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The Endless Dance: Realization of Western Liberal Arts Tradition in Chinese Cultural Context

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Being the first full scale cooperation in higher education between the Mainland and Hong Kong, the United International College (UIC) positioned itself as “A New liberal Arts College” to help the country diversify her higher education landscape as part of education reform. While attempting to retain the defining characteristics of a US-style liberal arts college—caring for students, small class sizes, broad based curricula, facilitating cross fertilization of ideas, UIC strongly emphasizes Chinese traditional culture, literature, history and Chinese thoughts through the ages, in addition to helping students acquire an international outlook. This is deemed essential not only because the students should learn about their own cultural heritage, but also they should treasure the wisdom of traditional Chinese thinking that could lend a helping hand to solving many problems the world faces today. It is gratifying to see that, after 10 years’ experimentation, the traditional western liberal arts education could be realized in the Chinese traditional culture context. In particular, the Confucius education philosophy could help nurture the whole person—junzi (君子), which is the overarching education goal of UIC.

Affiliations: 1: United International College


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1. American Association of Colleges and Universities"“What is a 21st Century Liberal Education?”" Retrieved from
2. Legge James Sacred Books of China 1882Vol volume 3 365
3. Toynbee Arnold Joseph, Ikeda Daisaku"“The Toynbee-Ikeda Dialogue Man Himself Must Choose.”" Choose Life: A Dialogue by Arnold Toynbee & Daisaku Ikeda 1976 Oxford University Press 249 1976 (Also published by the Kodansha International under the title The Toynbee-Ikeda Dialogue: Man Himself Must Choose in 1982)
4. Tu Weiming"“The ecological turn in new Confucian humanism: Implications for China and the world.”" Daedalus 2001 243 264
5. Wengu"Confucius’ Analects" Retrieved from

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