Actively promoting and advocating for quality education in the tertiary art and design sector.

Who we are

ACUADS, The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools is the leading body for the university visual arts, crafts and design disciplines. We play an active role in shaping quality education for artists and designers. ACUADS represents twenty Australian university art and design faculties, schools and departments and other academic units offering university degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The organisation addresses social, economic and cultural policies and discourses affecting the sector.

Our Aims

The primary objectives of ACUADS, The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools are:

Provide leadership to professional education, research and community service in art, craft and design in the higher education sector

Promote quality professional education of artists, crafts practitioners and designers your block.

Identify, develop and foster research in art, craft and design education on a national international basis

Develop policy and advocate on behalf of art, craft and design teaching and research.


ACUADS was established in 1981 (initially as the National Conference of Heads of Arts and Design Schools – NCHADS) as an association of heads of departments, schools and colleges of art and design. NCHADS served as an informal link between executive officers providing support and direction to the development of art and design education in Australia for over ten years. The change of name in 1994 to ACUADS was intended to reflect the location of art and design schools in the National Unified System of Australian Universities. In 2003, membership was extended to include other major TAFE institutions offering degree courses.

Read the history of ACUADS:

From Tech. Ed to Higher Ed.: Professional training of the artist in Australia. A history of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) 1981 – 2015.