The University of Wollongong has welcomed its second-ever cohort of Ramsay Scholars - whoever they might be.
The university issued a press release on February 26, saying 28 students, out of 70 appplicants, were successful recipients of the scholarship in 2021.
The university declined a request to interview or photograph the students.
A university spokesperson said they had a duty of care not to put the students into the public domain at this stage in their studies.
The Mercury has previously been given access to first-year recipients of other scholarships, such as Indian national Ajay Dalal, who received a Bradman Foundation scholarship in 2015.
Each Ramsay scholarship recipient will be given $30,000 a year for up to five years to cover living expenses and an overseas study trip.
Under the deal UOW signed with the Ramsay Centre, first year scholars also have places guaranteed for them in university accommodation, and a special "Ramsay Lounge" has been established where they can meet for study, socialising and events.
It is the largest scholarship listed on UOW's website - both in amount and in scope.
Financially, the next closest is the Dr Krish and Reddy Indigenous Medicine scholarship, which awards one student $25,000 each year for four years, and in terms of scope and comparable amount the Destination Australia Scholarship, which offers 20 students $15,000 a year for four years.
The university said the selection process was undertaken before ATARs were available, but was "rigorous and comprehensive" and included a written application, an essay, an evaluation of their academic performance and an interview.
"All Ramsay Scholars are high-achieving students who have performed well academically and in their interests beyond the classroom," the media release said.
"Throughout the process, the successful applicants demonstrated a genuine desire to study the great works of Western civilisation."
A university spokesperson likened it to the selection process for early entry, but could not give examples of benchmarks applicants were expected to reach.
"It's more qualitative than that," they said.
"It's a very careful process selecting students who are the right fit."
The students will undertake a Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation in UOW's School of Liberal Arts, established in 2019, supported by a scholarship funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation (RCWC).
The deal between the Ramsay Centre and UOW was subject to controversy from its inception in 2018.
The proposal to run a degree funded and driven by the late health care mogul Paul Ramsay's philanthropic foundation was rejected by the Australian National University before being picked up by UOW.
Many of the students will combine this with a degree in Law, International Studies, Creative Arts or Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
This years' recipients come from as far as Launceston, Tasmania and as close as Horsley, as well as from across metropolitan Sydney.
The 2021 cohort was welcomed at a formal event held in the University Hall, attended by distinguished guests and the 2020 Ramsay Scholars.
The Ramsay Centre published photographs taken at the event on their website.
Distinguished guests included Board Chairman and former prime minister John Howard, fellow directors; former prime minister Tony Abbott, Professor Ann Brewer, Dr Michael Easson AM and chartered accountant Peter Evans.
They were accompanied by the Centre's Chief Executive Officer, Professor Simon Haines, and Academic Director and Deputy CEO, Dr Stephen McInerney.
Mr Howard said how happy the late Paul Ramsay AO would have been to see his vision become a reality.
"I feel a tremendous sense of optimism and enthusiasm today. I am enthused by the spread of new entrants - different backgrounds, different schools, different interests - but with one interest in common," Mr Howard said.
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