This week, with so many HSC students thinking seriously about their future after school, it seemed the perfect opportunity to examine the history of one of Sydney’s more historic educational institutions – Sydney Technical College.
Sydney Technical College, which is today one of the seven campuses of TAFE NSW Sydney Institute has a remarkable history, and indeed was central to the establishment of the TAFE system. The college was established in 1878, as an addition to the Sydney Mechanics School Of Arts, but it wasn’t long before the colonial government of NSW took over. At this stage, the College operated from several buildings around Sydney, but in 1891 they moved into their new, purpose built premises in Ultimo. The early courses offered aimed to teach the working classes about the scientific basis of the various trades, but as time went by, there were additional courses, including those aimed at the middle and upper classes. Many of these courses focused on literature, philosophy and art. Eventually, the Sydney Technical College was the largest educational institution in the whole of NSW, and indeed it was from this college that UTS, the University of New South Wales and the National Art School emerged.
Today, of course, TAFE institutions offer an extremely wide range of subject areas, and what was once the Sydney Technical College is just one institution of a huge network.