Inaugural Ramsay Scholarships awarded to 30 outstanding students

Inaugural Ramsay Scholarships awarded to 30 outstanding students

School of liberal arts academic appointments announced

The University of Wollongong (UOW) looks forward to welcoming its first cohort of UOW Ramsay Scholars when Autumn Session begins next week as academic appointments to the newly formed School of Liberal Arts are announced.

In a highly competitive process attracting more than 70 high-quality applications from across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the ACT, 30 high-achieving students were selected to be awarded the inaugural scholarships to undertake UOW’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Western Civilisation.

Four additional students have also elected to study the new degree in 2020, bringing the inaugural cohort to full capacity at 34.

The UOW Ramsay Scholars underwent a rigorous and comprehensive selection process that included a written application, an essay, an evaluation of their academic performance and an interview.  Throughout the application process, the successful applicants demonstrated a genuine desire to study the great works of Western civilisation.

The UOW Ramsay Scholars were chosen from across diverse backgrounds, and from both private and state schools in cities and regional areas. More than half the successful applicants are female and all displayed outstanding academic achievements, a commitment to helping others, or a track record of volunteering within their school and communities.

Most have chosen to undertake the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as part of a double degree.  

UOW has partnered with The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to deliver its unique Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation, which will provide students with a world-class liberal arts education, made possible by the generosity of the late Mr Paul Ramsay AO.

The first degree of its kind in Australia, the BA in Western Civilisation focuses on the study of great works of the Western tradition of thought and art. Using the time-honoured Socratic Method, it will take students on a series of carefully curated philosophical explorations through great periods and epochs of intellectual and artistic change in the West, all the while challenging them to think for themselves.

UOW’s ambition is to put students into conversation with some of the greatest minds down the ages, encouraging creative and critical thinking about the enduring and pressing questions of today and tomorrow.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, Professor Colin Picker, said the University was delighted to be welcoming such high calibre students to take up the scholarships and study the new degree.

“We were thrilled with the quality of applicants and successful scholarship recipients for the first year of this new degree,” Professor Picker said. “They represent the next generation of creative and critical thinkers, and each will bring a different perspective as they study together.

“The BA in Western Civilisation complements our current offerings, adding an extra dimension to the Faculty’s existing academic teaching and research strengths and we look forward to seeing what the UOW Ramsay Scholars achieve during their time at UOW and beyond.”

The UOW Ramsay Scholarship is valued at more than $30,000 per annum, for five years, which will enable students from all financial circumstances to pursue academic, social, and leadership opportunities.



The University has also made its first academic appointments to the newly formed School of Liberal Arts, drawing exceptional lecturers from around Australia and the world.

·        Dr Cathy Mason: Dr Mason, who completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge and joins UOW from the University of Oxford, has worked primarily in metaethics, moral epistemology, aesthetics, and philosophy.

·        Dr Anthony Hooper: An expert in ancient philosophy, Dr Hooper has focused on the intersections between Greek philosophy, poetry, and religion. He completed his PhD at the University of Sydney and joins UOW from Durham University in the UK.

·        Dr Elena Walsh: Specialising in the philosophy of the mind and the philosophy of science, Dr Walsh, who completed her PhD at the University of Sydney, also has an interest in comparative approaches to philosophy.

·        Dr Talia Morag: Dr Morag, who completed her PhD at the University of Sydney and joins UOW from Deakin University, has a background in philosophical psychology, psychoanalytic philosophy and ethics.

·        Dr Bernardo Ainbinder: Dr Ainbinder, who completed his PhD at the University of Buenos Aires and joins UOW from Diego Portales University in Chile, specialises in phenomenology, classics and the history of philosophy. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these brilliant minds and talents to the School of Liberal Arts. They bring a passion and curiosity that is vital to the study of humanities and liberal arts,” Professor Picker said. 

Further academic appointments to the School will be announced in the near future.



Andrew Herring, Senior Manager, Media & Public Relations, UOW
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UOW Media Office
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