RAISON D’ÊTRE / MISSION STATEMENT
Akademia is a Christian, classical and autonomous higher education institution rooted in and serving the Afrikaans language and cultural communities.
Akademia strives to provide an academic home where both the mind and the heart are shaped with a view to a free future.
Akademia is a universitarian space where the fruit of the Christian faith is manifested through love for God and fellow human beings. Faith in the Triune God offers hope for a better life, now and in eternity.
Akademia builds continuously on that which we have received from the past to pass it on in an enhanced state to the generation to come.
Akademia is characterised by the ongoing pioneering work done by the institutions students and staff.
Akademia is committed to the communities. It is a commitment characterised by cordiality and justice in the context of each individual who comes into his or her own.
Akademia strives for the development of knowledge and wisdom. The pursuit of knowledge and wisdom is not finite, but in conjunction with the classical university tradition points to an endless adventure and gain.
Whilst Akademia is a modern, future-oriented higher education institution, we at the same time adhere to the classical university system and the educational ideals that underlie it.
A Christian higher education institution
Akademia plays a leading role in contemporary university life in an open, unencumbered and critical manner.
From Christian points of departure, Akademia accepts that there is no unbridgeable gap between faith and reason. Without faith, reason is reduced to a mere instrument of control and exercise of power (while faith is reduced to an irrational matter without thought).
Formulated in positive terms: With its anchors in faith, reason is enabled to ask about the nature of the entire creation reality in its unfathomable goodness, truth and beauty.
Akademia is committed to the ideals of the classical university as it came into being in classical Greece and the Middle Ages and found its place in the modern Western university.
At the core of the classical university the idea is encapsulated that the mind reaches its full potential when it a) is open and perceptive to the wonder of the whole of reality and b) interrogates as to the nature and true reality by means of critical dialogue.
Akademia is an Afrikaans higher education institution. Akademia in other words offers its lectures as well as its research in one of the most developed university languages of the modern era.
Akademia is a community university following the example of prominent community universities elsewhere in the world, with the mission to serve the academic ideals of a specific language and cultural community.
As a community institution, Akademia strives to maintain good relations and mutual cooperation with universities in South Africa and elsewhere in the word of universities. The concepts “community” and “global” are not in opposition. On the contrary, the specific community universities and the global universities should rather be seen in an interdependent context.
Private higher education institution
Akademia is a private and autonomous higher education institution. As such, it is not dependent on government and its multitude of affiliations and current political tendencies. In accordance with economic philosophy, Akademia is managed using the best possible practices within the context of the free market.
Excellent professional and career-directed training
Akademia is committed towards excellence in providing in the need of professional training. Akademia sees to it that Afrikaans students successfully enter the labour market in its multiplicity of variety.
Underlying Akademia’s commitment to excellence in training, is its calling – and especially the ideal that students should in and through their careers also be called to be a Biblical “light to the world”.
The classical ideal of education
Akademia is likewise committed to the classical ideal of education as it emerged in traditional universities.
At the heart of the classical educational ideal lies the thought that students should not only be specialists within a specific discipline, but that they should at the same time have insight in the totality of things. In terms of the classical educational ideal, this insight is identified with the quest for wisdom.
Akademia also investigates the ways in which the so-called tradition of the great books of the Western World (including literature, history, theology, philosophy, economy, mathematics, physics and chemistry) should take their place in its task as an educational university.
The latter is underpinned by the expectation that training and education will take place from the ground phase, concomitant with increasing emphasis on specialisation and career-directedness.
As with its commitment to education, Akademia’s commitment to outstanding education is motivated by the calling to be a “light to the world”.
Research and lecturing
Universities over the world are characterised by tension between research (the theoretical work of universities) and lecturing (the practical work of universities). Research is increasingly gaining an independent role, with the result that less value is accredited to lecturing, at the cost of the students. In so doing, theory and practice become detached from each other in an extrinsic manner.
Akademia is not only committed to excellent research and lecturing, but also realises the necessity of establishing and developing both these functions in their intrinsic connectedness. At Akademia the important work of research supports the equally important work of lecturing.
Culture of openness and the role of questioning
Despite the claims of existing universities that they are forums of openness, tolerance and critical dialogue, they are, ironically, controlled by politically correct prescriptions and ideology-driven programmes.
Akademia sees itself as a forum that facilitates and enables unrestricted and critical dialogue. At the heart of this objective is the central role that Akademia and lecturers allocate to questioning in their lectures. In the same way as community universities in the USA, such as Baylor University and Hillsdale College, Akademia embraces the thought that the central place of questioning during lecturing is an important reason why the latter is characterised by academic vibrance, a sense of experimentation and the adventurous quest for the truth.
In short, in and through the central place that questioning holds, and owing to the dialogue elicited by this, the lecturing at Akademia exercises magnetic power on students.
Akademia embraces the point of view that the way in which it is embodied in its architecture as a university, is not merely a secondary phenomenon that can be seen as a mere appendix to the being of the institution.
On the contrary, just as there is an inseverable tie between theory (research) and practice (lecturing), there is likewise an inseverable tie between the inner being (the true nature of the university) and the external being (inter alia symbolised in the architecture of being a university).
Akademia strives to embody its Christian and classical nature in the best possible practices of the architecture as a university in the future.
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