University of Wollongong first to run Ramsay’s Western degree

University of Wollongong first to run Ramsay’s Western degree, by Jordan Baker.

The Ramsay Centre has found a home for its controversial Western civilisation degree at the University of Wollongong.

The centre, funded through a bequest from the late healthcare magnate Paul Ramsay, will give UOW more than $50 million over the next eight years so students can study great thinkers, philosophers and scientists of the Western tradition.

The first 30 Ramsay scholars — who will need an ATAR of 95 to be admitted — will begin their three-year degree in early 2020 and receive a scholarship of at least $27,000 each.

The UOW course will be closer to the centre’s vision than the one proposed by Sydney [University]; it will preserve the term ‘civilisation’; be a full degree rather than a major; and focus on European art and architecture as well as books. …

The degree proposed by the Ramsay Centre uses the Socratic method of teaching, in which small groups of students, facilitated by an academic, explore their material in depth, discussing and debating its themes. …

The university will spend the next year recruiting 10 academic staff to a new School of Liberal Arts.

The degree is modelled on great books and core curriculum courses in the United States, such as the one at Columbia. But they have been controversial there, too, with Stanford cancelling its version in the late 1980s after protests.

Never heard the Wollongong song? It’s oddly memorable:

Anyone remember Norman Gunston, from 1970s Australian tv?

I’m sure Western Civilization will flourish just fine in Wollongong. Snooty PC Sydney University misses out because it is barren ground for learning what made our civilization great.

hat-tip Joanne