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A cross-disciplinary programme on humans, science and technology

The Humans, Science and Technology (HST) is a three-year programme currently under development at the University of Amsterdam.

The programme is a collaboration between the faculties of social sciences, humanities and science and seeks to prepare students to address complex challenges in a fast changing digital world. This Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics’ (STEAM) initiative uses design thinking as a bridge to connect science and arts-based ways of knowing.

The students who enroll in the HST programme will be able to choose amongst four learning trajectories: social science and humanities, research expertise, digital expertise and change making expertise. The HST learning trajectories are intertwined, moving from simple to more advanced and independent approaches as the studies progress. While all of the paths make cross-disciplinary connections, the last itinerary – change making expertise – is perhaps the one that best captures the STEAM idiosyncrasy of the programme since it emphasizes students’ capacity to bring about transformations. For this, the HST programme aims to help learners develop knowledge and skills for reflective leadership. Furthermore, 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking are supported through the HST learning trajectories

The HST programme seeks to expose students to real problems and challenges such as social change, wellbeing, humane AI and the use of data for decision-making. In order to tackle contemporary challenges, students will be prompted to engage in research, design and implementation of their own approaches to digital technology. For this, the studies follow an inquiry-based learning methodology that fosters learners to become open, flexible and creative thinkers. Not being afraid of thinking differently, exploring divergent views, as well as being able to set personal goals and ethics are important abilities that HST students will be encouraged to develop.

The University of Amsterdam has developed the HST programme as part of the university’s commitment for developing cross-faculty cooperation through disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses. In addition to internal collaborations amongst the university faculties, there is an interest to strengthen the collaboration with relevant organisations and businesses in the Amsterdam area to tackle contemporary challenges. Following this interest, the HST programme will also include collaborations with external partners through students’ projects.

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