About ILA


The liberal arts are concerned with essential humanistic skills and talents that are harder to quantify – such as effective verbal communication and strong writing ability, critical thinking, analytical acumen, creativity and eye to detail – rather than applied skills, such as the ability to repair machines or manufacture hand sanitizers. The liberal arts traditionally include all non-vocational, non-applied disciplines including areas such as literature, languages, philosophy, history, cultural studies, mathematics, and theoretical sciences.

In our present world, humanity has a heavy burden on its shoulders. The reason is obvious: the contours of knowledge shift in the blink of an eye in a world where social media and the internet play a major role. Our primary burden in the academia now is to develop and nurture the ability to analyze and make sense of these rapid transformations. This is to be done by reflection, research, and intellectual enquiry. A liberal arts degree aims at grooming a young intelligentsia that is informed and intellectually sophisticated, an intelligentsia that possesses a robust historical consciousness and a developed sense of its global bearings.

In these trying days of the Covid-19 pandemic, many fundamental philosophical issues have been thrown into sharp perspective. We are now beginning to see, for example, that science is humbled and helpless without policy considerations; that the question of distributive justice is a decisive factor in natural disasters; that the wholesale import and use of technology without cultural adjustments deepens the gulf between the affluent and the poor, leading to additional fissures in an already fractured society; that, for example, the breakdown of social hierarchies which the virus has brought about is a blind equalizing force that makes these hierarchies utterly meaningless; and that cultural traditions and legacies still serve humanity as illuminating torches that guide us in our struggle to steer through the devastations of pandemics. These are all fundamental issues and it is the very burden of the liberal arts to ponder over them, analyze them, and to explain them, beyond manufacturing masks and hand sanitizers.

The Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA) at the University of Management and Technology is a unique emergence on Pakistan’s educational horizons that promises to create a new generation of informed thinkers, writers, and professionals in multiple fields. The ILA offers several degree programs: BA in Liberal Arts, BS in English Literature, BS in English Language and Linguistics, MA in English, MPhil in Applied Linguistics, MPhil in English Literature, and PhD in English Literature/Linguistics. The Institute has on its faculty many highly qualified instructors, some of them with postgraduate degrees from Harvard and Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. With the support of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL), supplemental materials for the curriculum, and specialized software (Moodle), ILA practices cutting-edge pedagogical techniques.A host of scholarly activities are an integral part of the ILA culture—these include seminars, lectures by world scholars, exhibitions, and workshops.

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