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Deans: Korea’s Liberal Arts In Crisis

Posted September. 25, 2006 07:04,   


Deans of humanities colleges in Korea will announce “the crisis of liberal arts” on September 26.

Cho Gwang, the dean of the Liberal Arts College at Korea University, stated on September 24, “Over 80 deans of humanities colleges will release a statement on the current crisis that the colleges face at the opening ceremony of ‘Liberal Arts Week’ which will be held at 10:00 a.m. of September 26 in the International Education Center of Ewha Womans University, and discuss ways to establish the ‘National Association of Humanities College Deans (tentative name).’”

This statement will warn against indiscriminate market principles’ threats on the very foundation of liberal arts; seek concrete measures to promote liberal arts; expand support for research and education of liberal arts; and change the admission system of humanities colleges from the faculty-based system to the department-based system.

Cho said, “As we already have the Association of Humanities College Deans at National Universities, we will discuss at the September 26 meeting whether to join with the previous one after creating an association of humanities college deans at private universities.”

Recently, the crisis of liberal arts has become a social issue as 121 liberal arts professors at Korea University signed and announced the “Declaration of Liberal Arts” to call for resolution of the crisis. The theme of the first event for Liberal Arts Week (to be held on September 26 and 27; hosted by the Korea Research Foundation and the National Association of Humanities College Deans) is “Liberal Arts as Openness and Communication,” where Lee Eo-ryeong, former chair professor at Ewha Womans University, will give a keynote speech.