glimpse of the vibrant conversations possible between the domains of art and science.

Along with the undergraduate programme, the university is also offering a one-of-a-kind postgraduate fellowship programme called the “Global Leaders’ Alliance” (GLA) fellowship. The fellowship programme aims to train and mould young thinkers with the potential for excellence to address the unique and multifaceted challenges of the twenty-first century. The taught phase of the fellowship will be offered by a stellar group of foreign faculty members from top-rated universities from across the globe including Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard.

The undergraduate majors offered by the school of liberal arts include English, Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Public Policy, Economics, Data Science, and Applied Mathematics. Students who enter the programme will also study a broad set of foundation courses, which would help them develop their fundamental skills in critical thinking, research, and ethics. They will also have the option of studying a foreign language of their choice. The students will have the privilege of attending classes led by international faculty. These students will also have an inside track into the GLA fellowship programme at the end of their undergraduate studies.

With these programmes, the University echoes the spirit of the renaissance genius Leonardo Da Vinci when he spoke about the unity of knowledge which we must acknowledge while embracing the increasing diversity of specializations.

Students are encouraged to apply soon as limited seats are available.


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