Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Reflections on the Study Tour: A Prelude

Everyone in the team will be presenting their reflections on the Study Tour. But first here is a fitting prelude by David Law that reflects on the social role of HE...

The last day of the Study Tour was spent at the University of Antwerp.  This was the day that Paris experienced the atrocities that are bound to challenge our willingness to promote cultural inclusiveness in European universities.  Ten days later the peace of Brussels is very much under threat and the cities within its vicinity, including Antwerp and Ghent (where the Davis Cup finals will be held), feel the impact.

At the University of Antwerp there is a compulsory module, World Views, for all third undergraduate students taught by staff of the Centre Pieter Gillis. This Centre is focussed on religious diversity and on the social position of religion in society.  It is named after Pieter Gillis (1486-1533) an Antwerp humanist and friend of Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More.  Unfortunately, because there was so much to pack in to a half-day visit to the University, we did not have the chance to meet colleagues from the Centre.  But we were told that all the Flemish universities make provision of this kind (for the development of ethical and spiritual awareness of students).

Does any British university require all undergraduates to take such a course, especially at an advanced stage of their degree?

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