»Artes Liberales« Academy
Educating a modern humanist requires constant overstepping of the borders of narrow specialist fields, and understanding the language and research goals of different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary studies, though they require special talents and maturity, enable students to feel at home in various, often dispersed areas of humanities knowledge. They offer students the possibility not only of being the ones who plan the structure of the knowledge they obtain, building it from elements of various disciplines in the humanities, but also of meeting outstanding academics and maintaining regular, partnership contacts with their tutor. First and foremost, however, they show the humanities as a system of interlinked disciplines that not only in this form offer their adherents the tools to learn about and expand the intellectual output of humanity.
At the threshold of the 21st century, the six universities in Poland joined the "Artes Liberales" Academy, which plans to expand the existing system of interdepartmental individual studies in the humanities to the dimension of inter-university studies. Thanks to the agreement between the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University in Kraków, the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, the University of Wrocław, the Catholic University of Lublin and the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń, signed by the rectors of these universities, with the approval of the conference of Polish University Rectors, the first students of inter-university studies began their education in the 2000/2001 academic year. Since then two new universities joined the programme: the University of Silesia in Katowice as well as the University of Maria Curie-Skłodowska in Lublin. At the beginning of the 2004/2005 academic year eight universities constitute the Academy. The University of Szczecin is affiliated with the Academy.
The "Artes Liberales" Academy (Polish abbreviation: AAL), which draws from the experience of the Collegium of Interdepartmental Individual Studies in the Humanities of the University of Warsaw (Collegium MISH), is addressed to all those whose broad interests in the humanities cannot be satisfied in the traditional system of studying one academic discipline. This is an offer for people capable of taking joint responsibility for the shape and rhythm of their studies.
Contrary to interdepartmental interdisciplinary studies, which are located within one university, the inter-university system allows students to complete successive years at seven Polish universities. The basic forms of studying in the "Artes Liberales" Academy are intensive specialist courses, workshops and seminars.