ANU sets out details of Ramsay western civ study programme    

Establishing the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation at ANU is starting to look like an all but announced done deal. Just before Easter the College of Arts and Social Sciences updated FAQ’s on why the university is negotiating and what the western civ centre would do, with matters of academic governance, staffing and authority now settled, subject to final approval.

“The different courses within the program consider books from a variety of genres or disciplines (predominately works of literature, history, philosophy, religion, politics) but also including architecture, art and music,” the briefing states, but students will have will be able to  “to study Asia-Pacific alongside the study of western culture.” The relationship between the Ramsay programme and existing ANU courses was an issue raised by participants at an open meeting last month, (CMM March 7).

The Ramsay course will be restricted to 60 students a year, up to 40 of each second-year cohort on a $25 000 scholarship and they will be taught through a “Socratic approach.” “The program aims to create active learners engaged with primary texts in classes of no more than six to eight students. These small-group discussions will be supplemented by a series of panel-style discussions where academics from different perspectives engage in discussion with each other and with students.” Curriculum will be “considered through the normal ANU academic processes.”


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