Australian Catholic University welcomes third intake of Ramsay Scholars

Apr 18, 2023 | Announcements, News & Media

Sydney, 18 April 2023: The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has officially welcomed 34 new recipients of Ramsay Scholarships for its Western Civilisation degree program, the largest new cohort to date.

The 2023 ACU Ramsay Scholars were celebrated at a special reception on its North Sydney campus, hosted by ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Zlatko Skrbis, ACU Provost Professor Meg Stuart, and ACU Director of Western Civilisation Professor Robert Carver.

The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation was represented by its CEO Professor Simon Haines, its Chairman, the Hon John Howard OM AC, and other members of its board and executive.

This is the third cohort of ACU Ramsay Scholars. Thanks to a partnership agreement between the Ramsay Centre and ACU, the high-achieving scholars are supported to complete ACU’s Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree through scholarships worth up to $32,000 p.a. for up to five years. The scholars are taught in small class groups and receive academic mentoring. They also receive funding to participate in an overseas experience.

ACU’s BA in Western Civilisation degree covers a structured and integrated humanities curriculum from antiquity to the present and includes an optional honours year. The degree gives “…ambitious students a deep understanding of western literature, philosophy, art, politics, religion, science, and history, and how these help us to understand our world and the dialogue between cultures.” The degree is also available in combination with a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Teaching (Secondary).

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Skrbis congratulated the new scholars and thanked the Ramsay Centre, saying ACU ‘passionately shared’ its commitment to advance education by promoting the study and discussion of Western civilisation.

“Universities at their best, provide an intellectual environment that encourages open and critical inquiry, and a robust engagement with ideas from both the past and the present,” he said. “This is the approach we take with our Western Civilisation program, and we are pleased to report that the program continues to go from strength to strength.”

Professor Skrbis praised ACU Ramsay Scholars as “unquestionably high-calibre students” and said ACU was excited to be expanding its Western Civilisation program, through the launch of a Master of Liberal Arts (Western Civilisation), in the second semester of 2023, with Ramsay scholarships for up to 10 postgraduate students.

Ramsay Centre CEO Professor Simon Haines congratulated the scholars on their award and choice of ACU’s “exceptional degree”, saying reading of great books expands the mind in a way that tweets, and Instagram could never hope to.

“In this degree you’re going to learn how to read all over again. The books you will be reading will extend you and challenge you as few others can,” Professor Haines said. “The great poet John Milton wrote almost 400 years ago that “a good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit: such books do contain a potency of life in them as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.””

Ramsay Chairman the Hon John Howard OM AC spoke of the incredible generosity and optimism of the late Paul Ramsay AO and his wish for young Australians to better understand the foundation stones of our society.

The Ramsay Centre and ACU entered a partnership in 2020. Worth approximately $50 million over eight years, the partnership enables ACU to offer at least 150 undergraduate scholarships over that period and to hire world-class educators to teach its Western Civilisation program.

Media contact: Sarah Switzer 0407 816 098/

For more information on the Centre please visit our website: