The Value Of A Liberal Arts And Sciences Education

1144 words - 5 pages

Liberal Arts and Sciences education once started in the ancient Greek as the well-known artes liberales. There were seven of them, separated in the trivium and the quadrivium. The trivium contained the core liberal arts, namely grammar, logic and rhetoric. When the Church defined the education, they extended the trivium with the quadrivium subjects arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. The Greek believed that every young man, if they could afford it, should be educated in the seven liberal arts in order to take an active part in civic life. The goal of these studies was to make a well-informed, virtuous and eloquent person. Nowadays, the artes liberales is still a renowned manner of education, but the methods have slightly changed. For instance, it is now called Liberal Arts and Sciences and it is divided in three academic cultures which together include all academic fields. These cultures are the humanities, the social sciences and the natural sciences. There are many colleges all over the world which offer a Liberal Arts and Sciences degree.
An example of a Liberal Arts and Sciences College in modern times is University College Utrecht, a university located in the heart of the Netherlands. In 2012 I applied to be a student at University College Utrecht and was offered admission for the Fall 2013 semester. It was a long process to decide what bachelor programme to choose. It was an endless doubt between a regular degree and a Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. It was hard to make a choice, as it was impossible to predict what the future might bring. Today, I am convinced I have made the right decision to follow a Liberal Arts and Sciences education. As a Liberal Arts and Sciences student at University College Utrecht I have developed my understanding and appreciation of a Liberal Arts and Sciences education. I will provide several arguments which support why I believe that a Liberal Arts and Sciences education is a better undergraduate programme than a regular undergraduate programme.
First of all, a Liberal Arts and Sciences education will provide a good foundation to become a valuable community member. Since Liberal Arts and Sciences students have to take courses from each of the three academic cultures, it expands their general and cross-cultural knowledge, as the different departments take different perspectives. Common knowledge everyone should know, but not everyone knows because of the division in diverse academic fields in a too early stage of education. On the other hand, there are also many similarities and overlaps between the three cultures. Broad knowledge from all cultures makes the students able to understand subjects like sustainability, which is clearly multidisciplinary. There are core curriculum courses such as Research in Context, Methods and Statistics and foreign languages which provide them with a basis. Besides that, students expand their curriculum with courses in which they are interested in. That makes them...

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