University of Austin (UATX) Launches the Forbidden Courses - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

The University of Austin (UATX) announces the launch of their flagship “Forbidden Courses” to be held this June. The University will host two all-expenses-paid programs to which approximately 30-40 students will participate, the Forbidden Courses will cover topics like climate change, social status, capitalism and more. Students will also participate in practical workshops to hone core habits and skills the curriculum views as a requisite part of their leadership education. Corresponding to Austin’s tech boom, the program offers an enterprising alternative to traditional liberal arts education programs.  

How UATX Differs

UATX is an institution built around the freedom of inquiry and civil discourse. 

“We are done waiting for the legacy universities to right themselves, and so we are building anew,” says the founding president of UATX, Pano Kanelos. To counter the recent charge that US universities are intolerant of opposition, UTAX aspires to rein in diverse perspectives and inspire rigorous academic inquiry.   

Additionally, the University of Austin aims to operate as a start-up, with no plans to receive public funding and a primary goal of keeping their leadership structure lean to lower tuition. This new financial model likewise provides an alternative from large universities, whose substantial administrations can cause rises in tuition. Students who are admitted will have their schooling, lodging and meals paid for by UATX.

UATX’s Projected Structure

The program is set to offer two sessions of a one week duration. The first week will cover climate change, feminism, and the psychology of social status; the second week will include topics such as freedom of speech and women’s rights, questions surrounding free versus unfree societies, and debates on capitalism. Students will be asked to rank their choice of courses when applying, and ultimately participate in one class during the week. 

Workshops and speaker events will supplement daily classes–aided by partnerships with selected entrepreneurs, artists and other noted “thinkers,” Joe Lonsdale and Arthur Brooks are among the many names set to speak. The University is searching for land to secure its forthcoming campus. Classes will be held almost exclusively in-person.

UATX in Austin

The University is expected to become yet another pillar of Austin’s blossoming tech sector, serving as a means to attract highly qualified talent to the city

Though the classes are currently restricted to the “Forbidden Courses,” the University has plans to become accredited by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Indeed, the University has plans to launch an official Masters program in leadership and entrepreneurship in 2022 and its first four-year undergraduate program in 2024.

To apply, click here.


Gunnar is a Tech Innovation Fellow at Identity Review from the University of Chicago. He has worked with numerous Silicon Valley Venture Capital firms and is interested in defense technologies & contracting

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