Op-ed encourages universities, students to aim for a broad education

September 3, 2014

A Concordia University professor argues that university students are often pushed to specialize too early in their education, and as a result may lack the perspective offered by a broad range of courses and programs. In an op-ed published in the Montreal Gazette, Paul L Allen writes that the current emphasis on specialization in PSE may cost students and our society the benefits of a general education. Allen, who is now a professor of theology, recalls a first-year economics course he took, noting that the professor challenged students to consider “how and why to think about” the subject; a history course, meanwhile, provided him with “an indispensable means for understanding the human condition.” Allen concludes by urging university students to think as broadly as possible. “At the very least,” he says, “being at university should take in as much of the universe—and beyond it—as possible.” Montreal Gazette