Chanting “Michael Spence, you will fail, USyd is not for sale!”, students opposing the vice chancellor’s support for the Ramsay Centre made their point outside the University of Sydney administration building on October 31.
Speakers condemned the discussions between university management and the board of the right-wing Ramsay Centre think tank, which aims to set up a degree in “Western Civilisation”.
The late conservative philanthropist Paul Ramsay, who made his fortune from privatised medicine and aged care, set up the Ramsay Centre to counter alleged left-wing bias in arts and humanities in higher education.
The centre is chaired by former Liberal PM John Howard, and includes on its board another former conservative prime minister, Tony Abbott.
The Australian National University (ANU) has already rejected a Ramsay Centre offer to situate its course in that institution.