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The Goals of the Humanitas College Liberal Education

Humanitas College has built a rigorous curriculum and intellectual program around these five principles. These five principles serve as the basis for both the immediate goals of undergraduate education and also the long-term goals of a lifetime of intellectual exploration.


Five Principles of Liberal Education

We introduce to students a variety of approaches to understanding the human experience, society, nature and history, thereby creating an educational experience that encourages creative expression and the unhindered exploration of knowledge. Our students develop a multi-polar understanding of culture, society, science and technology by dint of the diverse perspectives that we introduce.

We inculcate in our students the ability to examine conflicting perspectives and views and to determine misunderstandings and biases as a central part of the curriculum. Such an education allows the individual to pose meaningful questions, seek out essential issues in the welter of data, and also formulate responses in a rational and informed manner. Part of the process of education demands that the student acquire a scientific mode of reasoning, the basic tools of critical thinking and the ability to analyze complex information accurately and without bias.

We cultivate in students the ability to distinguish between public and private interests and to understand one’s obligation to self and society. Such a process of developing a sense of civic responsibility is paralleled by the cultivation of introspection and mindfulness in our students. Not only do they consider carefully the problems of society, but also their own internal biases and limitations. The student develops a full understanding of democracy and due process and learn to serve as a citizen of his neighborhood, his country and the world who listens to others carefully, without bias on the basis of class, religion, regional differences, or gender.

We encourage students to develop a flexible imagination and maintain an open mind so that as they go forward without fear they can proactively respond to changes and crises, using the full range of their educations to set forth a plan to solve the challenges of our age through active engagement in global society.

We help students to develop the ability to grasp current events and trends accurately through a critical readings of texts and images. Students learn to extract multiple meanings from events and to interpret their experiences within a social and historical context. It is critical that students have a deep understanding of aesthetics, written expression and informed discussion so that as they go forward in the world, they will be able to engage in meaningful and substantive action and serve as models for citizens around the world whom they encounter. Written and visual creative expression will be a critical part of that project.



Our Challenge to the Schools of the World

“Bring forth into the world ethical individuals of cultivation, responsible citizens dedicated to the common good and mature members of a global community!”

Do Jeongil, Ph.D., Rector, Humanitas College, Kyung Hee University

Humanitas College is the embodiment of Kyung Hee University’s brave decision to revolutionize the undergraduate education by transforming the passive process of received instruction into an active project to cultivate outstanding individuals who have a broad vision, spanning society, culture and science. Our students are trained merely to get good jobs, they are being prepared to serve as leaders for the continued advancement of human civilization. We have a responsibility to our fellow citizens, and to future generations, to offer our youth a brighter future in the face of the challenges that we face. Yet we can only do so by combining learning with experience, innovative thinking with concrete action. Humanitas College offers an intellectual path that passes through both science and poetry. We will combine concrete knowledge with imagination and a sense of purpose. That unique combination is inspiring future generations to undertake a synthesis of previously diverse fields.

Humanitas College will provide the very highest form of liberal arts education at the undergraduate level that will inspire every Kyung Hee University student to be an ethical individual, a responsible citizen, and mature member of the global community. Such is the dream and promise of Humanitas College at Kyung Hee University. The success of each and every student is our highest goal as we set out to transform the world.



The Goal of a Liberal Arts Education

Humanitas College will produce the ethical individuals, responsible citizens, and mature members of a global community that this era so desperately needs.

Our broad program of study is not aimed at merely meeting set specifications for job placement, but rather at training mature and cultivated members of a global community who will play a critical role in guiding us forward in these troubled times. These young people will emerge from their studies at Humanitas College with a clear sense of what they need to do to make a difference. They will have both a sense of purpose to engage in policy and ideas, the imagination to propose concrete solutions for the short and long term and the know-how to implement what they propose. It is the responsibility of the university, above all, to produce well-rounded citizens with a deep sense ofpurpose who can go forward and show us the way.

The university must constantly debate what the purpose of the liberal arts education should be. The key to relevance is unending questioning and renewal. Liberal arts is at least as important a major as electrical engineering or business administration in that only liberal arts provides a holistic vision of what humanity and civilization can be. At the same time, the liberal arts education will be diminished if it fails to present its values in concrete and explicit terms. We have seen liberal arts programs around the world that are adrift because the liberal arts are presented an accoutrement equivalent of playing polo that can only find value when it is supplemented by a business or law degree. Until academe reclaims the original spirit of Humanitas and reestablishes the liberal arts as the central enterprise of the university, the future for our children will bleak. If we are led by leaders who lack the judgment and the self-awareness to properly adjust to changing situations and the challenges of climate, technology and globalization, the consequences will be dire. Starting with Humanitas College, we will set out to change education around the world. We will offer here a liberal arts education that inspires our students, thereby redefining our objectives to meet the needs of our age while reaffirming the eternal value of civilization.



The Purpose of a Liberal Arts Education

Liberal arts serves as an indispensable personal and group endeavor that leads to individual transformation

The required courses provided by Humanitas College serve as a broad liberal arts education for all freshman and sophomore students who have not yet acquired a clear vision of what direction they wish to go in life and have little sense of the ultimate purpose of the undergraduate education. The critical intention of the liberal arts education is to create an intellectual and social environment for students that increases personal maturity and responsibility. Liberal arts is not a continuation of high school education, but a clear break with rote learning and passive instruction. The process of learning about diverse fields of knowledge in an interactive and interdisciplinary manner will suggest to students directions for their future careers appropriate to their own temperaments and the new trends in the world.

Liberal arts keeps the university from being reduced to a lottery in which the student picks a lifetime career as the age of 17 without sufficient understanding of the implications of that choice. Liberal arts makes the activities of the student in college critical to his or her life-long experience, not not merely a qualification for a job. During the course of their studies, students consider the answers to questions such as what knowledge is required for life and success, what is their responsibility to society and what are the duties of a university-educated citizen. Comparison with historical precedents and situations in other nations around the world will be critical to this process. So also the historical roots of the concepts we employ to describe the world and the institutions that we employ to administer ourselves will be investigated.

Liberal arts programs must provide a well-rounded education, avoiding a narrow focus in study that means pursuing a single major to the exclusion of all other learning. Universities should not limit students to vocational training from the beginning, thus limiting the ability of the individual to think creatively and act ethically. Universities produce cultivated humans, not machines. Excellence that lacks a vision and a soul will ultimately come to naught.



Immediate Goal of a Liberal Arts Education

Nurturing outstanding individuals, responsible citizens, and mature community members

Maturing as adults is both an adventure and a challenge. Going to college means embarking on an independent "life of the mind" away from the influence of the parents, the schools, and the teachers on whom one had long depended. In college, one should explore his or her true sensibilities and abilities. The liberal arts education is about understanding oneself and others, considering the true nature of the world we live in, and the basis for our shared values, ideals, and concepts.

New students must take full responsibility for themselves and be ready to take responsibility for society as well. The shift from dependence to independence implies recognizing personal responsibility. That experience by which one comes to see the world in a new light is the most important and difficult process of maturity. Many freshmen find it difficult to bear this challenge of learning and slip into confusion, aimlessness, and escapism because they are not supported by institutions. If this state of affairs is prolonged, one's four years at the university can become tremendous waste in every respect. We must guide students to gladly face challenges at the university and thereby transform themselves. The essential goal of a university education is to nurture outstanding individuals, responsible citizens, and mature community members through a liberal arts education.



The Ultimate Goal of a Liberal Arts Education

Cultivating the inner resolve necessary to lead a full life in the face of the world's vicissitudes

In our rush to find jobs and social status, we have lost sight of the essential purpose of the undergraduate education: to instill a profound understanding of the world and the principles that underlie both human experience and science while inculcating a personal resolve to pursue important goals over the course of a lifetime. The liberal arts education has as its ultimate goal the cultivation in every student of greater confidence and of personal resolve that will allow all to pursue meaningful lives in the face of the life's uncertainties. The multiple perspectives developed by the individual through broad, mindful, reading provides the full range of insights required to understand, and make the best of, trying experiences.

A liberal education is not something acquired merely by earning credits at the university, nor by conferral of a university diploma. Becoming cultured is not a one-time process, but the beginning of a lifetime engagement at the highest levels of intellectual and moral experience. Such education is a goal in itself, as well as a means to all other goals. The liberal education goes far beyond knowledge. It is a formidable power that supports the individual for a lifetime and that bolsters the spirit even after all the knowledge acquired at the university has faded into the background. The liberal education is a intangible asset to protect oneself that no one can take away. As an asset, the liberal arts education is irreducible and timeless, going beyond the external conditions of life.

Such a liberal education, and the introduction into the world of ideas that it offers, ultimately makes a person who can play a visionary role in our society. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, CEOs and policy makers who have had a proper liberal arts education are more effective, more strategic, more visionary and more human in their work. University education must take liberal culture as its ultimate goal and the pinnacle of education.



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