Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Art school merger defeated but threats remain

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Sydney University’s art school (The Sydney College of the Arts) was slated to merge with the University of NSW Art and Design school and the National Art School in Darlinghurst.

Students and alumni were vehemently opposed to the plans and have undertaken a campaign of demonstrations against the proposed mergers. The campaign had a win with Vice Chancellor Michael Spence from Sydney University announcing that the proposed mergers would no longer go ahead.

However, there are plans afoot to close the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) Rozelle campus and move the college to the main Sydney University campus in 2017. In recent weeks students have occupied the Rozelle campus in opposition to these plans. They do not want to see SCA folded into the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences, with no new students being accepted in 2017 for the Bachelor in Visual Arts course.

This is part of a push towards a corporate model to consolidate faculties from 16 to just 6. The university’s governing body was able to push this through last December, in secret meetings when staff and students were on holidays. These mergers, closures and restructures are not in the interests of students, and must be fought at every turn.

By Dane Letcher