Universitas Pelita Harapan has pioneered a genuine step in the aim to educate holistic future leaders by setting up the first Faculty of Liberal Arts in Indonesia.
What is a liberal arts education? As a new paradigm in Indonesia, liberal arts education is not widely known in the country. The term “liberal” is derived from the Latin word “libera” meaning to free. The word “libera” is the antithesis of the word “servile” or being bound. Therefore, “liberal” here does not mean being free as without rules and regulations, but a Liberal Arts education liberates people and prepares students with a general education and basic intellectual ability which can include the ability to think, to be critical, appreciative, sensitive, to have high integrity, the ability to communicate, and to be responsive. The word “arts”, derived from the Latin word “ars”, in this context does not merely mean arts as is in paintings, images, and music. Arts in this context refers to the humanities.
Therefore, a Liberal Arts education prepares people with a general education that sharpens authentic ability for awareness and maturity to be a liberated human being. This is contrary to a linear professional education that prepares a student to be in a specific profession. A Liberal Arts education prepares human beings holistically, who become independent and able to be contributing members of society, locally as well as globally.