UG student lands Institute of Ideas scholarship

Posted on 5 June 2015

Undergraduate Education student Joshua Stubbs has won a prestigious scholarship to attend the Institute of Ideas Academy 2015.


Joshua will receive significant funding to attend the three day summer school and an additional day of lectures especially for scholarship winners. The Department of Education at York will pay the additional attendance fee as part of Joshua's prize.

The aim of the event, open to anyone from 18 to 80+, is to demonstrate the importance of scholarship through an in-depth examination of particular concepts. The theme of the Academy this year, taking place in Bedfordshire in July, is 'the public'. This includes how has the idea of the public been conceptualised and given form through history - from its beginnings in the republics of Athens and Rome, via the city-states of Renaissance Italy, to the definitive emergence of public opinion as a force in its own right in the Enlightenment, through to the massively expanded and mobile global publics of today. Of particular interest will be the relationship of the public sphere to that of the private and the question of the relationship of the individual to society as a whole. What kind of conflict is there between the individual and society and what kind of conflict is involved in the idea of a public itself?

The plenary lectures – on political philosophy this year – will examine some foundational texts, including Aristotle’s Politics, Locke’s Two Treatises, Hegel’s path-breaking conception of the role of private property and the social in constructing the individual in his Philosophy of Right, and de Tocqueville’s classic, Democracy in America. The final lecture of the Academy will ask if the liberal spirit has now retreated from Western public life.

Dr Sarah Olive, Director of Undergraduate Studies, says, “We are thrilled that Joshua has been successful in what is a highly competitive application process. We’re proud to be further supporting his participation in the event. It will develop Joshua’s skills of criticality, expose him to leading thinkers and writers across a range of disciplines, and provide him with the opportunity to create a network of peers and academics nationwide. We hope Joshua will be able to share his experiences with other students in the department, allowing him to pass on the benefits and encouraging more students to apply to similar opportunities that we regularly disseminate.”

Joshua added, “Since arriving at the University of York, the Department of Education has been hugely supportive, filling me with inspiration, confidence and a strengthened desire to learn. Through this opportunity, I hope to continue to explore a broad range of topics, meet new people, and, ultimately, to place myself in a better position for making a positive difference in the world.''