agar6_Bernd Weißbrodpicture alliance via Getty Images_university Bernd Weißbrodpicture alliance via Getty Images

Finding Purpose in the Humanities

With policymakers intent on privileging technical “job-ready” majors, it is becoming more difficult for liberal arts departments to attract students. But these fields of study are as important as ever, and with a few modest reforms, they should be an easy sell for today’s “purpose-driven” young people.

ADELAIDE – These are tough times for the humanities. Too many liberal arts subjects have come to be seen as fusty and irrelevant. Who can afford to invest in a four-year education focusing on the wisdom of the Mayan civilization or the nuances of Japanese poetry? To adapt Churchill’s famous 1939 aphorism about understanding Russia, students today confront a pandemic, wrapped in a technological revolution, inside a climate crisis.