Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Looking ahead..

Last Friday and Saturday, we had a two-day workshop sponsored by the Luce Learning Across Borders Scholarship/Fellowship fund. Since I am a Bard-Luce Scholar and a BCEP student I was mandated to attend. But that is not the point.

These workshops were organized by the BCEP faculty to map the way forward for the programme. In the past year, four prospective director candidates have been interviewed. We almost got one last year but he decided to take up another offer. This year we've met one new candidate and another will soon be coming for a series of interviews.

It is important to forge new partnerships and expand the ambit of the programme. Currently, BCEP students in the Masters of Science programme, which is for a period of two years, have to do a four month internship on which they base their thesis in the second semester. The Luce funding will expire in 2009 and other sources of funding have to be earmarked before then.

More importantly, the workshops addressed issues relating to the future of students in the programme. Discussions ranged from current teaching practices and new ways of approaching the curriculum, to how to position students emerging into the workplace with an interdisciplinary background.

There is a lot in the pipeline for BCEP moving forward. Bard college is a very small private institution with a total student population of approximately 1800. That's a very different dynamic from Wits University where I came from. In spite of its size, it has a formidable reputation for excellence particularly in the liberal arts. It is in the process of increasing its postgraduate student body.

The Bard Center for Environmental policy is therefore, part of that process. I wish them all the best as they move into the next phase of expansion.

1 comment:

Thomas Blaser said...

Good luck with the work search. I am sure you will succeed. From your slideshow: you are such a romantic!