I keep saying it, and I’m joking less and less every time I do: time to bulldoze the universities.

I’m not joking any more. The rise of wokeism in tandem with a deplorable dumbing-down of standards was bad enough. Encouraging violent censorship and pandering to the thugs of the Chinese Communist Party for filthy lucre was even worse.

But becoming willing hotbeds of unapologetic and increasingly violent antisemitism should be the last straw.

Our universities have proven themselves totally irredeemable.

Fortunately, someone’s providing a decent alternative.

Setting up new and better universities is the only way to reform a sector riddled with entrenched, extremist left-wing ideology, and is even more important in the wake of the academic world’s response to the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, says historian Niall Ferguson.

A senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Professor Ferguson was in Austin this week to welcome the first cohort of students to enrol at the University of Austin, where he is a founding trustee along with US journalist Bari Weiss. The two have helped launch a private university in the Texan capital that will be permanently free of campus cancel culture and dedicated to free speech and academic rigour […]

“After the events of October 7th, the strange responses we saw on campus, we no longer have to explain why we are building the university,” he said.

All the aftermath of 7 October really did, though, was make plain beyond all doubt what we already knew: universities have failed.

Two Ivy League university presidents – Harvard’s Claudine Gay and University of Pennsylvania’s Elizabeth Magill – resigned last year in the wake of a national outcry over their defence of anti-Semitic protests on campuses on “free speech” grounds.

In Australia, 64 per cent of Jewish students said they had experienced anti-Semitism at university after October 7 – a greater than 20 per cent jump compared with the preceding year according to the Executive Council of Australian Jewry […]

The October 7 attacks and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war triggered an explosion of anti-­Semitic protests on and off campus that shook Americans’ faith in its elite institutions.

Should anyone have really been shocked, though? It’s just history repeating, after all.

Universities were one of the earliest and strongest redoubts of Nazism, too. Along with the medical profession (there were more doctors in the Nazi party than any other profession), universities were enthusiastic boot-boys for the Nazi race-laws. Students led the charge to drive Jews out of academia.

In the 1960s, students were the bloodthirsty footsoldiers of the Cultural Revolution, as well, forming the core of the Red Guards. Their atrocities outdid Hamas’ only in their staggering scale.

The Long March left have successfully white-anted Western universities beyond repair.

Professor Ferguson said the fall of the Ivy League presidents and some academic backlash to anti-Semitism did not mean the old institutions would markedly change course any time soon.

“I don’t think the fact that two of those presidents have since left their positions means the end of wokeness,” he said.

“It’s not in retreat but rather very well entrenched. Declaring victory because Claudine Gay has stepped down (is naive); there will not be any real change in institutions, such as Harvard, which is not an outlier, until not just the president but the whole bureaucracy of diversity, equity and inclusion has been dismantled.”

The Australian

Fire up the D9s, boys: there’s work to be done.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...