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Toward the creation of a new form of

university in Australia

The central part of the mission of the Education for Social Renewal Foundation (though its corporate trustee Archeus Social Ltd) is to assist the creation of a university in Australia inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner. Archeus Social Ltd is also the trustee of Archeus Social Building Fund and Archeus Social Scholarship Fund. All four entities are charities.

In 2024, under the auspices of the Education for Social Renewal Foundation, a feasibility study of a new university in Western Australia was completed. The identification phase of this initiative went by the name Indus Project. The Executive Summary of this study is as follows:

FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF ARCHEUS SOCIAL LTD.

The company’s charitable purpose is to advance the education of the public based on the Educational Philosophy of Rudolf Steiner:

….. for the purpose of establishing a tertiary institution or institutions in Australia based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.

…..  educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner includes Rudolf Steiner’s pedagogical principles and the idea of the threefold social order.

.... by facilitating conferences, seminars or other forums through which teachers from Rudolf Steiner Schools and/or the general public can be educated about the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner.

To view or download the complete 102-page feasibility document, click this icon.

This feasibility document is presented to the world freely and with no copyright or obligations involved. It may be applied in any way which most suits a particular situation or country.

For anyone who wishes to follow up on this feasibility study, please contact the Education for Social Renewal Foundation; click here.

INDUS PROJECT IDENTIFICATION PHASE - Executive Summary

The Indus Project is a pioneering tertiary educational initiative feasibility-researched for Western Australia, designed to meet the needs of students globally. It offers a unique, multi-dimensional campus that redefines curriculum, teaching methodologies, and social formation, responding to unprecedented social and environmental challenges. As global anxieties about ecological degradation and digital advancements grow, traditional universities face significant financial, cultural, and technical pressures. They struggle with maintaining relevance in a rapidly changing world, hampered by legacy structures and a dominant post-modern, left-leaning worldview that questions traditional epistemological foundations.

The Indus Project seeks to transcend these limitations by embracing a holistic and phenomenological approach to education, inspired by philosophers like Rudolf Steiner and Johann von Goethe. This approach emphasizes perceiving deeper, often invisible, aspects of reality beyond mere physical appearances. The university aims to foster clear, deep perception, integrating intellectual, emotional, and creative development in its students. It contrasts the prevalent educational paradigm by promoting human freedom and individuality through minimal lectures, research-focused seminars, and learning experiences that engage the whole person.

The campus itself will reflect these values, featuring ecologically sustainable, organic buildings and landscapes that support the human body, soul, and spirit. It will include agricultural areas, artisan studios, and educational facilities that encourage collaborative learning and work.

 

Philosophically, the Indus Project draws from Steiner's Anthroposophy, which views the human being as comprising seven aspects, four of which are crucial for education: the physical body, vital forces, moral forces, and individual forces. These aspects develop through distinct life stages, with the university playing a key role in nurturing their full maturation. This holistic development aims to produce individuals who are not only academically proficient but also socially responsible and capable of ethical individualism.

Steiner's social impulse, known as the threefold social order, underpins the university's educational and social framework. This concept envisions a balanced society comprising three interrelated spheres: the economic, political-administrative, and socio-cultural. Each sphere operates independently but in harmony, fostering a healthy civil society. The Indus Project integrates these principles, aiming to create an educational environment free from excessive government and economic control, thus promoting genuine cultural and spiritual freedom.

The Indus Project represents a revolutionary model for tertiary education, addressing the limitations of contemporary universities by fostering holistic human development and practical phenomenology. It seeks to prepare students for the future by nurturing their intellectual, emotional, and creative potentials, ultimately contributing to a more balanced and enlightened global society.

Click here.

 

PROSPECTUS

AS OF JULY 2024

 

This prospectus presents four phases in the creation of a new form of university, global in context and potentially taking shape in many different countries. It represents the approach being taken by Archeus Social Ltd (the Education for Social Renewal Foundation) and it can be the approach of others. However, it is not necessarily the blueprint for all strategies.

 

Archeus Social Ltd will play a role in this global outreach in order to fulfil one of the goals of its constitution which is to facilitate conferences, seminars or other forums.  In practical terms the activities it supports will be focussed in Australia; the Foundation can only pass on tax deductible donations to Australian educational organisations.

IDENTIFICATION PHASE

OUTREACH PHASE

CONSOLIDATION PHASE

COMPLETION PHASE 

1. IDENTIFICATION PHASE - INDUS PROJECT. Production of a feasibility document for a new university as first conceived in Western Australia. COMPLETED IN 2024.

2. OUTREACH PHASE

This is where we currently stand. At this point the prospectus is a key, for it can be shared and disseminated far and wide. We are seeking to help facilitate the formation of networks of people who potentially are students of the university. This is something many people can assist with through social media and other forms of dialogue and exchange. In this sense this university will be a creation of very many people.

 

Key questions in this phase: What can bind these networks into a unity? What will help people identify and recognise this university initiative as an exciting pathway toward awakening and growing into one’s principal task in life? The following outreach methods, among others, can be used:

 

Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, FaceBook sites, YouTube Shorts, webinars, conferences, seminars.

When groups or networks of people form communities of interest, different activities can bind and sustain their interest and intentions. One central activity is Atelier for the Social Quest - click here. This is the orientation course for the university; it can be undertaken by a group before or after enrolment at the university. It can be worked with very part-time, for minimal cost. These first modules of Atelier for the Social Quest take you into the form of thinking cultivated at the university – an imaginative, living thinking in which the scientific and the artistic are intimately connected. The whole task of the university will thereby be understood; its unique path of learning will already be entered into.

 

3. CONSOLIDATION PHASE

This phase will commence when the level of interest reaches a threshold point, and a significant number of enrolments take place; then the university can commence its work.

 

The university could have three founding faculties – architecture, biodynamic/organic agriculture, economics. These three span the social organism: 

ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE (developing or inspired by the indications of Rudolf Steiner) is principally within the cultural-spiritual sphere of social life.

BIODYNAMIC/ORGANIC AGRICULTURE bridges the cultural-spiritual and the economic spheres. It is (or can be) an economic form of production, but its methodology relates it to the spiritual nature of nature and humanity.

ECONOMICS/BUSINESS (connected to Rudolf Steiner’s social indications) is firmly within the economic sphere.

 

LECTURES

Every week there will be one one-hour lecture delivered online, prior to the research seminar of the week. This lecture can be viewed individually, at a time convenient for the student. However, it is strongly recommended that it is viewed in an unhurried, meditative atmosphere and that notes are taken in a journal.

SEMINARS

The individual research in connection with the course of study will take place by means of the seminars. This research will be intensely practical. Supported by the lectures and course material, along with readings, it is the initiative of the individual student which is the key to the seminar work. Whichever the subject, the research can take the form of a year-long project through which the student can gain greatly from experiential learning.

All seminars are in-person and there is flexibility how this can happen. For those living within or near city centres, the university will organise the venue. Students outside those centres (in rural areas) can gather their own seminar group which must be no smaller than five. If it exceeds twelve it should be divided in two.

There are two seminars per week, for every week of the semester. One will be devoted to individual research development; the other will be group work on the orientation course.

Research seminars – 2 hours per week. In the city centres the research seminar will be with the tutor physically in attendance. In locations outside city centres the student participants will need to be present in person and the tutor can be present online.

In the research seminar the course work of the week is discussed and individual research projects developed, leading to the production of a thesis over a year or two-year period.

Orientation course seminars – 2 hours per week. This seminar is considered a studio or atelier – a social art studio. This orientation course is called Atelier for the Social Quest; it is a schooling in thinking – living, imaginative thinking. The course work in self-managed by the students in the seminar group. The three foundation modules – Nature, Society, Self – are undertaken in this order. Then the student can choose a module in relation to her or his course of study: Architecture, Biodynamic Agriculture, Economics. Each module is self-organised to last the entire period of semester, the four modules in this way completed over two years.

At the end of each semester orientation course journals will be submitted to the tutor for comment (not for numerical grading).

 

END OF YEAR PRESENTATION

These presentations will be conducted in a location in the city centres, for all students. They are held at the end of the year, over a number of weekends. Students from outside the city centres will need to journey to those centres for this occasion.

This presentation will be well-prepared formal events involving the student presentation followed by a question and answer session (the whole, for each student, lasting an hour). No numerical mark will be awarded; however, a written report will be made by the tutor and an independent assessor asked to attend (selected by the tutor in consultation with the student). A video recording will be made of the presentation, for potential use by the student. An expert from the relevant area can be invited to attend and provide feedback.

The following links are to students in Steiner (Waldorf) schools in Australia, presenting the results of their year-long Class 12 projects. This shows the general format of what the end-of-year presentations at the university will be. The difference is that the university presentations deal with a significantly more mature level of specialised research within a faculty. In many cases the university-level research will be a preparation for a profession. To see the style of presentation, as carried out in Rudolf Steiner schools, click here and here.

ASSESSMENT

At the end of a one-year or two-year course of study, each student will have:

 

  • a thesis deriving from work in the research seminars (this this will involve a creative aspects beyond just text – for example, video material or other records of activities).

  • a journal resulting from work in the orientation course.

  • a written account by the tutor and invited assessors of the research presentation along with a video record of the presentation.

4. COMPLETION PHASE

 

This is the creation, in Australia, of one or more physical campuses. As far as the Education for Social Renewal Foundation is concerned, the picture of the Completion Phase is given in the Indus Project Feasibility study, which comprises the Identification Phase of this prospectus (see above).

 

Standing within the Outreach Phase, it is impossible to predict how long it will take to reach the Completion Phase. Lectures, seminars, assessment and end of year presentations will all be essentially the same in the Completion Phase. However, many dimensions of university life will be added to this, to make the campus truly a vibrant “little city” and a profound expression of the human threefold social organism.

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