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2015 | 4(48) | 132-141

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An overview of the trends of implementing of elements of the American model of the overall humanitarian training undergraduate students in higher education in the countries of the European Union

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The paper highlights the causes of reemergence of humanitarian education in up-to-date European higher school on the background of the Bologna Process and the need for enhancement of the international dimension of higher education. Despite its antiquity, humanitarian education is assumed to be unique to the USA but with the roots in European traditions. Nowadays it is something of an educational industry in the United States as nowhere else in the world. Humanitarian education is tightly correlated with the values of American democracy, with American ideas of citizenship, and with American view of a life well lived. This type of undergraduate study has worked out the ideal of humanitarian educated student of the twenty-first century who is a lifelong learner, open-minded, tolerant, intellectually curious, self-actualizing with striving for personal growth, physical and mental health and spiritual well-being. As a learner and global citizen, the humanitarian educated person is actively engaged with the world in all of its complexity, diversity and dynamism. The paper aims to analyze why humanitarian education appears to be a relevant response to the needs for higher education reform in the European Union. The analysis is based on the views of European academics as for an insufficient level of differentiation and too-early over-specialization. In particular the lack of differentiation in the massified higher educational systems of the European Union in the terms of broader approaches to bachelor education in order to overcome the disadvantages of too-early over-specialisation, by reestablishing the balance between breadth and depth of the curriculum is described. As an observation it can be stated that a problematic tendency in most countries of the European Union is that the arts are only seen as humanitarian culture and citizenship education until the secondary level of education. In the discussions about the humanitarians in the universities these issues are more or less disregarded in favour of direct labour market relevance. With the view to coping with the problems mentioned European educators are implementing the elements of US model of humanitarian education. Humanitarian education in Europe is taught in English. The perspective of further research lies in researching curricula of European version of the humanitarian model with an emphasis on its meaning in the globalized higher education context of the 21-st century.


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