New book by campaigner offers a behind-the-scenes look at Dartington College of Arts
A new book on the history of the Dartington College of Arts from its earliest days is the first to try to piece together the story behind its departure from Dartington in 2010.
Its author is Sam Richards, who was a founding member of the Save Dartington College Campaign that opposed the college’s move to University College Falmouth.
In Dartington College of Arts: Learning by Doing – A biography of a College, Richards, who was a student at Dartington College of Arts (DCA) and a part-time lecturer, celebrates the college’s life story across all its departments drawing on the recollections of staff and students, and also seeks to unpick what led to its relocation to Cornwall.
The narrative is assembled through the views of college alumni, former staff, management and governors as well as former Dartington Hall Trust CEO Vaughan Lindsay in the attempt to create a frank account of many opposing perspectives and interpretations of events. The departure of the college runs through the book, and conveys the huge sense of loss felt by many at the college’s relocation to Falmouth.
Richards also covers the wider education funding policy context in which the DCA was deemed as ‘at risk’ by its main funder, the Higher Education Funding Council, in the 2000s. This was after a financial rescue package in 1990, and Richards argues that the small college had difficulties meeting education system requirements for economies of scale.