National Institute of Circus Arts
The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is the only government-accredited tertiary educational institution that provides professional training in contemporary circus arts in Australia. It is a subsidiary of Swinburne University of Technology and is based at the university's Prahran campus.
|Swinburne University of Technology|
|Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence|
|Executive Director||Rose Stephens|
NICA is a registered cultural organisation and a member of the Australian Roundtable for Arts Training Excellence. Many of its graduates have gone on to work in international and national circus companies, including Circus Oz and Cirque du Soleil.
NICA was established in 1995 by Swinburne University of Technology after a study revealed there was enough demand for a national body. The first course, a Diploma of Circus Arts, began in 1999 with eight participants from an unrenovated warehouse at Docklands. In 2001, the first Bachelor of Circus Arts course was offered with 23 students entering the course and the first degrees being conferred in 2003. In 2005, the institute moved into a new $10 million NICA National Circus Centre constructed at the Prahran campus of Swinburne University. The centre was funded jointly by the Australian Government, Swinburne and the Pratt Foundation.
The institute's core training offering is a three-year Bachelor of Circus Arts. The institute also offers a Diploma of Circus Arts and Advanced Diploma of Circus Arts, along with a number of workshops and short courses.
In 2010, NICA offered a Certificate III in Circus Arts for students combining their circus training with their final two years of secondary school. The academic provider was the VCA Secondary School. NICA also offered Certificate IV in Circus Arts, a one-year program in basic Circus Skills, suitable for school leavers (aged 18 years or older).
In 2011, there were 60 enrolled students.
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