Debates about higher education’s purpose have long been polarized between specialized preparation for specific vocations and a broad, general knowledge foundation known as liberal education. Excluding the United States, specialized curricula have been the dominant global norm. Yet, quite surprisingly given this enduring trend, liberal education has new salience in higher education worldwide. This discussion presents liberal education’s non-Western, Western, and u.s. historical roots as a backdrop for discussing its contemporary global resurgence. Analysis from the Global Liberal Education Inventory provides an overview of liberal education’s renewed presence in each of the regions and speculation about its future development.
Jonathan Becker“What a Liberal Arts Education is . . . and is Not,”Bard Institute for International Liberal Education(2003) http://iile.bard.edu/research/; Martha C. Nussbaum Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (Cambridge ma: Harvard University Press 1997);— “Liberal Education & Global Community” Liberal Education no. 90 (2004): 42-47; Sheldon Rothblatt The Living Arts: Comparative and Historical Reflections on Liberal Education. The Academy in Transition (Washington dc: Association of American Colleges and Universities 2003).
Li Cao“Redefining ‘Liberal Education’ in the Chinese University,” in Universities in Translation: The Mental Labor of Globalizationed. Brett de Bary (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press2010) 153-163.