Humanities Renaissance is under way at Ewha 2
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Humanities Renaissance is under way at Ewha 2
  • Yoo Seon-hwa
  • 승인 2011.10.03 20:40
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In 2000, universities and the scholars feared that the humanities, academic discipline, were losing its stand in undergraduate education. As more students enroll in classes that focus or help essentially on career development, there had been a growing sense that students will turn away from humanities.
“Humanities cover all parts of human life quite differently from other field of studies which solely require background knowledge and expertise related to their professions. Humanities can feed your mind not as opposed to your wallet,” Jang Mi-young, president of Ewha Institute for the Humanities (EIH) said.
In 2006, College of Liberal Arts of Korea University announced “The Crisis in the Humanities” in Korea. Given the harsh economic climate coupled with the increasing pressure to choose career related classes, the humanities seem to be entering its popularity dwindle.
In response to The Crisis in the Humanities, Ewha professors and undergraduates of College of Humanities held “Humanities Week” with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) from Sept. 25 to 30 in 2006 as for their first movement to revive the humanities. Recently, the fifth Humanities Week, co-organized by EIH and the MEST took place from Sept. 20 to 24.
“Humanities help students be a better writer, readxer, and critical thinker. It covers all the parts of life and makes life worthy. Students can surely achieve self-realization when thinking about the fundamental questions and nature of human being,” Jang said.
Fortunately, the humanities courses are finding a new nationwide popularity. Students faced with an uncertain job market and endeavor of universities for pursuit of the humanities education paved the way for remarkable recovery of humanities’ reputation.
 According to the 2011 QS Asian University Rankings report, eight universities in Korea including Ewha climbed to top 50 in the field of Liberal Arts and Humanities. Especially, Ewha ranked 26th on the list. The evaluation committee mentioned that Ewha showed significant advancement in the humanities education along with the establishment of EIH in 2007.
EIH invited the world’s greatest humanities scholars and conducted lectures. Also it developed various studies and classes intertwined with the humanities after opening 15 humanities courses in 2009.
“We hope more students find vale in humanities since it is an invitation to observe, think and reflect on the world around us,” Jang said.

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