Yesterday in Sydney, the Australian author, journalist and Member of Parliament Peter Coleman launched Campion College’s first major publishing effort (jointly with Australian Scholarly Publishing), On the Purpose of a University Education.
The book comprises essays from a symposium held at Campion College, and include the contributions of Stephen McInerney, Constant Mews, Greg Melleuish, Arran Gare, Geoff Sherington and Hannah Forsyth, and is edited by Luciano Boschiero. The synopsis of the book reads:
Amid unprecedented growth, casualised lecturers, and administrators concerned with profit, we must pause to ask: What should be the university’s goal in offering a degree and the student’s aim when obtaining one? In short, what is the purpose of a university education?
The answers lie at the historical and philosophical heart of Western education, the Liberal Arts—the theoretical sciences and humanities aimed at the attainment of wisdom and a critical mind. With their roots in Classical Greece and their shaping of Europe’s and Australia’s first universities, we cannot afford to ignore the importance of the Liberal Arts to the purpose of a university and its contribution to culture and society
It is hoped that the book, along with Campion’s new blog, Core Conversations, will be able to make a contribution to the public discourse on where universities in the west are going, and the difference an education grounded in the Liberal Arts can make.