The Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) was established by the Council of the University in February 2014 with the main remit of designing, coordinating, evaluating and promoting the University’s new flagship Programme in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
As the administrative hub of PLAS, the Centre seeks to provide high-quality, learner-focused administrative assistance to students enrolled in the Programme. The Centre contributes to the University’s ongoing public outreach initiative, while promoting further interdisciplinary collaboration within the University and through its engagement with specialists outside academia.
The Programme falls within the tradition of liberal education which goes all the way back to the classical artes liberales in Greek and Roman antiquity, undergoing subsequent transformations in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and down to the 21st Century. Originally conceived as the education required by a free person (liber; a citizen as opposed to a slave), a ‘liberal education’ developed into a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with a breadth of knowledge and transferable skills, as well as a stronger sense of civic engagement.
In this light, the Programme in the Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a broad range of ‘stand alone’ study-units in areas such as archaeology, history, literature, culture, conservation, philosophy, economics, public policy, migration, music, biology, medicine, earth systems, marketing, art, astronomy, sociology, politics, winemaking, chemistry, architecture, law, photography, and more.