Dynamic and Diverse: OSUN’s Dual-Degree MA in Global Studies Exposes Students to Valuable Perspectives
A dynamic environment for new perspectives
“One aspect of the Bard/CEU collaboration that I find especially exciting is the genuinely global nature of this program, which I think sets it apart from others and creates fertile ground from which our students will generate new ideas and perspectives on international relations,” says Michelle Murray, associate professor of politics, chair of the Division of Social Studies, and faculty director of Bard’s MA in Global Studies.“One of the distinctive features of this program is the global makeup of its student body. Most of our students come from the Global South, bringing with them to the seminar table a unique range of experiences and perspectives on international affairs,” says Murray. She goes on to say that this deep diversity creates a dynamic environment where students are able to “think outside of the box.”
“I experienced this first hand last spring when I taught a course in the program. These students opened up for me new ways of thinking about international relations and many challenging problems we will confront in the coming years. OSUN makes all of this possible, not only by funding scholarships that enable students to afford the program, but also by enabling us to leverage the network connections to recruit this diverse student body.”
A genuine network opportunityOn the occasion of the now dual-degree program’s launch, Murray adds, “Our close connection to OSUN will ensure we are able to recruit a diverse student body that brings a range of perspectives and experiences to the table. Taken all together, this really is a program intentionally designed to prepare students to respond to the twenty-first century’s most challenging global problems with creativity and rigor.”
While the MA in Global Studies program is anchored institutionally at CEU and Bard College, it is genuinely a network program because of the constituencies it draws on to compose its student body. Of the 26 students who have enrolled in the program in its first two years, 18 (over 70%) have come from OSUN institutions. The program overwhelmingly serves students from the Global South: of the 26 enrollees, 7 students have come from Afghanistan, 3 from Palestine, and the others from Belarus, Bosnia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ukraine, and the US. The student body also has strong racial and gender diversity.
Feedback from students thus far indicates the program has been successful in achieving its goals. A recent graduate from the program remarked that he particularly benefited from engaging with students from diverse backgrounds, sharing experiences and perspectives on different topics. “This has helped broaden my horizon and improve my critical thinking abilities,” he said. Other students have noted that the experience helped them to learn about what issues really affect students based in different countries and allowed them to gain truly transferrable skills. All students strongly agreed that the program encouraged them to reconsider their own viewpoints on global affairs.
Students pursuing an MA in Global Studies through Bard may choose to begin in Vienna, studying international relations at CEU. For the spring term, students move to Bard’s program in New York City, where they complete coursework and an internship with an organization working on global affairs. At the program’s conclusion, students submit a capstone project. The program’s curriculum places at its center the theory-practice nexus, equipping students with a sophisticated set of theoretical and conceptual tools and practical experiences. Students interested in this track must submit applications to both CEU’s one-year program in international relations and Bard’s MA in Global Studies.
The deadline for applications for the MA in Global Studies is Wednesday, February 1. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply. Write to Michelle Murray with additional questions.
Post Date: 12-19-2022