Saving Visual Art Education at the University of Sydney

Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) is Australia’s leading contemporary art school with a distinguished cultural legacy, spanning 40 years of providing tertiary visual arts education in Australia. The practice-led curriculum, world class facilities and teaching staff of SCA are the core contributing factors to the college’s ranking in the top ten art schools in the world.

SCA is currently under threat of closure by its own “parent company” the University of Sydney.

On June 21st, 2016 all enrolled SCA students (roughly 700) received an email from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor stating that a Heads of Agreement had been signed by the NSW State Govt, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales on the subject “creating a leading centre for visual art and design” and that as of semester 1, 2017 all students would have their degrees delivered by UNSWAD, a design school that offers no product resembling the courses we are currently enrolled in. All attempts to obtain a copy of this agreement have been to no avail.

If the proposed changes were to take place, students will not receive the degrees that they have started with their institutional provider, as per the Course Resolutions. This change, if legal, is catastophic not just to current and prospective undergrad and post-grad students, academic, administrative and technical staff and alumni of SCA but also to the future of visual arts education in NSW and Australia.

The Let SCA Campaign is a coalition of student, staff and community stakeholders with the common goal of saving Sydney College of the Arts and visual arts education at the University of Sydney.

We refuse to accept the absurd proposal tabled by the University of June 21st.
By unanimous resolution, all SCA students have agreed to five enshrined principles:

1. We demand that ALL NEGOTIATIONS involving Sydney College of the Arts between; the State Government of NSW, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales referred to in the secret “Heads of Agreement” CEASE IMMEDIATELY!
2. All SCA TEACHERS &TECHNICIANS STAY!
3. The SCA FACILITIES currently in use at STAY!
4. Our STUDIO BASED PRACTICE model STAYS!
5. The COURSE RESOLUTIONS published in our respective handbooks at the time of our enrolment STAY and must be delivered by USyd!

The student body unanimously passed a NO CONFIDENCE vote in the Dean of SCA, Professor Colin Rhodes.