Students bunker down in Sydney Uni protest

Anna Hitchings

About a dozen university students are refusing to budge from a Sydney College of the Arts building, where they are preparing to spend a second night in protest at planned cuts to courses and staff.

The students have occupied the top floor of the administration building at Callan Park since 2pm on Monday to protest Sydney University's plan to reduce the number of courses on offer and cut staff numbers by more than half.

The university also hopes to close the Callan Park campus in Sydney's inner west.

The students, who plan to stay barricaded inside until the university responds to their demands, have already developed a nifty way of getting supplies.

"We have a bucket people keep sending stuff up with, like cookies, cake and pizza," student and protest organiser Suzy Faiz told AAP on Tuesday.

"It's amazing - getting food delivered through the window."

Despite her light-hearted comments, Ms Faiz and the other students are determined to stay put until the university responds to their grievances.

"Until they're willing to sit down and talk we're not leaving," fellow organiser Dylan Griffiths told AAP.

Sydney University appears unmoved by the protest, saying it "supports students' right to protest peacefully but its plans for changes to the SCA will remain unchanged".

The proposed changes include staff cuts of up to 60 per cent, an end to ceramics, jewellery, and glass classes and studios, and the closure of the Callan Park campus, which is attended by about 700 students.

The announcement came just weeks after the university backed down on plans to merge its visual arts school with a rival campus following student and staff opposition.

Painting and sculpture lecturer Mikala Dwyer said the occupy movement had inspired her and other arts staff.

"It gives me hope, they're really fighting for it," she told AAP.


  • SCA dean Colin Rhodes be replaced with a representative SCA staff team

  • No cuts to jobs, studios and courses

  • SCA not be moved from the Callan Park campus

  • The Bachelor of Visual Arts for 2017 be reinstated

  • A transparent independent review of Sydney University's financial and constitutional status.