Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Education, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, has called the approval of a Ramsay Centre linked degree on Western Civilisation by the University of Wollongong 'outrageous' and a slap in the face for students and academics. Senator Faruqi is a former academic.
Senator Faruqi said:
"This is an outrageous move by the university and a real slap in the face for students and academics who have real and legitimate concerns about the Ramsay Centre.
"The lengths the University of Wollongong will go to in order to bypass their academic review processes are quite extraordinary and deeply worrying. This sends a message that any organisation with a big enough cheque book can achieve extraordinary influence over our universities.
“I share the National Tertiary Education Union’s concerns about this whole process and the way the University of Wollongong has disregarded its academic staff and broader academic community.
“Other universities have refused the Ramsay Centre’s money because they know that it is bad for academic independence. It is really disappointing to see the University of Wollongong not following their example.
"The Ramsay Centre appears to want nothing more than to churn out students with an uncritical view of Western Civilisation, and they’re willing to shower our public universities with huge amounts of money to make that happen," she concluded.