Australian Catholic University (ACU) expects to offer a new BA degree in Western Civilisation from 2021, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation in Sydney today.
Under the MOU, which paves the way for a formal agreement, the partnership would fund at least 150 undergraduate scholarships and the hiring of outstanding new educators – and is worth more than $50 million over eight years.
This MoU with the Ramsay Centre comes at a significant time for ACU. The university has recently surged into the Top 250 universities in the world for Arts and Humanities and is now ranked 12th in Arts and Humanities in Australia.
ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven acknowledged the generosity of the bequest from the late Paul Ramsay and his trustees and their commitment to provide Australian university students with a first-rate education in the humanities.
“The Ramsay Centre’s emergence is very timely, representing, as it does, a welcome endorsement of the humanities in Australia, at a time when universities are de-emphasising humanities in favour of STEM.
“A liberal arts education is a particularly valuable type of learning, introducing students to great books and the thinking they have inspired over the centuries, and inspiring them to critique and debate the issues and ideas presented in these works and their lasting significance for the world.
“We believe it should be central to the mission of any Australian university to embrace and strengthen students’ understanding of the liberal arts tradition, by opening them up to the literature, art, ethics, religion, and philosophy that have defined it and given it meaning.”
The Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation) will commence at ACU’s North Sydney Campus in 2021, subject to university course approval processes. The degree will cover a structured and integrated humanities curriculum from antiquity to the present and include an optional honours year.
ACU Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Craven, noted that: “In our negotiations with the Ramsay Centre, we have been clear that the university will maintain autonomy over all key governance arrangements related to the course, and that all our activities will be consistent with the university’s position on intellectual and academic freedom.”