Op-ed corrects misconceptions about contemporary liberal arts degrees

September 17, 2014

Antonia Maioni, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, has contributed an op-ed to the Globe and Mail that emphasizes the value of BA graduates. Maioni shares some of the changes that have been taking place in traditional liberal arts education, including an increasing emphasis on practicality and cross-disciplinarity. “The generational gap between university students and their parents, the one so often exploited by the media, government and industry, rests on outdated preconceptions about the starving artist, the wealthy lawyer, and every-science-student-as-pre-med, as well as misguided assumptions about the role of a university education,” she argues. Maioni highlights new degrees that are often overlooked in mainstream coverage of liberal arts education, such as digital humanities, Islamic and Middle Eastern studies, international development and globalization studies, and educational psychology. Through programs such as these, Maioni writes, “students increasingly have the opportunity to bring into focus multiple disciplines and to juxtapose viewpoints and theoretical perspectives that once seemed disparate, unrelated, or were simply overlooked.” Maioni champions the perspective that the modern BA provides, suggesting that the degree prepares students for a rapidly transforming marketplace. Globe and Mail