February 8, 2017

Sydney College of Arts Move Delayed Two Years

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA–Following student protests in September and October and negotiations over the past year about Sydney University’s plan to close the Sydney College of the Arts Callan Park campus, the university has chosen to delay any relocation until 2018, reports Andrew Taylor of the Sydney Morning Herald. The school will relocate from Callan Park in the Rozelle section of Sydney to facilities on the main campus of the University in Camperdown.

The University first planned to close the art school in 2015 because of the increased financial commitment of maintaining Callan Park’s historic buildings, as well as its relative isolation from the main University of Sydney campus. The university then tried, unsuccessfully, to merge the school with Sydney’s other art colleges at the University of New South Wales and the National Art School.

National Tertiary Education Union branch president Kurt Iveson doubted facilities on the Camperdown campus could adequately support the College of Arts and was wary of the university’s plans for rehabilitating the program with “spill and fill” teaching positions. “Based on the last 12 months of shenanigans about the SCA’s future, we don’t really have much faith in senior management at Sydney University to make that call,” he said.

During deliberations over the merger, contracts for much of the Sydney College of Arts faculty were not renewed and SCA dean Colin Rhodes resigned over cuts to staff and student services. No new students were admitted to commence study at SCA in 2017. Currently, 350 students total are enrolled in the college’s graduate and undergraduate divisions.

A spokeswoman for Sydney University said that the university has initiated consultations with staff and students to facilitate a successful transition to Camperdown. “One of the guiding principles will be to ensure that the design of SCA’s new facilities supports the studio-based pedagogical needs of visual arts teaching.”

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