A key theme of Whole Education’s recent annual conference preparing young people for their futures, and of the keynote from Nobel-Prize winning scientist Professor Venki Ramakrishnan, was the need for a broader curriculum diet and an interdisciplinary approach to learning to help students thrive in an increasingly complex world.
One of the speakers and delegates at the conference was Ed Fidoe, the co-founder of School 21. Ed has recently founded The London Interdisciplinary School (LIS), a new university to prepare students with the skills they need to tackle complex real-world problems – or as the Times has called it, ‘a university for polymaths’.
A real, relevant and engaging education
While many students arrive at university and become increasingly specialised, LIS takes a distinctly ‘whole education’ approach, by offering a broad and rich education to students. It also takes a ‘whole education’ approach to pedagogy, with real, relevant and engaging learning experiences.
Students won’t be tied to the library. They will put their learnings to work through paid work placements at some of the UK’s top organisations including Virgin, McKinsey, Innocent Drinks and the Met Police.
The LIS curriculum will cut across interdisciplinary boundaries (arts and sciences) allowing for students to turn theory into action with methods such as statistical analysis, design thinking and coding.
Multifaceted real-world problems, such as childhood obesity, knife crime and the ethics of gene editing will be placed at the heart of the degree. Students will start with a problem, break it down to identify the different knowledge areas they’ll need before learning the methods required to take action.
Looking beyond grade thresholds
LIS will welcome applications from across subject backgrounds. The course will be challenging so students will need to be comfortable using mathematics techniques, as well as analysing literature from the humanities.
As usual, applications will go through UCAS, but LIS will look beyond grade thresholds; they want to get to know students and understand their story, including their interests, experiences and motivations. Their admissions system is designed to remove societal bias, giving applicants a fair opportunity to become part of an exceptional and diverse intake, right from the start.
Find out more:
Doors open to the founding cohort of 120 students in 2020. LIS will be running a series of taster events before this though so applicants can experience LIS’ approach to interdisciplinary learning first-hand, as well as meeting Professor Carl Gombrich who leads the faculty and some of LIS’ internship partners.
LIS are looking for brilliant problem-solvers who want to make their mark on the world. Whole Education is excited to be working with LIS to help schools in our network that are committed to a future-focused education find out if it might be right for some of their students. We encourage schools to find out if LIS might be right for some of their students.
If you would like LIS to come and talk to your sixth form, meet one of your students, or know someone who would like to attend a taster event then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.