Creative media school to shut down next October

SAE Creative Media Institute says closure is due to rising costs and declining enrolment

After 25 years of operation in Singapore, the SAE Creative Media Institute will close in October next year due to rising costs and declining demand for its courses.

Its director, Mr Alexander Gehrig, said all of its current students will complete their courses by then. Its 14 teaching staff will also see the courses through to completion. He told The Straits Times that it now has 110 full-time students - about half of whom are Singaporeans - in its diploma and degree courses awarded in partnership with Britain's Middlesex University.

The courses are in audio engineering, film production and animation and games design.

Mr Gehrig said that the school, located in Upper Circular Road, had trained more than 3,000 students in Singapore since it started.

It had been facing "increased competition from other institutions and enrolments had been declining for the past few years".

The SAE Institute branch, set up here in 1989, was the first Asian campus in the school's network.

The creative and new media institute first started in 1976 in Sydney, Australia. It now has more than 50 campuses in various countries.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Joseph Anthonysz, deputy chief executive of SAE Global, said: "We believe it is in the best

interests of our students to close the campus in the next 12 months rather than compromise on the standard of services, infrastructure and student experiences that we provide.

"We will be exiting the Singapore market on a high note, having established SAE as a pioneer in creative media education in Asia."

He said SAE was leaving Singapore in a "planned and controlled way" and that all its obligations to staff, students, suppliers and other stakeholders will be honoured.

The Council for Private Education (CPE) said in response to queries that it had been informed by the school on its voluntary closure.

A spokesman said that its priority is ensuring there is minimal disruption to existing students' studies. "We note that SAE Institute plans to close only after its existing courses have ended, so that its students are able to complete their courses according to the terms of each student contract," she said. "CPE is closely monitoring the arrangements for these students."

Mr Xavier Low, who graduated from SAE Institute in 2012, said he was very surprised that the school was closing down.

"They're quite established and some of their alumni are doing well here in the industry, so I never thought they'd close down," said the 27-year-old product specialist who works in a local photographic equipment company.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'Creative media school to shut down next October'. Print Edition | Subscribe