NiTRO Creative Matters

Perspectives on creative arts in higher education

Sydney College of the Arts Final Change Plan released

The University of Sydney has released its Final Change Plan for the Sydney College of the Arts.  Thedocument confirms that SCA will move from its current location to the University’s Camperdown/Darlington Campus on what the university confirms is a ‘reduced footprint’.  The final re-design of the facility is still uncertain but the university expresses confidence that ‘staff have the creative capacity to design a state-of-the-art fit out to underwrite SCA’s ongoing success’. Reversing its original proposal for the withdrawal of jewellery, objects, ceramics and glassmaking for students from 2018, the university now plans to retain some facilities for these in its new location. However this appears to be contingent upon ‘a revised model for delivery and curriculum and a reduced physical footprint’.

The SCA, established originally as a college of the university, will be restructured to become a department of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences located within the School of Literature, Art and Music. The Department Chair, who will also retain the title Director SCA, will report to the Head of School of Literature, Art and Music alongside his or her counterparts in the department of art history and ‘other departments’. Although SCA is ‘envisaged as a single interdisciplinary group of contemporary arts practitioners and researchers’ and that the visual art programs will have a dedicated curriculum, the development and delivery of the curriculum will ‘draw on the expertise’ of the Department of Art History with the appointment of a specialist position who will report to the chair of Art History.

Speaking in the Sydney Morning Herald, DVC Professor Stephen Garton said: “No classrooms will be dedicated to visual arts but SCA will utilise general teaching space from across the campus” acknowledging“a reduction in SCA staff and a reorganisation of roles”.

Staff and students remain concerned about the proposal noting that SCA’s future will depend upon the ‘goodwill’ of the University. The ‘new’ SCA is expected to open in March 2019.

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