Recent developments in UK and US universities may provide encouragement for Australian universities who are still seeking to understand the importance of their creative arts disciplines. In the UK, Leicester’s De Montfort University places art and design as the centrepiece of its £136 million campus redevelopment, with an aim that the specialist facilities will help it ‘to be one of the foremost providers of creative higher education in the UK’.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Tufts University has formally absorbed the Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), ending a period of financial uncertainty for the School. Tufts and SMFA have had a symbiotic relationship since 1944, with Tufts providing liberal arts offerings and MFA degrees to SMFA students, and SFMA providing studio arts courses to Tufts students. Tufts President Anthony P. Monaco said: “The fine arts are a critical component of a liberal arts education. Making the School of the Museum of Fine Arts part of Tufts is a unique and compelling opportunity to support and strengthen our academic mission”.
The partnership will make Tufts University one of a select few with an arts program that is directly affiliated with a major museum.