About Liberal Education

Liberal Education At the University of Lethbridge 

Liberal Education has been a community tradition at the University of Lethbridge since its founding. Our approach to education continues to produce creative explorers and innovative thinkers who will lead in a complex global world. Our Liberal Education philosophy guides the academic and research activities that enable students to develop the skills to think critically and creatively, communicate clearly, work collaboratively, solve complex problems, and contribute fully to society as engaged and informed global citizens and leaders. The collaboration and integration inherent in Liberal Education have distinguished the University of Lethbridge as an attractive destination for potential students. This transdisciplinary focus and transformational learning experience unify the University of Lethbridge and set our programming apart from other institutions. The qualities developed in a Liberal Education are important for citizens in a democratic society, and with these qualities, University of Lethbridge graduates gain a competitive advantage to succeed in their chosen disciplines. 

Liberal Education Objective:

To develop transdisciplinary learning and thinking skills to enable individuals to contribute to their communities at all levels. 


Liberal Education group of students


Learn to Think

Liberal Education is the foundational teaching and learning philosophy of the University of Lethbridge, affecting the entire student experience here. It traces its roots back to the start of the Western tradition in classical Greece and Rome. The word Liberal comes from the Latin word “liber” meaning “free,” and Liberal Education originally referred to the education that free citizens (as opposed to slaves) needed in order to participate in the affairs of their community. Such an education encompasses a broad education across a number of disciplines, and a preparation for good citizenship. These goals have persisted for millennia as the foundation of Western university education.


"Liberal Education is an education that is "liberal" in that it liberates the mind from the bondage of habit and custom, producing people who can function with sensitivity and alertness as citizens of the whole world.

- Martha C. Nussbaum, Cultivating Humanity, 1997


The university of Lethbridge offers a multi-faceted vision of Liberal Education, that encourages multi-disciplinary courses and viewpoints, critical thinking skills, debate about larger social and philosophical issues, and develops well-educated citizens trained as social leaders.  These are skills that employers want, and that society needs!


Further Links on Liberal Education 

The Association of American Colleges & Universities: What is Liberal Education?