Humanitas College is dedicated to a reaffirmation of the value of education in itself as a life-long pursuit essential to civilization and civic society. The ideal of Humanitas, a wide range of learning that embodies a more human and nuanced society, is most closely associated with the Roman philosopher Cicero. Humanitas served in classical times as a means of instilling in youth the ideals of the classics of literature and philosophy while exposing them to a wide range of experience through readings in history, biography and the sciences. Education as formulated under the ideal of humanitas was meant to inculcate virtue in young people so that they could better serve society.
The concept of humanitas became central again in the Renaissance period starting with Petrarch’s argument that a broad classical education could sustain the citizen in adversity and inspire the people. In this respect, humanitas came to signify an ideal of broad and thoughtful education that inspires innovation and the building of a better civilization for the future. So also in East Asia Confucius and Mencius, and later men of letters like Sima Guang and Su Shi, affirmed the power of the humanities (literature, history, the visual arts) to transform men and lead towards a better society.
Humanitas College at Kyung Hee University was founded with the vision of a broad education encompassing literature, philosophy, history, the social sciences and the natural sciences to the needs of current age. Just as the Renaissance applied the great teachings of the classical age to the contemporary challenges of Europe, Humanitas College also adapts the greatest monuments of world culture to the demands of our age. All undergraduate students are exposed through a series of carefully constructed general introductory courses to the essential issues of the humanities and the natural sciences. The introductory education program previously known as "general education" has been transformed from a rather flat set of required courses to a compelling set of courses and seminars of the highest caliber intended to engage the student in a serious intellectual endeavor.
Humanitas College teach our students the great traditions, not only of Greece and Rome, but also of Asia and the world, so that they will be properly prepared to go forth and respond to current challenges: climate change, inequity, an aging society and the transformation of society through technology. We envision a new generation of graduates who can rise to the challenges of our age because of the breadth of their vision.
The universal imperatives identified as the supporting columns of Humanitas University are:
- Strive ceaselessly for the intellectual, ethical, and aesthetic betterment of oneself and the community
- Cultivate a capacity to respect nature and life while expressing deep consideration for others
- participate in society, working with everyone to create a more just world and a more refined culture
- reflect deeply on the dilemmas that we face and build a new civilization that addresses the needs of our age
Humanitas College invites the world to join us in educating a new generation of citizens for the world who will combine a deep commitment to personal ethics, as embodied by the humanistic tradition, with a global perspective and moral commitment to contemporary issues.
The global citizens of Humanitas College are committed to raising the level of education and culture in our community and throughout the world. Their actions will transform our civilization, allowing us to realize a greatness of which we did not imagine we were capable. Our graduates will become the thoughtful and informed men and women who will create a new society, and culture to respond to the challenges of our age. Our graduates will participate in the events of our age and reflect deeply on the issues of our times and the direction of our civilization. Such global citizens will see the total picture and put into practice their insights borne of introspection.