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Columbia UniversityThe President's Report 2002-2007
Global Curriculum
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The spread of global market systems, the rise of—and challenges to—various forms of democracy, the emergence of extraordinary opportunities for increased communication and of an increasingly global culture, and the actions of governments and nongovernmental organizations are all reshaping our world and raising profound questions for academic study.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, the committee sponsored numerous seminars covering many facets of globalization.

Creating a truly global university means expanding many of the ways we think and act in the world. In this spirit, the Undergraduate Initiative of the Committee on Global Thought undertook, first, to explore what every student graduating from any university in any country needs to know about the world in the twenty-first century, and then to suggest practical ways to acquire this knowledge without overburdening existing curricula.

Headed by Carol Gluck, the George Sansom Professor of History, the initiative conducted a year-long series of discussions with hundreds of undergraduates, faculty, administrators, trustees, and recent alumni, which resulted in a report proposing concrete measures to create teaching models for undergraduates that can be tested at Columbia and other universities. Its proposals are now under consideration by the Committee on Global Thought, the Task Force on Undergraduate Education, and various undergraduate schools.

Read the executive summary. >
Find out more about the Committee on Global Thought. >

Events Abroad
The 2006-2007 Report on the Undergraduate Initiative of the Committee on Global Thought reflected a consensus stressing that among the goals of global thinking, it is essential to:

  • learn about real people in real places

  • link societies by their connections and commonalities as much as by their differences

  • integrate general issues of globalization, past and present, into the study of specific people and places in the world

  • define the world to include one’s own country, in our case, the United States

  • take advantage of cross-disciplinary approaches to break down conventional academic barriers

  • emphasize experiential as well as classroom learning

  • foster communication and contact through language training, internships, and international collaboration, both here and abroad.

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