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Universities are under pressure to provide graduates with qualities that will enhance their long-term employability in today’s fast-changing business world. Accordingly, the integration of liberal arts into business education is nowadays becoming increasingly recognised and appreciated. However, doubts remain as to whether business education can ever be compatible with a liberal arts perspective, indeed whether business education should even take place in a liberal arts education institution.

The purpose of this article is to contribute to this debate, and perhaps help lessen these doubts, by presenting a case study showing how a liberal arts based approach has been recently infused into the undergraduate business programme of a university in Hong Kong. We examine the purposes and strategies behind this process, investigate how it unfolded, and, using survey data from academic staff and students concerning their attitudes towards several aspects of liberal arts teaching and learning at the University, consider the extent to which the integration of liberal arts into the programme has been successful. The authors hope that this case will be of use to other institutions planning similar changes in future.


HKIBS Working Paper Series 078-2021



Recommended Citation

Simmons, R. S., & Whitla, P. (2021). Integrating a liberal arts approach into an undergraduate business programme: Lessons from a university in Hong Kong (HKIBS Working Paper Series 078-2021). Retrieved from Lingnan University website:

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