On 25 February 2019, the UQ Senate endorsed the University’s continued discussions with The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation Ltd (Ramsay Centre) to enter into an agreement to deliver courses on western civilisation.  The Senate also authorised the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor to sign a MOU with the Ramsay Centre provided that the MOU is consistent with the University’s policies and principles, including autonomy over the curriculum, academic appointments, academic freedom, and governance arrangements.

On 7 August 2019, the MOU was signed by the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, and by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer. The MOU sets out the framework and principles on which the parties were prepared to engage with each other to enter into the proposed arrangement in relation to the proposed Extended Major in Western Civilisation (the "Program").

Since the MOU was signed, the University and the Ramsay Centre have negotiated the terms of a formal Philanthropic Agreement.

The philanthropic agreement was signed by both parties, and came into effect on 15 November 2019, and remains consistent with the University's policies of autonomy over curriculum, academic appointments, academic freedom and governance arrangements.

The philanthropic agreement will not be released as it contains information and provisions that are commercial in confidence. However the University is pleased to share the key academic clauses.

Key academic clauses in the philanthropic agreement:

  1. the agreed framework and mechanisms for the creation, delivery and governance of the Program, which will be available in the following two pathways:
    • Bachelor of Advanced Humanities (Honours) (Western Civilisation); and
    • Bachelor of Humanities (Western Civilisation) / Bachelor of Laws (Honours);
  2. the Ramsay Centre’s financial commitments in respect of the Program, and in particular, the terms on which the Ramsay Centre will fund the University to:
    • establish, deliver and manage the Program; and
    • allocate merit-based scholarships to students enrolled on either Program pathway.

The philanthropic agreement is consistent in all material respects with the terms set out in the MOU in relation to the University’s requirement for autonomy over all key governance arrangements in relation to the Program (including academic and intellectual freedom). 

Specifically, the philanthropic agreement provides (in clause 3) that:

“Both the Ramsay Centre and UQ affirm their commitment to the principle of academic freedom and acknowledge that this agreement and the activities contemplated under this agreement must be carried out in a manner that is consistent with UQ maintaining autonomy over all key governance arrangements, including, but not restricted to: course content, teaching standards, quality assurance, student admissions, assessment, examination and graduation of students, selection of scholarship applicants, marketing of the Program, staff appointments, and academic and intellectual freedom, including as set out in UQ Policies and Procedures, Code of Conduct and Enterprise Agreement.”

Amongst other things, and consistent with the Senate’s mandate to the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, the philanthropic agreement also includes provisions to the effect that:

  1. Curriculum (clause 4.2).  The Program (and associated curriculum) will be consistent with UQ’s values, be developed by the staff of UQ, be subject to approval by UQ in its sole and absolute discretion (and having regard to established UQ academic approval mechanisms and UQ policies and procedures), and conform to the normal degree and combined degree structures of UQ;
  2. Scholarships (clause 4.5). The proposed Scholarships will be administered by UQ in accordance with UQ’s policies and procedures, UQ’s established processes, and the Ramsay Scholarship Rules agreed between UQ and the Ramsay Centre. In particular:
    • selection of scholarship recipients each year will be made by a selection panel which will be comprised of a majority of members appointed by UQ, and will include a representative from the Ramsay Centre. The selection panel will be chaired by the Executive Dean of HASS;
    • the selection panel will assess potential recipients based on the Ramsay Scholarship Rules agreed between UQ and the Ramsay Centre;
    • the chair has ultimate authority over the outcome of the selection process, having regard to the agreed Ramsay Scholarship Rules;
    • UQ will be responsible for disbursing scholarships to recipients in accordance with UQ’s usual procedures;
  3. Staffing (clause 4.3). Academic and staff appointments will be undertaken in accordance with UQ’s usual procedures and policies and recruitment processes.  In particular, the Ramsay Centre representative on the selection panel will not have any right of veto over the selection or deployment of UQ staff. All staff will be:
    • under UQ’s sole direction and control;
    • employed by UQ on a range of contracts normally used by UQ;
    • appointed at a range of levels normally used by UQ;
    • assessed by the quality assurance mechanisms that apply to all courses and programs at UQ;
    • paid by UQ in accordance with UQ’s usual processes; and
    • managed by UQ consistently with UQ’s policies and procedures, and in accordance with The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021; and
  4. Quality Assurance (clause 4.3(p)). Teaching, quality assurance, examination, assessment, administration of scholarships, selection of scholarship applicants, graduation, student services and student exchange in connection with scholarship recipients will be undertaken in accordance with UQ’s usual procedures and policies and will be solely under UQ’s ambit and control.