The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and University of the Arts London (UAL) are proud to announce their partnership to introduce new art and design degrees in Singapore. This partnership will see degrees developed in close consultation with the industry to reflect the progressive arts education landscape in Singapore, keeping abreast of industry demands. This collaboration marks the first time that UAL, ranked 2nd in the world for art and design in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 and global leader at undergraduate level, is validating degrees outside of the UK.
Under UAL’s umbrella of six Colleges, NAFA will be working with Camberwell College of Arts, Chelsea College of Arts and Wimbledon College of Arts. The degrees will be distinctive in the region as they 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; while performance-related undergraduates will work across dance and theatre practices in their studies.
In addition, when developed, industry experience will be a mandatory part of the curriculum, as students are required to complete internships, industry attachments or industry projects. This prepares the undergraduates for an ever-changing arts landscape, ensuring they have a multidisciplinary perspective and are well-equipped to handle the evolving demands of the arts and design landscape as well as the wider economy. The partnership will offer opportunities for undergraduates to spend five or seven weeks on an international placement at the UAL campus and study with the university’s renowned academics and practitioners (arrangements pending the COVID-19 situation). There will also be exchange opportunities in place for development and growth of staff and faculty from both institutions.
The planned two-year top-up degrees will allow NAFA students to build upon their education after completing relevant diplomas. A three-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. Eligible students will receive government subsidies for the tuition fees for these courses. More details will be announced in due course.
The idea for the partnership was formed at the start of 2020. Despite international lock downs and the Circuit Breaker in Singapore due to COVID-19, this collaboration grew from strength to strength and was eventually realised by the year end. Using communicative technology to connect internationally, coupled with a tenacity to strive for educational excellence, this rapid effort is a testament to the resilience and progressiveness showcased by of both NAFA and the UAL.
To commemorate this event, NAFA’s Dance and Theatre programmes put on performances while the School of Art and Design showcased a display of 2D, 3D and 4D works. The event was held on a small scale with limited audience and all necessary safe management measures for the event were in place. The ceremony was also broadcast live on NAFA’s social media channels.