In the UK, Liberal Arts Offer a Different Philosophy on Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on May 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In 2000, Northern Ireland was in the process of forging its identity as a post-conflict society. The task at hand was unprecedented – what loomed around the corner for society and politics was intrinsically unclear. What was in no doubt, however, was the fact that every facet of Northern Irish life would now have to navigate a new position for itself in an utterly transformed world …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 30 May]

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In Defense of Liberal Arts AND Employability

Posted in Life, Teaching on April 4th, 2015 by steve

USA“My dad told me to get a liberal arts degree. Instead, I suffered through a rigorous training in engineering and finance. I learned thermodynamics and financial mechanics but did little reading, no writing, and no contemplation of the past, the future, or the well being of my fellow man …” (more)

[Tom Vander Ark, Huffington Post, 4 April]

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Why the US liberal arts tradition failed to take hold in Europe

Posted in Teaching on March 11th, 2015 by steve

USA“Parasites, pedants and superfluous men and women. Those are some of the accusations that have been levelled against historians and humanities scholars, according to Anthony Grafton, former president of the American Historical Association …” (more)

[Andrea Mariuzzo, The Conversation, 11 March]

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In Britain, a Return to the Idea of the Liberal Arts

Posted in Teaching on May 12th, 2013 by steve

“Until very recently, students in Britain who wanted to study more than one or two subjects at college received some blunt advice: ‘Go west’ — to the United States or Canada …” (more)

[DD Guttenplan, New York Times, 12 May]

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Don’t make an economic case for the liberal arts

Posted in Teaching on October 23rd, 2012 by steve

“The liberal arts and sciences have no economic value. Let me repeat that: none, nada. Taught in the right spirit, they are useless from an economic point of view. They are designed in fact to be downright wasteful …” (more)

[Johann Neem, Inside Higher Ed, 23 October]

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Engineering vs. Liberal Arts: Who’s Right — Bill or Steve?

Posted in Teaching on March 23rd, 2011 by steve

“When students asked what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I used to say engineering, mathematics, and science—because an education in these fields is the prerequisite for innovation, and because engineers make the best entrepreneurs. That was several years ago …” (more)

[Vivek Wadhwa, TechCrunch, 21 March]

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It’s the breadth that matters

Posted in Teaching on December 23rd, 2010 by steve

“Liberal arts degrees are appearing in the UK and arousing much interest. Protagonists claim that the wide-ranging education provides more rounded individuals who are better prepared for modern employment …” (more)

[Rebecca Attwood, Times Higher Education, 23 December]

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Liberal arts offer something completely different

Posted in Teaching on January 19th, 2010 by steve

“With just 1,000 full-time students, St Mary’s University College Belfast might not be everybody’s idea of a higher education pioneer. But the Catholic teacher training college, tucked away off the Falls Road, has been offering a programme of study for the best part of a decade that might soon become a part of the UK higher education mainstream …” (more)

[Tariq Tahir, Guardian, 19 January]

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Liberal arts degrees take off

Posted in Teaching on January 12th, 2010 by steve

“With just 1,000 full-time students, St Mary’s University College Belfast might not be everybody’s idea of a higher education pioneer. But the Catholic teacher training college, tucked away off the Falls Road, has been offering a programme of study for the best part of a decade that might soon become a part of the UK higher education mainstream. Since 2000, its students have been able to take a BA in liberal arts, a degree common in the US but a rare creature indeed in this country …” (more)

[Tariq Tahir, Guardian, 12 January]

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Alive and Well

Posted in Teaching on December 28th, 2009 by steve

“The liberal arts are higher education’s answer to Broadway, that ‘fabulous invalid’ whose demise is predicted with both certainty and regularity. Claims that the liberal arts are in jeopardy have taken on increased urgency in the current economic climate. As students swell the ranks of community colleges, the presumption is that readily identifiable and employable skills rather than broad and deep learning are the primary focus of their educational ambitions …” (more)

[Mary B Marcy, Inside Higher Ed, 28 December]

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Winchester restates first principles with ‘generalist’ liberal arts degree

Posted in Teaching on February 12th, 2009 by steve

“The University of Winchester is to launch a degree in the ‘liberal arts’, in what it describes as a ‘brave restatement’ of the core purpose of higher education. Although full details have yet to be revealed, the ‘generalist’ course will bring together elements from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and fine arts. The university said it wanted to offer students an alternative to the national norm of specialist, discipline-specific degrees – in what will be a first in England. Nigel Tubbs, professor of philosophical and educational thought at Winchester, is developing the course. He said: ‘In the UK, there are only a handful of undergraduate programmes that claim to offer anything like a liberal education. When students apply to university today, they know they must choose a discipline, but I don’t believe that is what every student wants’ …” (more)

[Rebecca Attwood, THE, 12 February]

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