Why studying the humanities is vital in the information age
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Why studying the humanities is vital in the information age

Why studying the humanities is vital in the information age

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything can be counted counts.” – Albert Einstein

In an era dominated by digital life hacks, smart technologies and the development of sustainable infrastructure, it’s often the subjects of STEM that tend to take centre stage. The STEM Foundation points out that in the UK alone, the Pharmaceutical, Video Game, Aerospace and Automotive industries have achieved more success in recent years than ever seen before.

At a time when the most complex questions of the world can be answered at the simple click of the button, it seems less thought is given to the importance of developing crucial characteristics that make us human – creativity, critical-thinking, empathy, communication and cultural understanding. Lest we forget, while science and technology helped mankind achieve great feats, history, philosophy, politics and the arts shaped the society we live in today.

Therefore as we continue our obsession with all things STEM, educators, professionals and students worldwide must also be careful not to underestimate the potential and far-reaching impact of the humanities.

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Image courtesy of Queen Margaret University

“Authorities both within and outside of science have expressed concern that scientists do not learn enough about the humanities – to the detriment of society,” notes the Science Mag, explaining that, “…literature, and history offer a window into the understanding of human nature and society. They introduce us to the thoughts and ideas from outside our specialist areas and can have relevance to finding new directions and enhance creative thinking.”

While traditionalists may stand firm in the belief that STEM or more business-focused ventures pay the best professional returns, this thinking is as misinformed as it is fundamentally outdated. Fact is, global recruiters love hiring recent humanities graduates because they are already instilled with these invaluable expertise, becoming positive and impactful assets in terms of future workplace development.

“Graduates of the arts and humanities offer employers wide-ranging transferrable skills and are equipped with more than enough to succeed in the professional world,” says Orlaith Tunney of the TCD Career Advisory Service.

“They are better equipped to use their imagination and challenge conventional wisdom,” she adds. “The independent study of the arts helps build resilience to deal with a rapidly changing world, the versatility and non-vocational nature of research is directly applicable to the world of work.”

If you’re keen to earn a degree that remains true and relevant throughout the information age, here are 4 respected Schools of the Humanities that will give you what you need…

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND COMMUNICATION ARTS, WESTERN SYDNEY UNIVERSITY – AUSTRALIA

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Image courtesy of WSU

Western Sydney University (WSU) is the prime example of the power a strong vision, passionate faculty and world-class facilities have within higher education. In less than 30 years, this institution has risen through the ranks of global university league tables, placing 79th in Times Higher Education’s (THE) Young University rankings for 2017.

The School of Humanities and Communication Arts at WSU provides a full range programmes in some of the most challenging, rewarding and vibrant areas of study. Here, students explore cultural concepts and ideas, using scholarship and research to uncover fresh perspectives and innovative thought.

At WSU, you will develop and explore your own far-reaching capabilities, ensuring personal success in the fast-evolving world of work. The academic focus is creative, contemporary and interdisciplinary – with 133 academic and 42 professional staff remaining dedicated to the success of students at every level. School staff have been nationally-recognised by the Australian Awards for University Teaching, highlighting the resounding reputation of quality and prestige that seeps through every aspect of the WSU education.

Courses combine the arts, communication, design, new media, music, media production, journalism, public relations, advertising, and beyond at the undergraduate, postgraduate and research stage, providing outstanding teaching and learning resources in one of Australia’s fastest-growing study regions.

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN – CANADA

As the only Canadian College to offer programmes in the Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan presents an exclusive and unparalleled overseas study experience.

Nestled in the vibrant city of Saskatoon – lovingly named the ‘Paris of the Prairies’ by the likes of National Geographic – humanities students of Saskatchewan are inspired in plenty more ways than one, benefitting from elite academics on one of Canada’s most stunning campus settings.

Driven by creativity, collaboration and student achievement, the college offers distinct, modern and cross-disciplinary programmes that instil students with a unique perspective of the world. Boasting more than 60 majors, plus a wealth of study abroad opportunities, research-centred field schools and professional accreditations, Saskatchewan’s humanities graduates go on to forge long and successful careers on all four corners of the globe.

“An innovative, accessible, and welcoming place for students, educators, and researchers from around the world, we serve the public good by connecting discovery, teaching, and outreach, by promoting diversity and meaningful change, and by preparing students for enriching careers and fulfilling lives as engaged global citizens,” the institution notes.

DEPARTMENT OF HUMANITIES AND CREATIVE WRITING, HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY (HKBU) – CHINA

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Image courtesy of Hong Kong Baptist University

Established in 1990, the humanities programme at HKBU represents the first liberal arts-based education in the region. Consistently teaching students to think critically and creatively, as well as to write logically and communicate competently, the programme refines students’ ability to solve problems, to empathise, and appreciate life, preparing them to meet the needs of an increasingly competitive global market.

HKBU’s offerings in the humanities cross the disparate boundaries of multiple disciplines, including Art Criticism, Language, History, Philosophy, Cultural and Media Studies, with a bi-lingual curriculum and delivery allowing students to refine their expertise in the language of their choice.

“HKBU is a liberal arts university that focuses on high-quality research and teaching of the Arts and Sciences, and the Faculty of Arts is an essential component of the university itself,” says Professor Chen Zhi, Dean of the Faculty.

“Consisting of first class scholars, teachers and supporting staff, this faculty places great emphasis on care for humanity and integrated teaching and learning,” he concludes. “Here, you will freely explore knowledge, encounter more opportunities to meet new people, develop your enthusiastic passion for critical thinking and pursue your career dreams.”

SCHOOL OF ARTS, SCIENCES AND MANAGEMENT, QUEEN MARGARET UNIVERSITY (QMU) – UK

Offering an expansive portfolio of undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD degrees, the School of Arts, Sciences and Management at QMU is recognised by academics and professionals worldwide. Harbouring the Division of Business, Enterprise & Management; the Division of Media, Communications & Performing Arts; and the Division of Psychology & Sociology, the school instils the academic, professional and personal skills you need to advance your future career.

On top of earning a world-class degree in the humanities, students here reap the benefits of a tight-knit, multicultural learning community in the heart of Edinburgh – known to be one of Scotland and the UK’s most popular student hubs. To put this into perspective, more than 25 percent of QMU’s student body derive from overseas, representing more than 70 nationalities from around the globe.

Through a combination of first-rate teaching and a student-centred faculty, the school is committed to continued development and research, and serves as the ideal foundation for a long and successful future career in virtually any global sector.

All courses seek to equip students with the breadth and depth of knowledge, skill and understanding needed to meet the demands of the 21st century world.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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