Universities in the twenty-first century are changing dramatically. Amid unprecedented growth, casualised lecturers, and administrators concerned with profit, we must pause to ask: What should be the university’s goal in offering a degree and the student’s aim when obtaining one? In short, what is the purpose of a university education?
The answers lie at the historical and philosophical heart of Western education, the Liberal Arts—the theoretical sciences and humanities aimed at the attainment of wisdom and a critical mind. With their roots in Classical Greece and their shaping of Europe’s and Australia’s first universities, we cannot afford to ignore the importance of the Liberal Arts to the purpose of a university and its contribution to culture and society.