21 November 2022

Today’s student is the democratic citizen of the future

The political debate is increasingly polarised, people are no longer able to compromise and there is less and less enthusiasm to tackle major social problems. These are worrying developments, says Teun Dekker. He is Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education at University College Maastricht (UCM) and has delved into the question of how we can best educate our students so that they can later participate as full, democratic citizens in solving the problems in our society.

Seven Democratic Virtues

Dekker's latest book on the subject is titled Seven Democratic Virtues of Liberal Education - A Student-Inspired Agenda for Teaching Civic Virtue in European Universities. It’s available for free via open access.

The book is based on interviews with Liberal Arts and Sciences students from across Europe. Dekker hopes it will build awareness among scientists, education experts, politicians, and ordinary citizens that educational institutions have an important educational and social task that goes beyond providing knowledge and training students for the labour market.

Click here for a UM background interview marking Teun Dekker's inauguration.