Students rally to save the Sydney College of the Arts'

Issue 
Students and staff march through the University of Sydney on July 4 to oppose the closure of the College of Arts. Photo: Liam Ke

Several hundred students and staff of the University of Sydney marched on July 4 to oppose moves to close the Sydney University College of the Arts (SCA), and amalgamate it with the University of NSW. The students then surrounded a meeting of the University Senate, demanding the university administration end its threat to the arts college.

The university officially informed students and staff of the move to dismantle SCA, in the historic Kirkbride campus at Callan Park, Rozelle, and merge it with the UNSW Art Design and the National Art School in Darlinghurst, on June 21.

The Let SCA Stay group said: "The students of SCA have been locked out of negotiations and deliberately misled. SCA is internationally acclaimed for its staff, studio-based practice, facilities and rigorous achievements in interdisciplinary research. We stand to lose everything.

"The NSW government has been systematically eradicating creative institutions, from the TAFEs to SCA and the National Art School. This will be to the detriment of all current and future students. It is a domino effect, and will stagnate and marginalise tertiary arts research across the board.”

SCA students are demanding:
• Stop all negotiations between the University of Sydney, the University of NSW and the NSW state government on visual arts tertiary education and SCA
• No staff cuts. All teachers and technicians to stay
• No changes to course resolutions
• No changes to facilities
• No changes to studio-based practice.

Meanwhile, up to 60 students are reported to be planning to sue Sydney University for "deceptive conduct" allegedly breaching consumer law over the plans to close the Rozelle SCA campus and merge with UNSW.

[A change.org petition, Save Visual Arts Education at the University of Sydney — No to the closure of SCA, is available on-line. For more information go to the Let SCA Stay website letscastay.com.]

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