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A Best Practice Guide for implementing Liberal Arts and Sciences at European Higher Education Institutions, offered to you by EPICUR European University Alliance


Staff, Resources and Expertise

How should the program be staffed, and what resources should be explored?  
The main success factor of your programme will be the academic staff. Without academics who are specialists in the required fields, who fully subscribe to your educational philosophy and who are intrinsically motivated to teach and work with students, your programme will not succeed. Under Educational Philosophy you will have decided how you want to teach this programme; small scale, lectures, online, a specific didactical approach, a combination of these or something completely different. Together with the targeted student population, it is now possible to determine how many academic staff you will need to teach the programme. Depending on the aspirations of the university and the budget available, you will have to use academics already employed in the university or you can hire your own staff, or a combination of these two.
The disciplinary focus of your staff and their own research will have an influence on the content of the programme, especially in a programme that is flexible and seems to be able to accommodate a wide range of courses. You probably want to use the strengths and enthusiasm of your academics but at the same time you cannot make the programme too dependent on individual preferences as this makes your programme potentially vulnerable. Finding a balance will be a continuous process, during the start-up phase, but also afterwards.
There are various ways of staffing the programme. Usually all models have their own core staff for the courses that are central to the programme. For the more specialized courses in the majors, either staff from other schools, institutes or departments is seconded to teach in the LAS programme, or students attend courses in other parts of the university with students of these programmes. Both will work but will have a different effect on your own programme. In any case all instructors of LAS students should understand the aims and objectives of the LAS programme and adjust their teaching accordingly.
One of the strengths of the successful LAS programmes in Europe is the close relationship between staff and students. The close and easy access to professors and direct interaction in the classroom all contribute to the community in your programme. It is also important to build this community among your academic staff. They may have come from all over the world or from various departments in the university; in both cases they will have their own experiences and ideas on how a programme is run. Some may take for granted that there will be teaching assistants or that exams are organized centrally while others are used to acting independently without strict regulations. This can create confusion and irritation. Include these kinds of expectations explicitly in the training of the staff.
Questions to ask
  • Will you have internal or external staff or a combination?
  • Will you staff the entire programme yourself or will students take courses with other institutes or departments?
  • Can the university give you the specialized teaching you need?
  • How many staff you will need?
  • What is your ideal staff profile?
  • What is your recruitment strategy for staff?
  • Will you have a training for staff and how will this be set up regarding educational philosophy, didactical principles, assessment, feedback?
  • If you are developing an international programme, it will be logical to have staff with international experience and who speak the language of instruction well. Do you need to provide training in this respect and how can you facilitate this?
  • How do you want to establish a close relationship between staff and students?
  • What expectations exist among your staff?
Approaches taken by EPICUR partners institutions
Tuition fees:
Tuition fees and accommodation costs are paid by all AUC students. For tuition, the level of fees you pay will depend on whether you qualify for the statutory tuition fee or not.
Per June 2012, AUC was awarded the “Distinctive feature of small-scale and intensive education" by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Council (NVAO) and was on this basis granted special approval by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science with regard to the selective admission of students and setting the level of tuition fees (in accordance with Articles 6.7, 6.7a, 6.7b and 6.7c of the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (WHW)).
This implies that it can select students (done previously under special WHW provision) and impose statutory tuition fees that are higher than those set down by law for standard programmes. 
For the period 2022-2023 the statutory tuition fee for the AUC programme (Dutch and EU/EEA students) is EUR 4610 for students not eligible to pay the statutory tuition fee (non-EU/EEA), the tuition fee is EUR 12610.
The enhanced tuition fee is used to support AUC’s mission “Excellence and Diversity in a Global City”. And in line with the requirements listed above, to support AUC as a small-scale, intensive, and residential programme that offers students an enhanced international learning experience at honours level supported by personal tutoring, to support the diversity of AUC's international campus community, including extra-curricular and social activities, AUC's scholarship programme (ASF), and to provide a high service level with respect to (international) career development.
AUC is a residential programme, and all AUC students live in the AUC student residences for three years. The AUC student residences are owned and run by Stichting DUWO. The exact amount of rent you will pay to DUWO varies depending on the type of room selected. AUC guarantees accommodation for all its students. This is certainly a big benefit, as finding accommodation in Amsterdam can be very difficult. All AUC students live together in the residences on the AUC campus in Science Park for the duration of their AUC studies.
The approximate accommodation costs for the year 2021-22 is 4328 euros per year. However, this depends on the type of room chosen.
Tuition fees:
€161 registration fee per semester for all students. State of Baden-Württemberg tuition fees for non-EU students (€1,500 per semester) and for students seeking a second Bachelor (or Master's) degree (€650 per semester). UCF does not offer any scholarships or financial help. There are other institutions external to the university which offer these opportunities. 
As mentioned before, teaching in LAS is supported by the physical resources and staff of the Faculty of History. LAS has its own office physically located in the Office of Student
Services of the Faculty. Polish-speaking students are taken care of by the staff of the Office and English-speaking students are taken care of by the Secretary of the Centre for Liberal Arts and Sciences. The libraty of the Faculty of History includes a set of books, which were bought recently according to the recommendations of LAS lecturets. If the program becomes successful, there’s an opportuinity to move to a different location and gain LAS-dedicated physical resources.
At the moment, AMU’s Centre for Liberal Arts and Sciences consists of two dedicated employees:
  • acting director of the Centre for Liberal Arts and Sciences, vice-Rector of AMU, prof. Rafał Witkowski, responsible for coordination of efforts related to the program’s existence
  • secretary of the Centre, Wojciech Nadobnik, responsible for administrative issues and marketing
Although not formally an employee of the Centre, prof. Łukasz Różycki also plays an essential role in the development of the program both as the head of the LAS Program Council and the Supervisor of LAS (irrespective of any administrative structures in place, each AMU degree program requires a supervisor).
Tuition fees:
Under the current law, Polish students do not pay fees when studying full-time.
Lecturers at AMU are obligated to teach for a specific number of hours each year (pensum). Classes within LAS only generate a cost if a specific class taught by a specific teacher exceeds the pensum. LAS also hires lecturers from outside of AMU – at the moment three of them. Given the fact that in academic year 2020/21 LAS only had one group, figures from 2021/2022 will be used in the following calculations. Budget prepared under the pessimistic assumption that all LAS classes will have to be paid for amounted for 110 thousand złotys, roughly 24 thousand euro [1]. At its full capacity program is going to have two groups for each year of study, six altogether. At that point funding of the classes will cost 72 thousand euro plus 11 thousand for wages of the LAS Centre Staff and its expenses, in sum 83 thousand Euro.
That cost has to be covered by the University, but tuition fees can lower presented numbers significantly. Yearly tuition fee is 3 thousand złotys, 650 Euro. Under the current law, Polish students do not pay fees when studying full-time. Therefore, fees will come in most cases from international students in the English group. There are 20 places in the English group, so in the ideal scenario (100% of places filled during recruitment, 100% student retention, no Polish students in the English group) LAS could receive as much as 39 thousand euro, over a half of its budget, from tuition fees. Only time will tell how much really can be expected. The tuition fee is set at a standard level and raising it to increase LAS’ budget sustainability could discourage – at least in this moment – potential students. 

Last edited: 28. Oct 2022, 12:31, [sr1149@uni-freiburg.de]