March 8, 2022

Liberal Arts: A New and Better Way of Education

What is Liberal Arts?

Liberal Arts is an emerging form of education derived from the west. With specialization being at the core of traditional academics, it aims at holistic and well-rounded development.

The word ‘Liberal’ means without bounds.

Students of Liberal Arts have the freedom to pick subjects to major/minor however they like. These subjects are multi-disciplinary in nature. This is a new course structure that has been recently introduced in the Indian education system. Few universities in India offer this course. The course is a lot more popular in the West. 

Why is Liberal Arts different?

The core philosophy of Liberal Arts is interconnectedness. All fields, no matter which discipline, are connected to each other. For example, economics and political science are two different subjects but you have to have a good grasp over one to understand the other.  

Similarly, subjects like management and media have many overlapping elements. Not just social sciences, but practical science and engineering have some aspects of management and economics.  

An education in this ecosystem of disciplines and sciences that are related to each other. The crux of liberal arts lies in its philosophy of not limiting students to a certain thought process. It lets an individual develop critical thinking and holistic development. It is important for students to be able to take a step back and think about what they are studying and why they are studying it. Liberal Arts inculcates this very ability through its program structure. This is why majors in this degree include fundamental subjects like economics, management, psychology and so on. The concept of Liberal Arts majors allows the university to give just the right amount of attention to the important subjects. 

The Impact of a Liberal Way of Education

We can see the reflection of these values in the NEP introduced by our education minister in 2020. It has some features that help students be flexible in terms of academics and gives them a chance at comprehensive and efficient development. Loosening traditional restrictions and bounds will give students more room to figure out their strengths and use them to excel.  

Colleges for Liberal Arts in India

There are a lot of colleges for Liberal Arts in India.  But, it is necessary that a student picks a university that will give them a platform to excel in their career. Here are some of the best colleges that offer this course in India:

  • Symbiosis

SSLA (Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts) offers a 4-year course in Liberal Arts. It has four distinct categories of subjects. Core courses are the papers that have to be completed by all SSLA students. Majors are specializations that have the most credits. Minors have specializations that have fewer credits. And apart from all this, the University offers an assortment of electives that the student can pick from.

To get admitted into Liberal Arts in Symbiosis, the student has to register for the Symbiosis Entrance Test (SET). Based on their performance in this test, they will be shortlisted for the next round which is the Personal Interaction and Writing Ability Test (PIWAT). Students can also seek entry into the shortlist through SAT scores. SSLA has one of the oldest programs in Liberal Arts in India. They have a unique and well-structured curriculum. The scope of the program in SSLA is quite wide.

  • Jyoti Dalal School Of Liberal Arts

Jyoti Dalal School of NMIMS is another good university for Liberal Arts. Similar to SSLA, the applicant has to give the University level exam- NPAT. After this, the student has to give a college-level exam in order to get admission into the university. The course structure also offers core courses along with other useful courses called enablers and creatives. The college also offers specializations and internships in the third year. 

  • Flame University, Pune

FLAME University is a notable University for this course. This is because Liberal Education is a big part of the core values of the University. Hence the Undergraduate courses have a Liberal Structure. You can pick from more than 350 major-minor combinations. FLAME accepts admissions through a common entrance test score after fulfilling other criteria like Statement of Purpose and other personal details.

Other colleges for Liberal Arts in India are MIT WPU, Ashoka University, OP Jindal University and Christ University. Many of these universities are conducting the admission process online. Application forms and dates for the same are available on the website of most of these colleges. The student should be clear about his purposes and goals. Many universities have personality and aptitude tests, statements of purpose, or even interviews. It is important for the candidate to understand the nature of the course and be sure about it. This is a highly personalized course. Hence it is important to pick universities that match up with the student’s personal philosophies. The student should pick a university that will add good value for his career and offer a solid and well-structured curriculum. 

Liberal Education is the future. It is the most interesting and efficient form of education that we have come up with.These Bachelors Programs are a good step towards this change in education. 

– Saee Walkikar

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