The conference was dedicated to the discussion of the term “Interdisciplinarity” in context of science, business and education. The Program Committee emphasized the specific value of interdisciplinary approach in team play, working with text, development of critical thinking and other competencies which could be gathered under umbrella term “soft skills”, which are obligatory tools for the professionals who acts in contemporary rapid changing labour markets. Among the participants of the conference are a winner of the Fields Prize Stanislav Smirnov (St. Petersburg State University, University of Geneva), Tim Stearns (Stanford University), Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University Alexei Kudrin, Vice President of the Bard College Jonathan Becker, Rector of the American University of Central Asia Andrew Vakhtel, Skoltech Rector Alexander Kuleshov and others. At the conference, experts from universities of Russia, Europe and the USA shared their experience in introducing liberal education, and also discussed the further dimensions of development of the SPBU “Liberal Arts and Sciences” undergraduate program.
The contribution of the European Humanities University (EHU) to the conference was made by three members of the University academic community. EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov presented the topic “The Nature of Humanities” at the plenary session “Interdisciplinary Education: Values and Objectives”, Head of the Academic Department of the Humanities and Arts Assoc. Prof. Aliaksei Makhnach delivered the presentation “Rethinking Optionality and Interdisciplinarity: Case of the EHU Core Curriculum” within the session “Liberal Arts Education and Preparing Professionals for the 21st Century: Interdisciplinarity and the Labor Market”. Also in the section session “Soft Skills in University Educational Programs: How and Why” Head of the Communications Unit Maksimas Milta delivered a report “UX-approach in Designing the Course and Learning Outcomes. The Experience of EHU and the Second-Year Seminar: Introduction to Social Sciences”.
During the visit to St. Petersburg EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov and Rector of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia Prof. Sergei Bogdanov signed a cooperation agreement between the EHU and the Herzen University, including the organisation of student exchanges and experience exchange in the field of innovative methods and practices of contemporary higher education.
Upon the completion of the visit to St. Petersburg, the EHU President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov met the Rector of the European University at St. Petersburg (EU-SPb) Prof. Nikolai Vakhtin. Prof. Mikhailov expressed support to the academic community of EU-SPb and assured the readiness of EHU to provide further support and assistance to the community of EU-SPb in terms of the continuous oppression against EU-SPb on behalf of local authorities.