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University should stick with degree despite protests, Education Minister says

Students and staff at an Australian university are protesting a plan to offer a degree on western civilisation.

The Australian National University (ANU) has been in talks with Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to set up an undergraduate degree to study the topic.

But the university’s student union is protesting the move, setting up a petition to block the degree saying it pushes a “racist” agenda.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham says claims made by the union are “frankly ridiculous and quite appalling”.

“What they’re trying to do is actually restrain the academic freedoms and academic integrity that we should see at our universities.

“The great irony of what these union fanatics are doing, is they’re actually undermining the very basis upon which many universities were built.”

Minister Birmingham says ANU should “follow through on their convictions” despite the backlash.

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