ACU welcomes record cohort of Western Civilisation students

ACU welcomed the latest cohort of Ramsay Scholars at a special event last week, with a record number of students joining the Western Civilisation Program in 2024.

Since its launch in 2021, the Western Civilisation program has more than doubled in size, with students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Western Civilisation), Master of Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Laws, and the vertical double degree with a Master of Teaching (Secondary).

Central to the program is the generosity of the Ramsay Centre, which funds scholarships worth up to $160,000 per student over five years.

The Western Civilisation program is designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of Western literature, philosophy, art, politics, religion, science, and history.

ACU President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Zlatko Skrbis said the university’s Western Civilisation program offered “an unparalleled opportunity for person and intellectual growth.”

“As ACU embarks on this academic journey with its new cohort of Ramsay Scholars, the university remains dedicated to fostering intellectual curiosity, nurturing bright minds, and shaping leaders who will challenge the status quo and strive for a better tomorrow,” Professor Skrbis said.

“At ACU, we aim to strengthen their intellectual engagement with the ideas and questions that have shaped Western civilisation, and the influence that its art, architecture, science, technology, language and laws have had on the world of today.”

Professor Simon Haines, CEO of the Ramsay Centre, congratulated the new scholars, calling the texts they would encounter in their studies, from Antigone to Jane Austen, Aristotle to Galileo, Shelley, Machiavelli and Blake “fully charged high voltage electric dynamos”.

“By the time you’ve glimpsed that what you are dealing with is not just a disconnected list of the names of dead writers but the deeply connected 3,000 year old story of a whole civilisation with its own unique, distinctive ideas of science and democracy, goodness and justice, beauty and truth, human and divine love… your capacity for paying attention to what it means to be human will have been lifted out of the trivial world of TikTok and Instagram, and onto a higher level of thought which will be of enormous benefit to you in your lives, and also in your careers,” Professor Haines said.

Attendees at the event included two former Prime Ministers, Chairman of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, the Honourable John Howard OM AC and Ramsay Board member The Honourable Tony Abbott AC, alongside Ramsay Centre CEO Professor Simon Haines and ACU’s new Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Julie Cogin.

For more information visit Study Western Civilisation with a Ramsay Scholarship.

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