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The Aims of Higher EducationProblems of Morality and Justice$
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Harry Brighouse and Michael McPherson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226259345

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226259512.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 01 April 2020

What Makes a University Education Worthwhile?

What Makes a University Education Worthwhile?

(p.7) Two What Makes a University Education Worthwhile?
The Aims of Higher Education

Amy Gutmann

University of Chicago Press

This chapter takes up the question whether the university—particularly the university committed to liberal arts education—provides benefits commensurate with its costs. According to the author, this question cannot be answered without first identifying the university’s aims. If the university is successful at achieving its aims, then it should be overall beneficial, both to those who attend and to the public more generally. The author identifies three broad aims of the university: to create opportunity for individuals, to develop the creative understanding of students, and to enable and encourage students to use their creative understanding to contribute to society. The author recommends several prescriptions that would allow the university to better achieve these aims. These include increasing access, reducing financial barriers, and greater integration of knowledge both between the liberal arts and the sciences, and between the liberal arts and professional disciplines.

Keywords:   liberal arts, aims of the university, increased opportunity, creative understanding, professional disciplines

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