After the announcement by the University of Sydney that the Sydney College of Arts will move to the main Sydney University campus rather than going ahead with its planned merger with UNSW Art and Design, we're calling on the University to ensure it maintains the unique art practice offered at the SCA.
The decision that the merger will not proceed is a testament to the strength of the community campaign – a merger would have meant the destruction of visual arts at the University of Sydney, and an end to the unique practice undertaken at SCA.
The merger was always unfeasible because of the clash between the philosophies of the two schools. The University of Sydney clearly underestimated this incompatibility. If the University had properly consulted staff and students, they would have discovered the incompatibility of the arts practices at the two schools.
By abandoning the merger they have finally acknowledged that it would have been folly to proceed.
It was always unlikely that UNSW would undertake a full curriculum review in order to accommodate the merger, as they had recently completed their own curriculum review.
The decision by the University now makes it imperative that the government swiftly establishes a trust for Callan Park and implements the Callan Park Master Plan.“While we welcome the decision not to merge, it’s important that the University of Sydney commits to providing proper studio space and facilities to allow for the specific needs of students studying mediums such as glass blowing or sculpture at SCA.
Studio based practice is at the heart of the Sydney College of Arts and is a key factor that makes it unique. It would be very disappointing if the SCA was retained at the University of Sydney but studio based practice was abandoned.