On 21 June 2016, Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) and UNSW Art & Design announced to their students that a Heads of Agreement had been signed agreeing to close the University of Sydney's SCA campus in Rozelle and relocate all students to the UNSW Art & Design campus in Paddington from semester 1, 2017. The options offered to continuing students were they could complete their USyd degrees on the UNSW campus, or transfer their degrees to the closest equivalent under the UNSW program.
SCA has occupied the historic Kirkbride complex at Callan Park, for two decades and has extensive art-making facilities at the site, including specialist kilns and glassworks. Around 500 students use the buildings and resources. It has a very different model and set of objective to those of both UNSW Art & Design and the independent National Art School. This range of studio practices and diversity of approach is seen as highly desirable in offering a breadth of choice to those wishing to undertake tertiary studies in visual arts and design.
On 28 July 2016 University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, circulated an email to all students announcing he had terminated the Heads of Agreement between the University of Sydney and UNSW concerning the future of Sydney College of the Arts and instead would be rolling SCA into the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on the Camperdown campus. In early August a draft proposal plan was leaked which outlined:
- Jewellery, ceramics and glassmaking will be discontinued.
- 25 of the 43 FTE positions will be cut.
- There will be no BVA enrolments for 2017.
- All ongoing SCA students will be relocated to the Camperdown campus from the start of 2017.
In response, more than 130 SCA students are pursuing class action against the University of Sydney for alleged breach of consumer law.
In February 2017 it was announced that the shut down of SCA at Callan park would be delayed for two years while new plans and facilities are developed to shift the faculty to the USyd Camperdown campus. No new students were accepted to the BVA program in 2017.
For more information on the campaign, please see below.
On 24 June 2016 it was announced that the Darlinghurst gaol site, long-term home of the independent National Art School (NAS), was transferred from the NSW Department of Education to Property NSW, raising the possibility it could be put up for sale. Rumours circulated that NAS will be folded into UNSW.
On 19 July 2016, the Director of NAS, Michael Snelling publicly announced his resignation.
On 27 July 2016, NAS announced the appointment of Michael Lynch as Acting Director to defend the independence of the historic National Art School.
The appointment of Steven Alderton as director and chief executive of the National Art School was announced in January 2017.
Online Petitions and Groups:
LET SCA STAY
SCAR - Sydney College of the Arts Resistance
Friends of SCA: SAVE SCA
SCA STUDENTS DEMAND ANSWERS: SCAR OPEN LETTER
Save Visual Arts Education at the University of Sydney - no to the closure of SCA!
Friends of the National Art School (FONAS)
NASEXIT - the National Art School should withdraw from amalgamation
In the Media:
Joyce Morgan, National Art School head Michael Lynch calls for support, The Saturday Paper, 26 November 2016
Sydney College of Arts Students Claim Unlawful Conduct by University Management, ArtForum, 21 September 2016
Andrew Taylor, SCA students allege unlawful conduct against University of Sydney, SMH, 20 September 2016
Michaela Boland, SCA dean Colin Rhodes steps down after student ‘lock-out’, The Australian, 15 September 2016
Lesley Munro, Students take action against Sydney University over Sydney College of the Arts closure, SMH, 14 September 2016
Eliza Barr, Sydney College of the Arts dean Colin Rhodes resigns after student backlash against campus move, staff cuts and degree changes, Inner West Courier Inner City, 14 September 2016
Liz Bradshaw, Sydney College of the Arts crisis in context, RealTime Aug-Sept 2016
James Supple, Support floods in as students occupy to save SCA, Solidarity, 9 September 2016
Julie Hare, 138 students make claim against Sydney, The Australian, 8 September 2016
Gina Fairley, An art school is not greyhound racing, ArtsHub, 5 September 2016
Week of 22 August 2016
Osman Faruqi, Australia’s Arts Community Is Getting Behind Students Who Are Occupying A Building At Sydney Uni, Junkee, 23 August 2016
Kathryn Morgan, Sydney University arts students angry over proposed program cuts barricade office, list demands, ABC News, 22 August 2016
Eliza Barr, Occupied: Sydney College of the Arts students take over Callan Park campus to protest closure and staff cuts, Inner West Courier Inner City, 22 August 2016
Week of 15 August 2016
Anthony Klan, SCA students make consumer claim against Sydney university,
The Australian, 17 August 2016
Week of 8 August 2016
Kelsey Munro, Sydney College of the Arts staff face savage cuts, SMH, 11 August 2016
Julie Hare, Jobs cuts flagged for troubled SCA, The Australian, 10 August 2016
Raven Hunan, University of Sydney flags job cuts in plan to move College of the Arts, ABC, 10 August 2016
Gina Fairley, Art school won't take new students, ArtsHub, 10 August 2016
Eliza Barr, Sydney College of the Arts staff to be cut following relocation to Sydney University main campus, Inner West Courier Inner City, 10 August 2016
Tom Joyner, More than 130 students take on Sydney University for alleged breach of consumer law, HoniSoit, 9 August 2016
Outcry Grows as Sydney University Considers Shutting Down Its Art School, ArtForum, 8 August 2016
Week of 1 August 2016
Andrew Taylor, Sydney University angers top end of town with plan to close art school at Callan Park, SMH, 3 August 2016
Matthew Westwood, Artists ‘punished’ for boycott, The Australian, 2 August 2016
Call for independent review of Sydney College of the Arts, SMH, 2 August 2016
Alexi Polden, The privatisation by stealth of Sydney University, HoniSoit, 1 August 2016
Week of 25 July 2016
Gina Fairley, Breaking news: Art school merger is off, ArtsHub, 28 July 2016
Andrew Taylor, University of Sydney terminates art school merger with University of NSW, SMH, 28 July 2016
Gina Fairley, NAS remains in fighting hands, ArtsHub, 28 July 2016
Andrew Taylor, National Art School appoints Michael Lynch to defend institution against merger, SMH, 27 July 2016
Australian artists and students speak out against closure of fine arts college, World Socialist Web Site, 26 July 2016
Elizabeth Colman and Tony Bosworth, Quilty slams arts decision, Inner West Courier - Inner City Edition, 26 July 2016
Week of 18 July 2016
Damien Murphy, Sydney's tertiary art institutions merged: National Art School at Darlinghurst and Sydney College of Arts at Paddington move to UNSW, SMH, 23 July 2016
Joyce Morgan, Grim picture for visual artists and Sydney art colleges, The Saturday Paper, 23 July 2016
Andrew Taylor, NSW government offers no guarantee for the future of the National Art School, SMH, 20 July 2016
Andrew Taylor, National Art School's future in further doubt following departure of director Michael Snelling, SMH, 19 July 2016
Gina Fairley, Shock resignation leaves art school rudderless, ArtsHub, 19 July 2016
Week of 11 July 2016
Eden Faithfull, Let SCA Stay movement stages performance art protest outside Archibald Prize ceremony, Honi Soit, 16 July 2016
Michaela Boland, Suhanya Raffel set to become M+ Museum director in Hong Kong, The Australian, 16 July 2016
Gina Fairley, Protests exploit Archibald Prize announcement, ArtsHub, 15 July 2016
Anthony Albanese joins rally to keep Sydney art college, Nine News, 15 July 2016
Students protest schools' merger at Art Gallery of NSW ahead of Archibald announcement, ABC News, 15 July 2016
Archibald winner highlights tough times, SBS News, 15 July 2016
David takes on Goliath in Sydney Uni battle, ArtsHub, 12 July 2016
Update 6 July 2016
NAVA has called for the University of Sydney to continue to support the Sydney College of the Arts in a letter written to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney and copied to the VC of the University of NSW and the heads of the two art schools. NAVA is taking a delegation of art sector representatives to meet with the Acting Vice Chancellor and Provost Stephen Garton on Friday 8th July. NAVA had also written a similar letter to the Fellows of the University of Sydney Senate on behalf of the Australian visual arts sector to express our very great concern over the proposed ‘merger’ between Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) and University of New South Wales Art and Design (UNSW A&D). Read the full letter here.
Week of 4 July 2016
Jim McIlroy, Students rally to save the Sydney College of the Arts, Green Left weekly, 9 July 2016
Stephen Garton's response to SCAR's open letter, 8 July 2016
Ross Woodrow, The Director’s Palette, Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research July Bulletin
Laura McLean, On the threatened closure of Sydney College of the Arts, Runway, 7 July 2016
Elizabeth Fortescue, Students clash with police over Sydney University and University of NSW’s art campus closure plans, Daily Telegraph, 6 July 2016
Eryk Bagshaw, SCA: Sixty students to take on University of Sydney, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July 2016
Andrew Bell, 300 students protest SCA closure at USyd Senate meeting, Honi Soit, 4 July 2016
Week of 27 June 2016
Elizabeth Farrelly, We're starving our culture with cut after cut, SMH, 1 July 2016
Gina Fairley, Fact Check: Are our art schools closing?, ArtsHub, 30 June 2016
Max Hall and Subeta Vimalarajah, Provost commits to student consultation group to oversee SCA negotiations, Honi Soit, 30 June 2016
Su Baker, Why the University of Sydney art school sale is wrong, The Australian, 29 June 2016
Alexandros Tsathas and Victoria Zerbst, University management face angry staff and students over proposed SCA ‘merger’, Honi Soit, 29 June 2016
Andrew Taylor, 'No friend of the arts': University of Sydney slammed by associate professor for closing art school, SMH, 28 June 2016
Andrew Taylor, National Art School head Michael Snelling says merger with UNSW 'on the cards', SMH, 28 June 2016
Week of 20 June 2016
Rachel Evans, Battle to Save Sydney University's College of the Arts, Green Left Weekly, 24 June 2016
Question from Mr Alexander Hart Greenwich MP to the Deputy Premier, Minister for Justice and Police, Minister for the Arts, and Minister for Racing, NSW Parliament
Anna Frey Taylor, Arts news: Sydney art schools to merge, ABC Radio National Books and Arts, 23 June 2016
Lisa Visentin, Emily Smith, Sydney University art school merger with UNSW sparks outrage among students, SMH, 21 June 2016
Deborah FitzGerald, The Sydney College of Arts based at Rozelle will cease to exist after University of Sydney and University of NSW agree on merger, Inner West Courier Inner City, 21 June 2016
Alexandros Tsathas and Sam Langford, Wheels in motion for SCA merger with UNSW, Honi Soit, 21 June 2016
Gina Fairley, Two Sydney art schools set to merge, ArtsHub, 21 June 2016
Andrew Taylor, Sydney University abandons art school at Callan Park, SMH, 24 November 2015
Deborah FitzGerald and Eliza Barr, Sydney College of the Arts expected to vacate Callan Park site in radical overhaul, Inner West Courier Inner City, 24 November 2015
Andrew Taylor, Mergers not ruled out as Sydney's art schools 'explore opportunities for a closer association', SMH, 8 October 2015
Clarissa Bye, Controversial plan to move National Art School to the western suburbs, Parramatta Advertiser, 25 May 2015
Eliza Barr, College of the Arts denies plans to vacate Callan Park site, Inner West Courier Inner City, 21 May 2015