The Global Center for Advanced Studies Research Institute, Ireland


Building off of a long tradition of radical forms of education and higher education, the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) is offering innovative programs dedicated to opening up students’ ways of thinking and allowing for deep learning beyond the traditional classroom. GCAS works with various pedagogic models of learning, both in the classroom and at the broad curricular level. To do this it utilizes elements of a number of models. These include the Great Books model, working from universities such as St John’s and Shimer College; broad-based liberal arts study, which are exceptionally prevalent in the United States; as well as newer forms of learning outside of traditional academic institutions, such as the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and the Cooperative Institute for Transnational Studies. In addition to these models of academics, GCAS is a world-class research center, that appeals to some of the top scholars around the world to work with students in a variety of forms. Our aim is to equip students and researchers with the skills to transition into a clean-energy, more democratic, planet sustainable future.

GCAS offers a Bachelor’s of Arts, a Master’s of Arts, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social & Political Thought. These programs offer an interdisciplinary and global perspective, putting together philosophy, social theory, and political theory and bringing them to bear on the critical topics of the 21st Century, especially related to democratic access, the common good, clean-energy and planet sustainability. These degrees, in their individual ways, allow students to think critically and openly about the subjects that matter most to them, providing them the opportunity for in-depth thinking, new courageous outlooks and analysis.

Acknowledging the changing student body and student needs, GCAS’s courses are set up on a block system rather than a traditional semester format. This allows students to set their own pace in some ways, and work towards the completion of their degrees on a variety of timelines. Further, this allows students to concentrate on a single subject at one time, focuses all their energy on this rather than overloading students with six simultaneous courses. This model has proven to be very successful at Quest University in Canada. Additionally, the degree programs at GCAS allow for both in-person and blended learning, providing students great flexibility in their learning. 

As part of all three programs, GCAS runs a Summer Institute that is tied to an international academic conference. The Summer Institute provides students the ability to take more in-depth and specific courses with additional faculty brought in for the Institute itself. This also gives students from each level the ability to participate in and learn from an academic conference. These Summer Institutes are held remotely in various locations. So far events have been held in Cuba, Paris, Slovenia, and Italy.

GCAS remains faithful to its mission of debt-free, high-quality education focused on bridging theory and action nomadically, in-residence (GCAS-RII) and on-line (GCAS E-School). A balance between a more traditional approach (GCAS-RII) and the more experimental (GCAS E-School) is crucial. GCAS as an institution cannot exist without both working together to provide a new space for education. The maintenance of a balance between GCAS-RII and GCAS E-School provides the greatest opportunity for success as an institution and to fulfill the mission set out above.

Founded by Dr Creston Davis, the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) is an innovative and creative new form of higher education. Having spent the past four years building GCAS, Dr Davis sets the overall mission and vision for the institution. As part of this, it is important that there is a clear institutional structure that prioritizes accountability, transparency, and an ethos of collectivity.

GCAS-Research Institute, Ireland (or GCAS-RII) is the entity founded in Ireland for the purposes of creating an accredited school. The goal of GCAS-RII is to be recognized in Ireland and internationally as one of the preeminent research and teaching institutions.