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Abstract

“ABSENCE OF A LARGER VISION” Tan Le, 1998 Young Australian of the Year, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald on 3 March 1999: Let me illustrate from my experience. I have just completed a law degree. One reason why I (and many others) chose law was because I believed a law degree would enable me to contribute in a special way — to do what I could to make a better world. But nothing in the entire law curriculum addressed the issue in a serious and engaging way … Young people are not being educated to take their place in society. They are being trained in a narrow body of knowledge and skills that is taught in isolation from larger, vital questions about who we are and what we might become. There is, in other words, a complete absence of a larger vision, and many young people who enter the university in the hope of learning how to make a better world find out that this is not a consideration. This lack of vision prevails not just in tertiary education. Our society has replaced vision with what might be called a rationale. A rationale is more pragmatic, smaller in scope, less daring and does not fire the heart or capture the imagination …

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