Interview with Dr. Vijila Kennedy, Principal of Kumaraguru College of Liberal Arts and Science by Higher Education Review, January 2020
Tell us about the inception ideology of Kumaraguru College of Liberal Arts and Science. What is the vision and mission of the institute?
The history of a liberal arts education dates back to classical antiquity. Stemming from the Latin word ‘liberalis.’ meaning “appropriate for free men,” a liberal arts education was a course of study considered essential for free citizens of Greece and Rome. The ancient Greeks and Romans viewed that a liberal arts education was necessary for citizen to take responsibilities in civic life. They studied three disciplines called Trivium – Grammar (languages), Rhetoric (oratory), and Logic. During middle ages this was extended to four further subjects: arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, named the Quadrivium leading to seven liberal arts subjects in the medieval liberal arts curriculum. The aim was to develop a person who was virtuous and ethical, knowledgeable in many fields and highly articulate.
India has always had a tradition of liberal arts education and had its presence in ancient Indian Takshashila and Nalanda Universities.
Students came from across the world to study grammar, philosophy, ayurveda, surgery, politics, warfare, astronomy, commerce, music, dance, and much more. Philosophers, Scholars, Economists and even kings graduated from these Universities. But the fixed model curriculum the profound aspirations for professional degrees that the Liberal Education in India started to fade out from mainstream academia.
Today, KCLAS is rooted in the Philosophy of Liberal Arts education of offering broad based education for holistic development with indepth understanding of the chosen discipline. While rooted in the foundational tenets, KCLAS looks forward to the fast-changing economy and society. Our vision to become a progressive research focused Institution that instills passion for lifelong learning and mould young people to impact the world.