Advisory Board formed at ECOLAS

ECOLAS is pleased to announce the formation of a new Board of Advisors that will assist the Executive Board in executing the role of ECOLAS in the advancement of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in Europe. The members of the Board will serve as a critical resource by contributing their expertise and professional standing to the projects undertaken by the organisation. The five members appointed to the Board bring a diversity and wealth of experience within the context of higher education reform. ECOLAS is privileged to welcome them and looks forward to working with them to implement the aims of our consortium:


Hans Adriaansens (chair)

Hans Adriaansens is a sociologist and the founder of the first Dutch honors college, University College Utrecht. He later founded and served as dean of Roosevelt Academy (now UC Roosevelt).  He is also a co-founder of the European Consortium for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS) and served as an Executive Director until his recent retirement.  Hans has long championed the advancement of the Liberal Arts and Sciences in Europe and is widely recognized as one of the most innovative thinkers about the future of European higher education.  While formally retired, he continues to work tirelessly for the cause of LAS both in and beyond Europe, concentrating much of his effort recently on fostering new LAS initiatives in Asia.


Bert van den Brink (University College Roosevelt)

Prof. Bert van den Brink has been Dean of University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the Netherlands, since 2016. He is a professor of political and social philosophy at Utrecht University, of which UCR’s Liberal Arts Curriculum is part. His main expertise and interest in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Higher Education is in linking up LAS education with societal challenges, students’ personal development, engaged world citizenship, and interdisciplinary cooperation between the natural, the social, and the human sciences. Before he came to UCR he was head of the Graduate School of the Humanities at Utrecht University. Prof Van den Brink has much experience in structures of quality assurance and accreditation of academic programs at all levels of higher education. In philosophy, his work is on the normative foundations of liberalism, social justice, democracy and pluralism, and the normative grammar of social relations. Next to many articles in journals he published several books and collections, which include Recognition and Power (ed. with David Owen, OUP 2007 / 2010) and The Tragedy of Liberalism (SUNY, 2000).


Helen Brookman (King’s College London)

Dr. Brookman is currently the Director of Liberal Arts and Pro-Vice-Dean (Innovation in Education) at King’s College, London, where she has taught since 2015. She completed her academic studies at Wadham College, Oxford, and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge where she worked within the interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Group. Her research interests include medievalism and feminist histories of the Humanities; she is currently Deputy Director of the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies at King’s.

Her professional career has been education-focused.  She taught medieval English literature at both Oxford and Cambridge and was the recipient of a Teaching Excellence Award from the Humanities Division of the University of Oxford in 2013; she was also a recipient of a King’s College London Teaching Excellence Award for Innovation in 2019. She also publishes in the field of educational enquiry, with interests in (co)creativity and interdisciplinarity in Arts and Humanities Higher Education. She is currently chair of the UK Liberal Arts+ Network.


Carl Gombrich (London Interdisciplinary School)

Carl Gombrich has joined the London Interdisciplinary School team from University College London to lead on curriculum design, teaching and learning. Carl has degrees in Maths, Physics and Philosophy and was a professional opera singer before joining UCL in 2002. In 2010, he was appointed Programme Director of the interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (BASc) programmes and led the design, development, launch and implementation of the degree, from a first cohort of 84 students in 2012 to a steady state of over 450 students in 2018.

Carl is a regular speaker at events on interdisciplinarity and liberal arts and sciences both in the UK and abroad. He researches and writes about many themes related to contemporary interdisciplinary education, including the future of work, notions of expertise and the history of education. He was a member of the British Academy Working Group on Interdisciplinarity and a core member of the NVAO accreditation panel for the Liberal Arts and Sciences Colleges of the Netherlands. 

Carl is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Professorial Teaching Fellow of Interdisciplinary Education.


Iris van der Tuin (Utrecht University)

Iris van der Tuin is professor in Theory of Cultural Inquiry at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is also director of the School of Liberal Arts and program director of the interdisciplinary bachelor’s programme Liberal Arts and Sciences. Trained as a feminist epistemologist and working as an interdisciplinarian, she works on the intersection of philosophies of science and the humanities, cultural theory, and cultural inquiry (especially pertaining to humanities scholarship that traverses ‘the two cultures’ and reaches beyond the boundaries of academia). Iris is a keen networker within the interdisciplinary and new humanities, as well as she is interested research-informed interdisciplinary (and) liberal arts curricula. As such, the Scholarship of Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning is of great importance to her.