Swiss design college closes

Switzerland’s Art Center College of Design (Europe) closed last week. The privately funded college’s 500 design students have been given the option of completing their studies at the college’s parent school in the US.

Switzerland’s Art Center College of Design (Europe) closed last week.

The privately funded college’s 500 design students have been given the option of completing their studies at the college’s parent school in the US.

The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, founded the Swiss college in 1986. Art Center (Europe) president David R Brown describes the college’s closure as “the most wrenching decision of my entire professional life”.

“There were many factors that probably held us back. They included the persistent European recession and our inability to compete for students with other design schools in Europe which are state-supported,” he says.

John Littlewood, director of the college’s board of trustees, says that if the college were to “slash costs deeply enough to become economically viable, it would lose its ability to provide a high-quality education in design”.

According to the college, recession led to low enrolment. Donations have decreased and shortfalls between operating costs and revenue have been covered by loans from Pasadena.

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