So why do some want highly trained graduate artists/programmers, while others claim they prefer creative individuals with a Liberal arts background, the reason is this, while talent is most certainly important, you don’t always get great creativity from such a person, whilst someone with a Liberal arts background has a wider general knowledge of the world and is able to use that when creating their work.
So what would be a perfect graduate? That would be someone who does have the technical ability and yet knows a wide range of topics of the world, whether that is films, games, music, cultures, food or anything really. But how would a course get around that? One possible way is to show the students different media from around the world, get them to do projects on different cultures, have them research topics that are outside their area of work, music and films are a good example for someone to study if they are doing art.
But the problem is, if you do that, then your students are rushing everywhere, trying things that might not seem to be relevant to them, as hell how can food be relevant to designing a character concept. As such you should make sure that any knowledge that you guide them towards, is used in a project that does involve their skills, for example if you told your students to go and research a certain area in the world, you should ask them later on to perhaps make a panting of a landscape, or an animal.
But of course while they are rushing about you have to remember, Game developers also want skilled graduates, not a walking encyclopedia, so remember to make sure your students are still improving themselves, while going off researching weird and strange subjects.