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The Sydney College of Arts will leave its home in the inner west and merge with the University of New South Wales’ Art and Design.
UNSW and the University of Sydney have signed a Heads of Agreement for students at the college at Callan Park, Rozelle, to transfer to one of the courses offered by UNSW Art & Design, or to continue to graduation with their SCA course at the campus in Paddington.
The arrangements will allow currently enrolled SCA students to graduate with a degree from The University of Sydney.
A spokesman for the universities said discussions with the National Art School about increasing its involvement with the arts program will continue once the first step is implemented.
The University of Sydney had already flagged it would be moving the college from Callan Park at the end of the year and the new arrangements will be operational from Semester 1, 2017.
The agreement will allow flexibility for students at both UNSW and Sydney to study individual subjects at the other institution.
A consultation and communication process is underway with SCA staff.
University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence said the proposed deal will help to ensure a strong future for visual art and design education in NSW.
“Both institutions have strengths in the visual arts that can be enhanced through a greater concentration of students and resources, with the result being better visual arts education and research outcomes.”
However, Balmain State Greens MP Jamie Parker said the decision was more about cost saving than it was about arts excellence.
“With the Kirkbride buildings now set to become vacant, the Minister and the Office of Environment and Heritage must commit to urgently finalise the Callan Park Master Plan, establish the Callan Park Trust and allocate adequate funding to safeguard the whole site from demolition-by-neglect or being sold off to developers.”
“Combining these three very different art schools together risks diluting the unique individual strengths of each organisation,” Mr Parker said.
UNSW Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs said it was an exciting step towards the creation of a national centre of artistic excellence that will put NSW at the forefront of art and design education and research in Australia.
UNSW Art & Design alumni include Del Kathryn Barton who has twice won the Archibald Prize and the Blake Prize winner Angelica Mesiti. SCA alumni include Archibald Prize winners Ben Quilty and Cherry Hood.
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