We envision Thames International College as a dialogic space where an individual learns to understand oneself establishing a deep connection with the larger world. The institution takes 'I' with utmost seriousness but does not consider it a disconnected island, the 'I' rather is a significant and vibrant node in a large network and a complex historical continuum. Further abetting this long-harbored conviction, we have decided to launch a new venture that aids every individual participating in the pursuit of knowledge with the sense of being an important part of the larger collective. We call it the Global Citizenship Program.
We have reasons to use terms like "global" and "citizenship" in our new program. The modern territorialized conception of "nation" has survived umpteen challenges and relentless onslaughts. Therefore, while it is important to understand the salience of the existence of sovereign nations, the territorial boundaries of these entities, and the diversity of national experiences, it is equally vital to be cognizant of their serious limitations. Most importantly, we must realize the limiting potential of nativist parochialism. Thus, an attempt to transcend national boundaries and establish connections with diverse cultures, civilizations, and languages becomes pertinent. Similarly, it is the time when we equally pay attention to how humans are embedded with non-human nature. In addition, the profusion of communication technologies, connected economies, and the universal climate crises have already pushed us to a juncture where a serious global dialogue has to begin.
Here a question arises: who will begin this necessary conversation? Or, if the dialogues are already taking place in diverse ways in discreet locations, who will work towards connecting these dialogues? Who will work towards breaking several silos that a longstanding knowledge industry has created in the modern world? Not for the universalization of certain ideas, but for creating a global synergy, these discreet dialogues have to be unified in some ways. Who will put the necessary efforts into creating and sustaining such a synergy? Who can think about generating the intellectual resources necessary to continue such dialogues? We believe that global citizens can become the agents of such conversations.
Thames's Global Citizenship Program is a tiny step towards the end. While the goal looks lofty and appears unattainable on the surface, we have no choice but to shoulder the responsibility of taking some necessary steps towards it. For the same, we have decided to take the program as a rubric that incorporates different courses on issues that we identify as significantly pressing and timely: i) connected world histories; ii) wars, climate crises, and refugees; iii) indigeneity and its complexities; iv) human and non-human connections. A few different yet interrelated courses will be designed and offered to students of all disciplines, including management and IT. The interdisciplinary ethos will be duly maintained in all the courses we offer. In short-term project works that are incorporated into the courses, we will put efforts into using diverse methodologies devised by different disciplines.
Develop a comprehensive understanding of world history, enabling students to appreciate diverse cultures, societies, and historical events that have shaped the global landscape.
Equip students with a solid foundation in politics and international relations, fostering an informed perspective on global governance, diplomacy, and socio-political dynamics.
Provide language courses to enhance students' proficiency in a foreign language, enabling effective communication across cultural and linguistic boundaries.
Foster critical thinking skills to empower students to analyze information, assess multiple perspectives, and develop well-reasoned opinions, enhancing their ability to navigate complex global issues.
Integrate gender studies to promote awareness and understanding of gender dynamics, fostering inclusivity and preparing students to address gender-related challenges in various cultural contexts.
Develop an awareness of environmental issues, particularly climate change, and empower students to become advocates for sustainable practices and policies that contribute to global environmental well-being.
Foster a sense of responsibility and active citizenship by encouraging students to apply their knowledge in addressing societal challenges, both locally and globally.
Encourage an interdisciplinary approach to education by integrating various fields of study, providing a holistic understanding of global challenges and solutions.