Sponsor a Scholar

The Academy 2015

University as it should be: three days this summer

The Institute of Ideas set up The Academy in 2011 as a residential summer school with the immodest ambition of defending scholarship in an age of impact statements and instrumental approaches to education. We were particularly concerned about the humanities being measured out by the yard and forced to justify themselves in terms of the difference they might make to social mobility or GDP or whatever the latest fashionable target is this week. We believe education must fixate on content, not object or process. And we think that we should not be embarrassed to pursue truth and beauty just because they are there, and not to ask what they might do for us.

We also believe that if we need anything today it is a new generation of public intellectuals to turn ‘a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits.’ And that it is incumbent on those of us who still remember what universities used to be like to try and point this generation in that direction.

The Academy is a three-day residential that offers a real intellectual (re)treat: a chance to cultivate ourselves with the help of good books, good teachers, and in good company. Participants have the chance to follow a course of lectures in either Classics, Literature or History over three days while everyone attends a further four lectures in the history of ideas. All the lectures relate to theme for the whole event and in addition there are a number of optional short lectures on the Sunday afternoon.

We want to allow students to take part, especially students in full-time education. We set up a Scholarship scheme in 2012 and were able to subsidise 45 students to attend out of our own money. In 2013 we extended this to 52 places. Scholars pay only £60 towards the full cost of attendance. They submit a 500-word essay to try and win a place against tight competition and are entitled to an extra day of lectures before the main event starts.

Education of course is priceless. But not necessarily free… We ask our lecturers – many of them eminent scholars – to waive their usual fees. And we try and keep room and board costs as low as possible: this year at just £475 for 3 night’s full board and four days of lectures. We don’t make a profit on the event ourselves. We are repeating the scholarship scheme this year and are asking your help to allow us to let as many scholars as possible attend.

Sponsoring a scholar costs £360 with the IoI matching the scholar’s contribution of £60. If you would like to sponsor a Scholar please use the links on the right. Of course we hope that you will be able to attend yourself as well as giving someone else the chance but, if not, letting someone else take your place is at least the next best thing.




Sponsor an Academy scholar: £360

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Make a donation towards a scholar’s costs £

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