Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher EducationAugust 19-20, 2017 @ The Ismaili Centre, Dubai, UAE
The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University (The Mittal Institute) Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher Education is a forum for faculty, administrators, and leadership from universities across South Asia, the Middle East, and neighboring regions (Central Asia and East Asia) to explore ways in which universities may develop a liberal arts education program for undergraduate students, while fostering such objectives as sustainable development; social inclusion and peace; and cooperation across national boundaries among individuals, institutions, and governments. These goals are essential to addressing shared global challenges and to realizing opportunities to advance human well-being. Universities, as institutions that prepare future leaders of societies, have a unique role to play in the achievement of these goals, educating students as global citizens who can understand, value, and contribute to the common good.
Beginning with a public lecture on the evening of August 18th, the inaugural event of the The Mittal Institute Liberal Arts Education Workshop—in partnership with the Harvard Club of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai—will be held on August 19-20, 2017, with the aim of launching a consortium of stakeholders committed to a robust and vibrant future of liberal arts education. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Business School Club of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Harvard University Asia Center, and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan, this workshop will allow SAI at Harvard to initiate a multi-year engagement convening on an annual basis for collaboration, knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas.
The workshop will be highly participatory and action-oriented. The first day will feature sessions facilitated by Harvard University faculty addressing some of the foundations of liberal arts education in the undergraduate curriculum. The second day will be a hands-on activity designed to develop or refine an institutional strategy to enhance the curriculum and the undergraduate experience. In preparation for the workshop, participants will write a succinct document of no more than 1000 words, answering these questions:
- In what ways does their undergraduate curriculum feature a liberal arts education?
- What opportunities are there to improve the experience of their undergraduates so they develop the capabilities consistent with a liberal arts education?
- Is there already a strategy in place in their institution to improve the liberal arts education of undergraduates?
A number of participants in the workshop will join as teams from the same institution. We expect that these teams will play a leadership role in their institutions advancing changes in the curriculum or other programmatic activities in undergraduate education. We expect that participants in the workshop will return to their institutions with the start of an actionable plan to advance liberal education initiatives. We will endeavor to create a community of practice among the leaders of such change efforts across institutions.