Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts partners University of the Arts London to offer new degree programmes

The new degree programmes are targeted to begin in the 2021/2022 academic year. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Students who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in arts and design will soon have more options.

New degree programmes will be available following a partnership between the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) and the University of the Arts London (UAL).

They are targeted to begin in the 2021/2022 academic year and eligible students can receive government subsidies for the tuition fees for these courses.

Students with A-level certificates as well as those without the relevant diplomas will be allowed to enrol in Nafa's degree programmes for the first time.

Speaking at the Lee Foundation Theatre at the Nafa campus on Thursday (Jan 7) night, Nafa's board chairman, Ms Low Sin Leng, said: "The planned new degree programmes in arts and design will be reflective of the progressive arts education landscape in Singapore.

"Working in close consultation with our industry partners and UAL, the degree courses aim to mould students into holistic arts practitioners."

The number of new degree programmes and course names will be announced later.

The programmes will require students to explore across their specialisms to become versatile artists and designers.

For example, fine artists will have the option to delve into 2D, 3D and 4D media. Design students will be able to take on project work with classmates from different specialisations, while performance-related undergraduates will work across dance and theatre practices in their studies.

(From left) Ministry of Education Second Permanent Secretary Lai Wei Lin, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Nafa Board Chairman Low Sin Leng and Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang talk to Wong Gin Ming about her work You and me.

As part of the programmes, students will get the opportunity to spend five or seven weeks on the UAL campus, Covid-19 restrictions allowing, to learn from the university's academics and practitioners.

They will also gain industry experience by completing mandatory internships, attachments or projects.

The Nafa-UAL collaboration is the first time that the latter, ranked second in the world for art and design in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, is validating degrees outside of the United Kingdom.

The announcement of the partnership comes after the government announced a $55 million Arts and Culture Resilience Package last year to support the arts community through the Covid-19 crisis.

Noting that Nafa is a part of the arts and culture sector that continues to be hit by pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was the guest of honour on Thursday, said: "UAL is one of the top-ranked universities in the world for arts and design. This partnership is a recognition of Nafa's achievements, and the confidence that UAL has in Nafa's ability to deliver programmes that meet UAL's rigour and standards."

UAL pro vice-chancellor David Crow, who addressed the event via video link, said: "More than ever we need creative thinkers to challenge convention, to find new ways of working and enhance our shared culture. In an ever-changing world, it is creativity that will drive us forward and shape a better future for everyone."

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