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Our Methods


Experiential Education

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
Xun Kuang, Xunzi

Many colleges around the world take up the notion of ‘problem-based learning’, and this is an exciting development. However at UCG we go a step further, focusing on experiential education.

Experiential education recognises the importance of active and deep learning. Experiential learning encourages students to put their existing knowledge and experience to work, pulling in new knowledge when and where it is needed the most. Passive and superficial learning focused on memorising facts have no place in experiential learning.

Experiential learning calls for the unique methods of teaching and learning described in this section.

Interactive and Small-scale Learning Environments

We want our students to integrate and further develop knowledge, rather than just store it. In pursuit of this goal, we promise a small-scale and interactive learning environment.

In our small classes, we go beyond lectures, and require students to think along with the instructor and fellow students. This means that students are active in their own learning, through discussions, critical writing, and presentations. These methods encourage interactive and deep learning rather than the passive and superficial memorization of facts. An important aim is to develop skills to present convincing reasons and evidence in support of conclusions, and to correctly and fairly assess counter-arguments to one’s view.

This generates invaluable conceptual knowledge and critical thinking skills. Small-scale and interactive classrooms also provide a safe and stimulating environment for taking risks, exploring, and helping students make received knowledge their own.

Interactive and small-scale education also acknowledges that students come with a rich background of experiences, ideas, and knowledge. In our classrooms, we encourage students to test their instincts and intuitions, and to update and integrate what they already know with new insights.

Focus on Societal Issues

All knowledge is ultimately meant to be used, and students learn most effectively when knowledge is presented in the context in which it is used.

UCG affords students and teachers the opportunity to apply knowledge to complex real-world situations. Further, we recognize that it is the ethical responsibility of the scientist to operate in the world.


The 21st century’s complex situations—like the energy transition, the refugee crisis, or the future of capitalism—cannot be addressed by a single discipline.

Our vision is to give our students both specialized expertise and a broad interdisciplinary perspective. For this, we aim to turn classrooms into laboratories: spaces where students and teachers work across disciplines to diagnose and provide solutions to these complex problems.

Within the Liberal Arts and Sciences programme at UCG we model interdisciplinarity in many of our courses, in our project curricula, and in creating specializations that are genuinely interdisciplinary.

Our goal is for our graduates to be uniquely positioned to participate in, and lead, the interdisciplinary teams tackling the issues of tomorrow.

Last modified:25 February 2019 12.45 p.m.