Originally, a liberal arts education was the body of knowledge considered essential to make a free human being. It included many different areas of study, ranging from grammar and rhetoric to astronomy and arithmetic.
Today, this international system of education asks students to study a variety of subjects, giving them the opportunity to absorb many areas of knowledge. In this modern world, exploration is essential. As societies become increasingly interconnected and businesses intermingle, understanding a wide range of topics helps us connect to each other.
The ability to think flexibly and draw on diverse streams of knowledge – to innovate rather than imitate – is vital to success in the growing knowledge economy. The essence of liberal arts focuses on the breadth of knowledge as well as the depth. It stresses communication skills and emphasizes critical analysis.
Generally, liberal arts are taught using two methods. One is to establish a core curriculum. The other is to provide students with optional courses that they may take in any program of study. ULAB combines these two methods. The core curriculum ensures that all students have a common background to share ideas with, and build a foundation for, further education. At the same time, optional courses allow students to continue pursuing a wide base of knowledge, or to concentrate their studies in the form of a minor.
The liberal arts system gives students freedom and control over their lives by teaching them comprehensive skills and the ability to keep adapting to a fast-changing modern world.
Read here: “The Importance of Liberal Arts Education” by Prof. Dr. Gowhir Rizvi, delivered at the ULAB Foundation Day, 8th October 2012.