Uni Queensland and Ramsay Western Civ Centre have a deal

Uni Queensland has $50m plus over eight years for courses and scholarships

As widely anticipated, the University of Queensland has signed an MOU with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to fund a degree programme, a minimum 150 scholarships and hiring ten “world-class educators.”  Teaching starts next year.

What’s the deal: The MOU between university and centre addresses the university’s academic independence, a key staff concern, stating the programme “will be consistent with Uni Queensland values, be developed by the staff of Uni Queensland, be approved by Uni Queensland in its sole and absolute discretion, go through Uni Queensland’s academic approval mechanisms and conform to the normal degree and combined degree structures of Uni Queensland.”

The university adds that a Ramsay Centre representative will be on staff hiring committee(s). However, a senior university manager will chair selectors and have “ultimate authority over the outcome of the selection process.”

This is a very big win for the Ramsay Centre. With Uni Wollongong, it now has two universities teaching degrees it will fund. Uni Queensland is also what Ramsay supporters were looking for, a university with a strong national reputation in humanities scholarship. It matters much less now if there is now no deal at the University of Sydney.

It is also a win for Vice Chancellor Peter Hoj. He made it quite clear that he wanted a Ramsay programme. “Uni Queensland is very hopeful that exceptional graduates, able to progress our society through respectful and informed debate, would be the key legacy of the programme,” he said last night.

 But some HASS staff will not be happy: In May, the HASS faculty advisory board of studies rejected a third draft curriculum, which still went up the line for approval. Dean Heather Zwicker told staff then, “I am torn between what I hear from you, my trusted colleagues, and what I believe are the broader strategic purposes for HASS,” (CMM May 28).

In April, a very learned reader compared the Uni Wollongong degree and the then draft from Uni Queensland. Read it  here.


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