I am program director for the Master Information Studies (Data Science & Information Systems) at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam.
Previously, I was head of the Social Science Department of Amsterdam University College (AUC), which offers a liberal arts and sciences program. AUC's social science department offers 90 interdisciplinary courses provided by 60 lecturers from 9 social science disciplines. As department head my goal has been threefold.
First, to prepare the department for the increasing complexity and diversity of society due to globalization and technological developments by introducing new course into the curriculum such as "Digital Anthropology", “Race, Class and Gender Intersectionality”, “The Empathic Brain”, “Computational Framing in Politics and Economics”
Second, to bridge the teaching-research divide by introducing more research elements in existing courses, developing new research-intensive courses and engaging students in research activities of faculty members.
Third, to increase student's social awareness and engagement by appointing, activating and professionalizing lecturers with varied background, open mind and affinity for (social) innovation.
Patrick Awuah, the founder of Aisha University in Accra Ghana, Patrick Awuah enthusiastically explains the importance of liberal arts and science education.