Work component now a must for Nafa students

Students performing in a play at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts' 80th anniversary celebration gala dinner at Marina Bay Sands yesterday. It was attended by 700 people, including President Halimah Yacob.
Students performing in a play at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts' 80th anniversary celebration gala dinner at Marina Bay Sands yesterday. It was attended by 700 people, including President Halimah Yacob.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Diploma students at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) will have to complete an internship, industrial attachment, industry project or community project from July 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. Modules offered will vary based on their disciplines.

The requirement has kicked in this year for the dance and arts management courses.

Other students will complete their IBL next year

The initiative was among several announced at Nafa's 80th anniversary celebration gala dinner at Marina Bay Sands yesterday. It 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 choose between completing their OIP - a two-to five-week programme conducted overseas - at either of two universities in China - the Beijing Institute of Technology or 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 get credits towards their diploma upon completion.

Ms Low said it would "allow them to gain critical and global exposure to new ideas and innovations".

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 these 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2018, with the headline 'Work component now a must for Nafa students'. Print Edition | Subscribe