Adele Horin had a piece in today’s SMH calling for more liberal arts degrees. I agreed with it, but felt like I’d heard the ideas somewhere before.
From the section of Imagining Australia on liberal arts degrees:
A broad educational experience is the ideal preparation for a life of active and productive citizenship in a rapidly changing world. Yet somewhere, this concept of education seems to have been lost in Australia. Our university system emphasises professional degrees, with many undergraduates proceeding straight from high school into degree programs such as accounting, surveying or physiotherapy. Indeed, almost a quarter of our undergraduates are enrolled in business degrees. Far from being a broad transformational experience, higher education in Australia increasingly serves a narrow instrumental purpose. The pursuit of knowledge is driven not by the desire to become a well-educated person, but by the goal of grabbing a high-paying job as quickly as possible.
From Horin’s piece:
It is time for Australia to rediscover the value of a liberal-arts education. For too many, a university education has become a means to grabbing a high-paying job as fast as possible, rather than a chance to broaden their knowledge about the world in which we live. A lot of young people leave school and move straight into a vocational program at university, such as surveying or marketing.