Interdisciplinary research, multidisciplinary teaching: How universities can contribute to handling the major challenges of the 21st century

Part III

Regional approaches

Latin America & The Caribbean

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Middle East & North Africa

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North America

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Europe

Interdisciplinary research, multidisciplinary teaching: How universities can contribute to handling the major challenges of the 21st century

Karl Tombré

Abstract

The broad transitions of the 21st century are the Environmental and Digital Transformations of our societies and our economy. The challenges raised by these transitions are complex, and the associated problems will not be solved by a purely technological approach. In this multifaceted world, comprehensive universities have the advantages of a long tradition in applying scientific methods to understand complex questions and gathering all the disciplines associated with human knowledge under the same roof. What they still lack to a certain extent is the habit of pushing for extensive interdisciplinary approaches. By developing interdisciplinary research programs, fostering cross-disciplinary profiles through an evolution of their curricula, and adding interdisciplinary work to their mobility programs, universities can evolve to be major players for the success of these broad transitions of our world.

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