ANU is currently negotiating with the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to develop a new program in Western Civilisation to add to the University's suite of undergraduate programs that includes European studies, Arab and Islamic studies, Asian studies and Pacific studies along with courses in Australian Indigenous studies.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said the program would build on the University's global reputation in humanities and social sciences stretching across literature, classics, history, art, and philosophy.
"The gift of Paul Ramsay is the most substantial gift in Australian history to support the study of humanities. The generous scholarship program will give a diverse group of high-potential students the opportunity to access one of the best educational experiences in the country," Professor Schmidt said.
"Our broad expertise across the humanities and social sciences and reputation for critical inquiry means ANU is best placed to deliver a comprehensive program in Western Civilisation, including a new undergraduate degree."
He said the potential new degree can be combined with a broad range of other subjects or combined in a double degree, creating a tailored interdisciplinary education among the best in the world.
"The quality of our academics and their research is the basis for our global reputation and ability to serve Australia well. Their work is grounded in excellence, critical inquiry and a strong tradition of academic independence, integrity and freedom," Professor Schmidt said.
"These values are fundamental to ANU and we will be working with the Ramsay Centre to ensure they are enshrined in any agreement."
ANU currently has more than 150 courses in Western culture taught by 92 academics in humanities and social sciences. The University will recruit additional academic staff, seeking the best and brightest scholars in the field to teach the new courses developed specifically for this program and complement existing academic excellence.
Professor Schmidt said he looks forward to working with ANU staff and students and the Board and staff of the Ramsay Centre to shape an outstanding and inclusive program that realises Paul Ramsay's vision for a high quality academic program.