2021 UOW Ramsay Scholars welcomed
Second cohort to begin Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation in School of Liberal Arts
The 2021 Ramsay Scholars have been welcomed to the University of Wollongong (UOW) to undertake the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation in UOW’s School of Liberal Arts (SOLA), supported by a scholarship funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation (RCWC).
28 high achieving students have been selected for the prestigious program’s second intake, coming from as far afield as Launceston, Tasmania and Armidale, NSW, as close by as the Wollongong suburb of Horsley and the Illawarra townships of Kiama and Jamberoo, as well as from across metropolitan Sydney.
While some scholars are undertaking the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation as a single degree, most are coupling it with degrees in Law, International Studies, Creative Arts or Politics, Philosophy and Economics in double degree programs.
All Ramsay Scholars are high-achieving students who have performed well academically and in their interests beyond the classroom. They were selected via a rigorous and comprehensive selection process that included a written application, an essay, an evaluation of their academic performance and an interview. Throughout the process, the successful applicants demonstrated a genuine desire to study the great works of Western civilisation.
The 2021 Ramsay Scholars follow in the footsteps of the 30 inaugural Ramsay Scholars who began UOW’s Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation in 2020, following the establishment of the degree and School of Liberal Arts in 2019.
The 2021 cohort was welcomed at a formal event held in the University Hall, attended by distinguished guests from the RCWC and UOW, SOLA academics and the 2020 Ramsay Scholars.
RCWC distinguished guests included Board Chairman, The Hon John Howard OM AC and fellow directors The Hon Tony Abbott AC, Professor Ann Brewer, Dr Michael Easson AM and Mr Peter Evans. They were accompanied by the Centre’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Simon Haines, and Academic Director and Deputy CEO, Dr Stephen McInerney.
Welcoming the scholars on behalf of UOW were Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings CBE, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joe Chicharo OM, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Theo Farrell, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Professor Glenn Salkeld and Head of the School of Liberal Arts, Senior Professor Dan Hutto.
In his address, Professor Wellings congratulated the scholars on their selection and paid tribute to the generous gift and partnership that has made the program possible.
“To our incoming 2021 scholars, congratulations on being awarded this immense opportunity. The process for earning a UOW-Ramsay Scholarship is rigorous and the panel members have once again commented on the calibre of applicants that were interviewed.
“You should be immensely proud in achieving a place in this prestigious program.
“I acknowledge the leadership of the Centre for Western Civilisation, They are the ultimate custodians of the generosity and vision of Mr Paul Ramsay AO. Their leadership, combined with the partnership with UOW, has made this program a shared vision realised.
“This is demonstrated by our now 58 extraordinary scholars and esteemed academics forming one of Australia’s best Liberal Arts schools and degrees” Professor Wellings said.
Professor Wellings’ sentiments were echoed by Mr Howard who said how happy the late Paul Ramsay AO would have been to see his vision become a reality.
“I feel a tremendous sense of optimism and enthusiasm today. I am enthused by the spread of new entrants—different backgrounds, different schools, different interests—but with one interest in common,” Mr Howard said.
“Today is very much a day for the scholars - the scholars who completed the first year, those who are coming in for the first time - I welcome you. I’m enthusiastic about the eminent passion you have.”
Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation CEO, Professor Simon Haines, also congratulated the 2021 Ramsay Scholars on their success.
“To the scholars, the class of 2021 receiving your awards today, congratulations. You made a life changing decision by winning this scholarship and then taking it up,” he said.
Professor Haines urged the students to embrace the unique opportunity provided by the scholarship to immerse themselves in the study of the great works of western civilisation and to become independent critical thinkers.
The first degree of its kind in Australia, the Bachelor of Arts 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 takes 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.
The program is designed 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.
Scholars receive a scholarship valued at $30,000 per annum for the duration of their studies, up to a maximum of five years.
More information about the Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation is available at the School of Liberal Arts webpage.