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A new college in London is offering a unique undergraduate degree that does not require students to take traditional academic subjects.
In 2021, The London Interdisciplinary School (LIS) will open with 100 students and 10 faculty. Despite not having traditional academic subjects, LIS graduates will earn full degrees. After three years, students will earn a degree in Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Interdisciplinary Problems and Methods, a degree tailored for addressing real-world issues.
LIS’s curriculum will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to solving problems such as aging in society, childhood obesity, and plastic pollution. The curriculum is also expected to hone students’ quantitative and qualitative research skills. The curriculum will cut across disciplines without particular focus on the usual academic subjects like physics or history.
Students will be given business project ideas by potential employers, like consulting firm McKinsey, beverage company Innocent, and multi-sectoral business group Virgin. These companies will also allow students to undergo a five-week work experience.
According to LIS co-founder Ed Fidoe [FAHY-doh], grounding education in real-world problems will pique students’ interest and make them more employable after they graduate. Fidoe said LIS wants to give students a transformational educational experience that truly prepares students for the dynamic workplace of the future—something not many universities can offer. LIS Academic lead Carl Gombrich added that the program’s goal is to equip students with problem-solving skills that they will need in the workplace.
However, one education advisor commented on LIS’s curriculum and expressed concern about whether the curriculum would achieve a balance of quantity and quality of knowledge. He said knowing many things but not understanding anything deeply might limit career opportunities.