Western civilisation in safe hands at small Campion College

Western civilisation in safe hands at small Campion College, by Greg Sheridan.

Amid all the perplexing news this year, none was more ­depressing, really, than to find that our school students are intellectually way behind where their counterparts were a 1½ decades ago, and years and years behind Singapore students of the same age, and now, gloriously, slipping behind bold Kazakhstan in mathematics and science.

What the …? It’s not money, it’s something else. Can it possibly be that somewhere or other we have just lost the plot? …

Most of the West, under the influence of PC, is furiously forgetting what made our civilization great as fast as possible:

Not one of the top 50 colleges mandate one semester of Western Civilisation. Maybe they should rethink that.”

— Kevin Dowd, as ­reported by his sister, Maureen Dowd, in The New York Times.

But not at Campion College, a small private university near Parramatta, in Sydney’s west:

It gets no government money. It took its first students in 2006. This year just gone it had 85 students and 12 academic staff. In its decade of operations it has produced 160 graduates.

Yet, if our civilisation has a future in Australia, it is connected to Campion College. For Campion has done something that no other institution of higher learning has attempted in Australia. It has dedicated itself entirely to teaching undergraduates about the great tradition, based on the great books, of Western civilisation. …

The larger educational idea is that students acquire a general education in the central elements of Western civilisation before they go on, generally at the postgraduate level, to seek specific professional qualifications. …

In Campion’s superbly organised curriculum, students spend the first year in the ancient world, the second in the medieval world and the third in the modern world. For the first two years all the students undertake a common curriculum organised into four core subjects: history, philosophy, theology and literature.

Read it all.

hat-tip Stephen Neil