Who We Are


Established in 1938, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) is Singapore’s pioneer arts institution. The Academy is known for its rigorous and high-quality curriculum, innovative and practitioners-led teaching approach, diverse artistic creations and community outreach.

NAFA has nurtured 13 recipients of the Cultural Medallion - Singapore’s highest accolade bestowed on art practitioners who have significantly impacted arts and culture. Another 14 alumni have been presented the Young Artist Award. Many of the Academy’s alumni have gone on to make their mark in the professional arts scene in Singapore and abroad.

NAFA offers the following specialised programmes under the School of Art and Design, School of Arts Management, Dance and Theatre, and School of Music:

  • 3D Design
  • Arts Management
  • Design and Media
  • Fine Art
  • Fashion Studies
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Theatre

NAFA’s courses are designed and delivered by experienced art educators and leading industry practitioners. The academic schools also regularly review and refine their curriculum to reflect the changing needs of the industry. Diploma courses are aligned with the degree courses offered in partnership with reputable universities in the United Kingdom.

Since 1999, NAFA has received polytechnic-level funding from Singapore’s Ministry of Education. In 2011, NAFA became the first comprehensive arts education institution in Singapore to be awarded the four-year EduTrust certificate from the Council for Private Education (now known as Committee for Private Education). It received its second four-year certification in 2015.

As an advocate of lifelong learning, NAFA dedicates its effort to developing a greater appreciation of the arts for all ages. The NAFA Arts Preschool (formerly the NAFA Arts Kindergarten), is the first arts-themed preschool in Singapore. The School of Young Talents offers weekend courses in art, dance, drama and music to 4- to 18-year-olds. For adults, the Centre for Lifelong Education offers enrichment courses and part-time certificate programmes.

The learning and research needs of students and faculty are supported by the resources and activities of the Institute of Southeast Asian Arts (ISEAA), the Tanoto Foundation Centre for Southeast Asian Arts, and the NAFA Library. Through academic exchanges, seminars and workshops, NAFA maintains a constant dialogue with educators and scholars across the region and beyond.

The three purpose-built campus buildings of NAFA are located in Singapore’s Arts & Heritage District and within walking distance to major performing venues, museums and arts groups.

With a rich heritage, established track record and an unwavering dedication to the highest standards of arts education, NAFA strives to live up to its mission of “inspiring learning and growth through the arts”.