Arts & Humanities

The Importance of Arts & Humanities

The word “Humanities” stands for the disciplines that study and explore “the human experience”. That is, they put their focus on the big, universal questions that we face, and have always faced, as human beings. Some of these questions are: Who we are; what is important to us; what makes a good, happy life; what are the best ways to organize our societies; what are the differences and similitudes among people; what are our responsibilities towards others.

The Humanities have been an essential part of a well-rounded education ever since the foundation of the very first universities. These days, in the context of the ethical and existential dilemmas that we face as a result of digitalization, of globalization, and the Covid pandemic, the Humanities have become more important than ever.

Looking at different philosophical worldviews, historical periods, and means of human expression help us understand and navigate the challenges, opportunities and uncertainties of the present; they also help us figure out the future by placing ourselves beyond the immediate in order to pose bigger questions about the direction we are heading.

The Humanities also help us develop an essential set of skills that are important in our future endeavors as individuals, citizens and professionals:

They bolster a culture of intellectual curiosity that is essential to become lifelong learners.

They strengthen analytical skills that allow you to make sense of the complexity of the world around us.

They deepen critical thinking, which allows us to forge strong positions about the most relevant issues that we face.

They reinforce communication skills, both orally and in writing, allowing us to better defend our arguments and ideas.

They encourage creativity that lets us develop innovative thinking models.

They enable us to learn about the past, and make us understand the future.

They inform us about the cultural, political and societal contexts that inform the personal and professional situations in which we participate.

And in many cases, enjoying or creating a beautiful work of art, playing or listening to magnificent music, reading or writing a sharp thought or a clever literary work, also makes us a little happier.


Dancers from the Paris Opera, Ballet Nacional de España and National Dance Company celebrate IE University’s Faculty Awards

Humanities & Diversity

Humanities give you an opportunity to practice creativity, careful thought, and an open mind.

The humanities allow you to enter into realms of life, thought, and experiences that are often different from your own so that you may reflect on your own perceptions of the world in a broader context, In this way, you will have gained insights that promote independent, ethical, global citizens who are capable of full and thoughtful engagement with our own identities and with the world’s cultures and societies.

Humanities & Innovation

If we had any fear concerning the takeover of technology, the current pandemic has shown that technology is indeed at the service of humanity.

Humanities allows you to redirect your attention from machines to people, permitting you to imagine how we, as humans, can make collective choices to reduce the negative impact of technology.

Humanities can create the systems and structures for how you address ethical problems emerging from the technological world. Furthermore, combining technology and humanities helps you to better understand the world we live in and gives you new paths for creation and innovation.


In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to regulate and calculate outcomes, and also to imagine multiple perspectives and possibilities.

You need to be able to ask, “what if”? The humanities fosters the“applied curiosity” needed for the constant reinvention and resilience needed as an entrepreneur.

The humanities teach us to question everything, to want to know how things work, and to wonder how they can be made to work better. Furthermore, the humanities make us curious about people and their backstories and give us the competitive edge to be both ever-evolving and conscious leaders.


The cultural knowledge businesses need to thrive comes from the humanities.

Understanding the reasons behind decisions and business processes are vital for any company.

Critical thinking, a prime product of the study of the humanities, promotes seeking out new experiences and perspectives. Critical thinking exposes you to ideas that question or oppose your point of view and promote the best decision possible.

As a creative problem-solver, you understand what data is needed, how to manage it and how to extract and assess the critical information.

After all, people are and will always be the most important asset in any business.


Dancers from the Paris Opera, the Spanish National Ballet and the Spain’s National Dance Company played a leading role at IE University’s 2021 Awards for Teaching Excellence today. In a ceremony held in the auditorium of IE Tower, IE University’s new technological and sustainable headquarters in the north of Madrid, the distinguished professors with the highest ratings from students in undergraduate and graduate programs were recognized by the dancers, who performed a piece symbolizing the role teachers play in helping their students along the path to excellence. This recognition reinforces IE University’s values as an innovative, sustainable institution that is sensitive to the arts and humanities.

“Just as we did last year, when we awarded teachers with a digital diploma designed by Daniel Canogar, the internationally renowned artist and a member of our academic faculty, on this occasion we have put the focus on dance on our campuses in collaboration with our Arts and Humanities Division, which works to enrich the experience of our students and bring them closer to the world of art, dance, music, history, philosophy, literature, to develop their critical thinking and show them the beauty of the humanities,” noted Isabel Sánchez, Vice Rector and Associate Dean of Adjunct and Visiting Faculty at IE University.

The dancers’ performance took place at IE University’s historic campus in Segovia, in the 15th century convent of Santa Cruz la Real, and at the institution’s Madrid headquarters in María de Molina, where graduate students attend classes, as well as at IE Tower. The three campuses have been a source of inspiration and have allowed them to evoke the key role of teachers and the academy in the growth of students. “The dancers have reflected on the role of space and the wonderful challenge of teaching through movement. There is no better way to recognize and honor our teachers than through a universal language such as dance,” added Sánchez.

Catalina Tejero, Executive Director of the Division of Arts and Humanities at IE University commented: “We are fortunate to work at IE University, where we are continually encouraged to push our limits and where the arts are a way of understanding the world and are present in everything we do.” She added: “It has been an honor to use this language to pay tribute to our professors and it has been a  beautiful experience to explore the connections that exist on that path to excellence. The dancers know well the importance of the effort, discipline, sacrifice, and passion of their teachers in their growth and their path to perfection. This has been reflected in their performance. It has been a privilege to have their collaboration. Their technical quality, sensitivity and expression have moved us and have left their mark on our institution.”

In this edition of the awards, the distinguished professors have received a unique, personalized video-diploma for their excellent academic performance in the 2020-2021 teaching year. The students have valued indicators such as teachers’ academic and professional contribution, their capacity for innovation, motivation, the quality of the teaching materials, the tasks assigned and monitored, and students’ learning acquisition at the end of the program, among others.