The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is arguably one of the longestestablished and largest degree programmes in the Australian higher education system. Traditionally, the BA programme is a liberal arts degree that is considered the first step in the lifelong journey of learning and that is frequently marketed as such. Yet, in an increasingly commercial world, the relevance and the value of a generalist arts degree to the contemporary Australian society and economy are frequently called into question by students, prospective employers and university administration. A recent national federally funded project in Australia investigated the nature and roles of Australian arts programmes. Analysis of generalist arts degree programmes on offer at 40 Australian universities between 2001 and 2008 resulted in the development of a typology describing common features and purposes of these programmes. This article argues that this typology can be used to develop a common framework to clarify and articulate the purpose and intention of an arts programme.
- Generalist arts
- Higher education curriculum