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 is part of the new University of the Arts Singapore (UAS). Supported by the government, UAS will open its doors for its first degree intake in 2024.

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.

The academy offers full-time diploma and degree programmes across three schools: the School of Art and Design comprising 3D Design, Design & Media, Fashion Studies and Fine Art programmes, the School of Music and the School of Arts Management, Dance and Theatre. Diploma courses are aligned with the degree courses offered in partnership with reputable universities in the United Kingdom.

NAFA’s courses are designed and delivered by experienced art educators and leading industry practitioners. The academic schools regularly review and refine their curriculum to reflect the changing needs of the industry.

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 third four-year certification in 2019.

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 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.

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”.


It takes a special kind of institution to withstand the test of time.

To spearhead a creative movement that is defining Southeast Asia.
To inspire a generation of artists and the generations to come.
To transform a young nation into a beacon for the arts.

At NAFA, we believe that it all starts with a leap of faith.
Following a passion, even when it leads you out of your comfort zone.
Challenging the status quo, even if it means charting a new path.
Standing by what you believe in, even in the face of adversity.
Pioneering a new era of growth, even after decades of tradition.

This unwavering NAFA spirit has kept us going for over 80 years and continues to guide our tomorrow.
It has nurtured a humble art school into the leading institution it is today.
Where our educators have the courage to create new perspectives for their students, but also for themselves.
Where our students build the courage to create new breakthroughs, but also new connections.
Where anyone that journeys with us has the courage to create their mark on the arts, but also on the world.

Because that’s what it takes. It takes courage to create.