SINGAPORE - Diploma students at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts will have to complete an internship, industrial attachment, industry project or community project from July this year if they are to graduate.
The requirement will form part of a compulsory Industry-Based Learning (IBL) component, which aims to expose students to an authentic work environment, where they can then pick up discipline-specific skills and become more employable. Modules offered will vary based on their disciplines.
The requirement has kicked in this year for the dance and arts management courses. Other diploma students will complete their IBL next year.
The new initiative was among several announced at Nafa's 80th Anniversary Celebration Gala Dinner held at Marina Bay Sands on Friday (April 6). The event was attended by 700 people, including President Halimah Yacob.
"Today, even as we adapt to the ever-changing needs and demands of the creative industries, we do not lose sight of our origins and how our legacy was built… (by contributing) to the community through art and using art as a means of social commentary," said Nafa board chairman Low Sin Leng.
Nafa will also beef up its Overseas Immersion Programme (OIP). Currently, students can choose between completing their OIP - a two to five-week programme conducted overseas during the school holiday - at two universities in China, the Beijing Institute of Technology and Xiamen University of Technology.
Tie-ups with three or four more schools in China, Australia and Bangkok are in the works for this year.
OIPs comprise lectures and workshops, industry visits or field trips. Students attain credits towards their diploma upon completion.
Ms Low said it would "allow them to gain critical and global exposure to new ideas and innovations in their field".
To identify and groom students with an aptitude for the arts or who exhibit strong leadership potential, a new Nafa Talent Development Programme was launched this year.
Students will undergo a series of workshops to further develop their qualities.
"We will continue to push the boundaries to stay ahead of the curve, to continue to nurture and develop our students to become leaders in their chosen fields in years to come," said Ms Low.
Programmes lined up this year in lieu of Nafa's 80th anniversary include an arts festival, opera production, commemorative book and homecoming events for alumni.