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UAL partners with NAFA to launch new degree programmes in Singapore

5 people on stage with NAFA and UAL logos in the fore and background
5 people on stage with NAFA and UAL logos in the fore and background
The agreement was signed by NAFA President Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan (in front), and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts at UAL Professor David Crow (via Zoom). The ceremony was officiated by DPM Heng (second from left), and was witnessed by (from left to right): NAFA Board Chairman Ms Low Sin Leng; Minister of State for Education and Manpower Ms Gan Siow Huang; and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Law and Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Ms Lai Wei Lin.
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
07 January 2021

Today we announced an exciting new partnership between UAL and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore. UAL's Camberwell, Chelsea, and Wimbledon Colleges will work with NAFA to introduce new art and design degrees at NAFA.

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat officiated at the launch of the partnership, held today at NAFA and facilitated via live streaming from the UK. Guests from Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE), National Arts Council and Design Singapore Council were also present.

The new degrees will be developed in close consultation with industry to reflect the progressive arts education sector in Singapore. They will be distinctive in the region as they will require students to explore across their specialisms so they may develop as versatile artists and designers. For example, fine artists will have the option to delve into 2D, 3D and 4D mediums; design students will undertake project work with classmates from different specialisations; and performance-related undergraduates will work across dance and theatre practices in their studies.

We are excited about working with NAFA, a renowned pioneering arts institution in Southeast Asia. Whilst giving us an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience, it also gives us the chance to discover more about the unique Nanyang spirit and art practices from the other side of the globe. The NAFA undergraduates will adopt a transdisciplinary approach as art and design practitioners, while being able to position their works within contemporary cultural, social and historical contexts. Ultimately, both institutions will mutually benefit and grow stronger together.

— Professor David Crow, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Head of Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts
This move signifies NAFA’s intention to inspire learning and growth through the arts with a global perspective. The partnership with University of the Arts London cements our foothold in the world of art and design, with stronger capabilities to take our students to the next level. Art and design aspirants are afforded a chance to pursue their dreams with holistic international experiences while working with the best in their fields. Overall, this effort parallels NAFA’s spirit of creativity and exploration, daring to push for exciting opportunities and discover new educational frontiers. I urge our students to make the best use of it.

— NAFA Board Chairman Ms Low Sin Leng
Performers on stage at ceremony, with UAL and NAFA logos in the background
NAFA's Diploma in Theatre students presented a performance named 'Persahabatan', which means companionship. This item was directed by Muhammad Ruzaini Bin Mazani, Lecturer, Theatre Programme.

Industry experience will be a mandatory part of the curriculum, with students required to complete internships, industry attachments or industry projects. Students will have the opportunity to spend 5 or 7 weeks on international placement at CCW, to study with our renowned academics and practitioners (arrangements pending the COVID-19 situation). There will also be exchange opportunities for development and growth of staff and faculty from both institutions.

The 2-year top-up degrees will allow NAFA students to build upon their education after completing relevant diplomas. A 3-year pathway will also be available for students with A-level or equivalent qualifications, and diploma students without prior relevant qualifications. The courses are targeted to commence from the academic year of 2021/2022.

The idea for the partnership was formed at the start of 2020. Despite international lockdowns and the Circuit Breaker in Singapore due to COVID-19, the collaboration grew from strength to strength to be finalised by the end of the year. This is the first time that UAL is validating degrees outside of the UK.

At today's signing ceremony, NAFA’s Dance and Theatre programmes put on performances and their School of Art and Design showcased a display of 2D, 3D and 4D works.

Watch the broadcast of the launch of Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and UAL degree partnership: 7 January 2021 at NAFA, Singapore.