University of the West’s mission is to provide a whole-person education in a context informed by the wisdom and values of Buddhism and facilitate cultural appreciation and understanding between East and West.
Institutional Learning Outcomes
The university’s mission is upheld by the principles of Wisdom and Skillful Means, Self-Awareness, Liberation, and Interdependence, as enacted in our Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs). In the ILOs, the two halves of the mission flow seamlessly together, with each ILO and its constituent sub-points providing whole-person education, expressing Buddhist wisdom and values, and facilitating the East-West connection.
1 - Wisdom & Skillful Means:
Students are thoroughly prepared for academic and professional success. This includes:
- Knowledge: Knowledge of the subject matter and best practices within their field of study.
- Praxis: Ability to integrate theory and practice in their field of study.
- Ethics: Ability to apply professional ethics throughout their career.
- Critical Thinking: Ability to evaluate new information and question underlying assumptions.
- Communication: Ability to communicate ideas in speech, writing and other forms of expression.
2 - Self-Awareness:
Students are prepared to engage in an on-going process of self-understanding that enables them to lead happy, purposeful lives characterized by healthy relationships to self and others. This includes:
- Balance: Skills for creating balance of body, spirit, and mind.
- Character: Ability to question their attachments, cultivate open-mindedness, and maintain patience and perseverance in the face of on-going change.
- Expression: Abilities for self-expression through work, art, and/or spiritual practice.
- Relationship: Abilities that enable them to learn from and in relationship with others and to cultivate respect, compassion, and honesty.
3 - Liberation:
Students recognize the diversity and dignity of all beings and understand their own role in the pursuit of social justice. This includes:
- Pluralism: Appreciation of cultural diversity that enables them to thrive in a pluralistic world.
- Environmental Justice: Recognition of the value of the natural environment and its impact on social and economic justice.
- Liberation from Suffering: Understanding of how social, economic, and environmental justice lead to the liberation from suffering of all beings.
4 - Interdependence:
Students possess a holistic understanding of global interdependence in order to cultivate compassionate thought, speech, and action in service to themselves, others, and the environment. This includes:
- Service: Ability to take service-oriented approaches to promote and create paths to peace-making, respect, and loving-kindness.
- Culture: Understanding of how a broad appreciation of human endeavors, such as art, science, and the humanities, contributes to social and personal well-being.
- Nature: Recognition of the intrinsic value of nature as a source of beauty and vitality.
- Interconnectedness: Ability to consider how their thought, speech, and actions affect themselves, society, and the world.