What’s happened to the University? – The Centre for Independent Studies

What’s happened to the University?

Trigger warnings, cultural appropriation and safe spaces. Who decided to bestow guardian status to Australian universities? And why should we let this proliferation of politically correct ideals become the norm, prescribing, censoring or outright banning texts, gagging speech and curbing the exchange of ideas?

The radical transformation that universities are undergoing today is no less far-reaching than the upheavals that they experienced in the 1960s in the US and UK. Today, when almost 50 per cent of young people participate in higher education, what occurs in universities impacts directly on the whole of society. – Frank Furedi

Although we haven’t experienced a transformation as radical as our counterparts in the US and UK, these notions of restricting free speech all in the name of not causing offence will grab hold and cripple our universities.

Join us for an engaging, informed and robust look at how we got here, where we are headed and what the alternative is to this new status quo.

3664756-3x2-460x307Professor Frank Furedi; Sociologist, commentator and author of ‘What’s happened to the University’ and many other books on intellectual culture, the politics of fear, parenting, and education, Frank is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, UK and will be in Australia for The Centre for Independent Studies annual Consilium conference.



mjohnson Professor Marguerite Johnson; Author, researcher and Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classical Languages at the University of Newcastle, Professor Johnson is particularly interested in the ongoing dialogues between antiquity and modernity and holds a keen interest in various facets of the Humanities. Earlier this year Professor Johnson discussed Monash University’s introduction of a more formalised implementation of trigger warnings and holds concerns for what’s next.


steven schwartz

Professor Steven Schwartz; Senior Fellow at the CIS and Board Director at several companies including ACARA and Teach for Australia. Professor Schwartz is the author of 13 books and has served as Vice-Chancellor and president of three universities (Macquarie and Murdoch Universities in Australia, and Brunel University in the UK). He has served as National Chairman of the Fulbright Commission and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Royal Society Exchange and NATO.

Event Details:

When: Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Where: The Centre for Independent Studies, Level 1, 131 Macquarie Street SYDNEY NSW 2000

Time: 5.30 pm for a 5.45 pm start. The event will conclude by 7 pm

Cost: Registrations for this event are free. To secure your place please book on Eventbrite, at www.cis.org.au/events or call (02) 9438 4377.

If you wish to transfer or cancel a booking please advise us of the change at your earliest convenience.

For event enquiries please email reception at office@cis.org.au

For media enquiries please email Karla Pincott at kpincott@cis.org.au

Limited parking is available within the building complex. Online pre-bookings are essential to secure a car spot and discounted parking rate. Please visit the Secure Parking website, select the car park at 131 Macquarie Street and enter the promotion code: CIS10 when making your booking. If you are travelling by train, Martin Place and Circular Quay are the nearest stations to our office, with Wynyard a few minutes further away.