From Wikipedia: under the heading University:
The word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars. While antecedents had existed in Asia and Africa, the modern university system has roots in the EUROPEAN medieval university, which was created in Italy and evolved from Christian Cathedral schools for the clergy during the High Middle Ages.
Meanwhile, the Ramsay Centre finds it cannot even give away millions of dollars to a university to set up a program in Western Civilisation, the very place where universities began. First the ANU and now this. From The Australian: Sydney Uni hit by backlash while looking to the West, that is, while examining the possibility of setting up a course of study under the heading Western Civilisation.
University of Sydney academics have reacted furiously to the news, with more than 100 — including refugee and pro-Palestine activist Nick Riemer, fellow boycott Israel campaigner Jake Lynch and Tim Anderson, who courted controversy by defending Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad — signing an open letter signalling that they are “strongly opposed to the university entering into any arrangement with the Ramsay Centre”.
The letter, written by Dr Riemer and history professor Adrian Vickers, refers to “political leanings” of the Ramsay Centre board, chaired by former Liberal prime minister John Howard and including Tony Abbott. It accuses it of propagating a “conservative, culturally essentialist, and Eurocentric vision” and claims its program embodies “chauvinistic, Western essentialism”. “We are deeply disturbed by the possibility of Ramsay Centre courses being part of our institution, to say nothing of the significant and justified reputational damage that the university collectively, and its academics derivatively, would incur as a result,” the letter says. “We belong to a multicultural and hybrid society in a world traversed by serious geopolitical and social animosities. Collaborating with the chauvinistic Western essentialism that the Ramsay Centre embodies would be a violation of our crucial role in promoting a society of diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect.”
As for finding a society that promotes “diversity, inclusiveness and mutual respect” I hope they have a list of places from which these sorts of things can be learned.
PERVERSE OPINIONS: A number of commenters mentioned PVO’s article in The Oz today so thought I would have a look. Here are the top comments starting from the first and working my way down. I agree with all of them, although they are a bit temperate for my liking.
I read this article with mounting disbelief. For a man who claims a belief in the virtues and benefits of Western Civilisation, his argument boils down to one simple fact. Abbott should not have exercised his right to speak because it would upset an angry nest of bull ants. Claiming that Abbott gave them the excuse to do what they intended to do anyway is as peurile as it is immature. In essence PVO’s argument crystallises into the undergraduates plaint that ‘Abbott made us do it’. Give us a break. The NTEU and the SRC simply used Abbott as an excuse. They had no intention of letting the Ramsay proposal go ahead. And, if it had they would have white anted it anyway. Our universities are publicly funded institutions. They are not personal fiefdoms. Each and every one of us has an interest in them and and a right to speak about them that includes those who the Left choose to dislike.
The Left’s fear of Abbott borders on the unhinged.
‘It was Abbott wot done it.’ Yep, undergraduate stuff, once again. This stuff is lightweight.
Well of course it’s Tony Abbott’s fault! It just had to be. PVO is utterly laughable.
The weather here on Lake Como has been unseasonably wet & stormy. I am sure that with a little imagination this ‘journalist’ could find a way to blame Tony Abbott. If he did a good enough job maybe I could sue!!! To think that people are being paid to write articles such as this defies description. Tony Abbott must be very sore after the kickings which this man has managed to give him.
Gee that man Tony Abbott is mighty powerful! Supposedly because of just one sentence in his erudite article published in a conservative-leaning magazine , a University knocked back millions of dollars. In reality, its VC didn’t have what it takes to stand up to bullies who want to limit intellectual boundaries. However there is an excellent outcome – passionate PUBLIC discussion about Western Civilisation, and Tony Abbott has hit the spot yet again.
If Abbott is blame for the rejection of Western Studies supported by the Ramsay Centre how do you explain the established hate of all things western and conservative in our universities, that is so sensitive that one Statement is used as an excuse to reject the studies. The problem is not Tony Abbott, the problem is entrenched and generational anti western academics riding roughshod over weak and like minded administrations. Government should defund these state universities, pay funding assistance to students to use at private universities that provide diverse studies without political bias.