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The Value of the Humanities in Higher Education

Perspectives from Hong Kong

This book presents an extensive analysis of the multifaceted benefits that higher education in the humanities offers individuals and society, as explored in the context of Hong Kong. Using both quantitative graduate employment survey data and qualitative data from interviews with past humanities graduates and with leading humanities scholars, the study provides an objective picture of the "value" of humanities degrees in relation to the economic needs and growth of Hong Kong, together with an in-depth exploration of their value and use in the eyes of humanities graduates and practitioners. Therefore, although it is hardly the only book on the value and status quo of the humanities worldwide, it nonetheless stands out in this crowded field as one of the very few extended studies that draws on empirical data.
The book will appeal to both an academic and a wider audience, including members of the general public, non-academic educators, and government administrators interested in the status quo of humanities education, whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere. The report also includes a wealth of text taken directly from interviews with humanities graduates, who share their compelling life stories and views on the value of their humanities education.
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Evelyn Tsz Yan Chan is an Associate Professor at the Department of English, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her background is in English Literature, but she also holds a Master's degree in Educational and Social Research, and has published on academic subject identity based on interviews with students. She is chiefly interested in the application of qualitative methods to understand people's construction of learner and work values.
Flora Ka Yu Mak is a Ph.D. candidate in English (Literary Studies) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include Romantic poetry and the notion of impersonality. Her previous education-related research has addressed trade and investment in higher education services in Hong Kong.
Thomas Siu-Ho Yau is a postgraduate student at the Department of English, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His main research interests are in second language acquisition and cognitive linguistics. He has also pursued research on language and society, language policy, curriculum and education policy, and vocational education in Hong Kong, employing technology enhanced learning and learning analytics to do so.
Yutong Hu received her M.Phil. in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2017 and subsequently worked for the Department of English at the same university as a Research Assistant. She will begin her Ph.D. studies in Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong this fall. Her research interests include the sociology of education, social stratification and mobility, and quantitative methods.
Michael O'Sullivan is an Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He works in the fields of comparative literature, literature and philosophy, and education studies. Recent relevant publications include The Humanities and the Irish University (MUP 2014), The Humanities in Contemporary Chinese Contexts (with Evelyn Chan) (Springer 2016), Academic Barbarism, Universities, and Inequality (Palgrave 2016) and "Educational inequalities in higher education in Hong Kong" in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (2015) (with Michael Yat-him Tsang).
Eddie Tay is an Associate Professor at the Department of English, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His most recent publication, Anything You Can Get Away With: Creative Practices, is a critical-creative work featuring street photography in Hong Kong and Singapore. He is also the author of four poetry collections and a book on the colonial and postcolonial literatures of Singapore and Malaysia.



Interview format
Data analysis
Results: graduate interviews
1. Individual benefits
1. Skills and abilities
1. Good language and communication skills
2. Critical and independent thinking
3. Multiperspectival thinking
4. Adaptability and flexibility
5. Advanced research and textual analysis skills
6. Enhanced sensibility
7. Capacity for life-long learning
2. The formation of personality, values, and vision
1. Enhanced self-knowledge
2. Creativity
3. Meaning in life
4. Moral integrity
5. Open-mindedness
6. Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm
7. Emotional and spiritual fortification
8. Empathy and care for fellow humans
9. A sense of mission to spread humanities knowledge
2. Characteristics of career development narratives
1. A great variety of career paths among graduates
2. Initial disorientation followed by gradual career establishment
3. Interest and meaning as career priorities
4. Distinct competitiveness brought about by individual benefits
5. Further studies for specific career needs
6. Challenges to career development
1. Education as the dominant industry
2. The volatility of a creative career
3. Barriers to entry into specialized humanities jobs
4. Lack of specific training for the general job market
5. Difficulty convincing others of the use of humanities education
6. Clash between the humanities and commercial values
3. Characteristics of humanities pedagogy
1. Teachers as role models and mentors
2. Individualized learning methods: tutorial discussions and dissertations
3. Insightful major texts
4. Characteristics of humanities education narratives
1. Upon entering university: passion for the subject
2. During university study: formative education 56
3. Upon graduation and after: the lasting influence of wisdom derived from education
4. The intangibility of the values of humanities education
5. The essential contributions of humanities education to Hong Kong society
1. The maintenance of language standards
2. Contributions to quality education
3. Emotional and spiritual nourishment
4. Synergy with business values that underpin economy and society
5. Preserving and transmitting Hong Kong culture
6. The arts as social and community service
7. Promoting cultural sensitivity, awareness, and diversity
8. Tempering excessive materialism and instrumentalism
9. Promoting civic values and engagement
10. The challenging socio-economic climate in Hong Kong limiting potential contributions
Further discussion
Recommendations on pedagogical interventions based on the graduate interviews
Hong Kong's economic conditions
Part II: graduate employment survey data
Results: graduate survey data
Further discussion
Part III: Conversations with senior humanities scholars
The humanities as both broadly and personally defined
The humanities as engaging with and contributing to (Hong Kong) society
The current state of the humanities in Hong Kong universities
A Final Brief Summary
Works Cited


EAN / 13-stellige ISBN 978-9811571879
10-stellige ISBN 9811571872
Verlag Springer Singapore
Imprint SpringerBriefs in Education
Sprache Englisch
Auflage 1. Auflage im Jahr 2020
Anmerkungen zur Auflage 1st ed. 2020
Editionsform Non Books / PBS
Einbandart E-Book
Typ des digitalen Artikels PDF
Copyright PDF Watermark
Erscheinungsdatum 12. August 2020
Seitenzahl 105
Beilage eBook
Warengruppe des Lieferanten Sozialwissenschaften - Erziehung, Bildung
Mehrwertsteuer 7% (im angegebenen Preis enthalten)
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