Liberal Arts College
In 2012, RANEPA created a Liberal Arts program, which in 2014 became a Liberal Arts College under the School of Public Policy. RANEPA is the largest university in Russia, with the main campus headquartered in Moscow and 60 other branches located around the country. The initiative behind the Liberal Arts program is due in large part to the initiative of RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau. In various interviews and publications, he has stressed the relevance of combining the education of specialists in traditional areas- such as public policy, management, public relations, and economics- with a broad multidisciplinary education. According to Mau, in the postindustrial economy specialized professional education, which prepares individuals for work in one narrow field throughout their career, is becoming outdated.
The development of the Liberal Arts program was headed by a team at the RANEPA School of Public Policy, a center of academic excellence at the Presidential Academy. The academic director of the Liberal Arts College is Andrei Zorin, one of the leading historians of Russian culture and a specialist on higher education in Russia, who has many years of teaching experience in the United States. Zorin is also a professor at the University of Oxford.
The Liberal Arts College established its own educational standards, a right granted to RANEPA by the President of the Russian Federation. Students of the program enjoy the many advantages of a Liberal Arts education, while at the same time benefitting from the opportunity to receive a Russian State diploma. Currently, the Liberal Arts College at RANEPA and the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. Petersburg State University are the only institutions in Russia offering a Liberal Arts Seducationtudies to their students.
Distinctive features of the Liberal Arts College:
- Three-stage study approach. (Stage 1) The study of a core curriculum for all students during the first two or three semesters. (Stage 2) The declaration of a major after the 2nd or 3rd semester. (Stage 3) The declaration of a minor after the 5th semester.
- Advisor support throughout the learning process. Academic advisors help students adapt to the norms and values of academic life and generate an individual study plan. Advisors offer guidance on a wide range of matters throughout the course, help students carry out their individual study plans, and build students’ professional careers.
- A four-year course titled «Great books» is offered, throughout the duration of which students read and discuss with professors some of the most significant works contributing to world culture. Another course, «Writing and Critical Thinking», combines the elements of applied philosophy and academic writing.
- International academic mobility. Students are provided with opportunities to study or intern in other programs and universities both in Russia and abroad. Credits received at other universities are transferable, and are counted towards a degree at RANEPA. The students of the Liberal Arts College regularly visit Israel, China, Spain, Germany, and Canada.
The Liberal Arts College offers students the following majors:
- Oriental Studies
- Cognitive Psychology
- Public Policy
- Public Relations
- Urban Studies
Since 2012, the Liberal Arts College has conducted three admissions campaigns. The Liberal Arts are clearly becoming more popular: the first group of students consisted of only 30 individuals, the second consisted of 90, and the most recent admission campaign of 2014 brought in 160 freshmen. The College employs more than 60 professors and academic advisors, allowing it to take into account and facilitate the individual needs and demands of each RANEPA student.