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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 15 alumni have been presented the Young Artist Award. NAFA graduates are creative changemakers, highly skilled, and well-rounded in inter-disciplinary approaches. 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 faculties: Faculty of Art & Design comprising the School of Fine Art, School of 3D Design, School of Design & Media, as well as the School of Fashion Studies; Faculty of Performing Arts comprising School of Dance, School of Music, and School of Theatre; Faculty of Interdisciplinary Practices comprising School of Arts Management and School of Interdisciplinary Arts. Diploma programmes are aligned with the degree programmes offered in partnership with top universities in the world, namely University of the Arts London (ranked 2nd globally for Art and Design since 2019) and Royal College of Music, London (ranked first globally for Performing Arts in 2022).

NAFA’s programmes 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 courses.

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”.


2023 marks Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts’ 85th year since its founding – a timely milestone for our academy to reflect on past achievements and lessons, and look ahead with rejuvenated enthusiasm and a renewed sense of purpose. Alongside our partnerships with eminent universities such as University of the Arts London and Royal College of Music, London; NAFA is also a proud founding member of University of the Arts Singapore.

Since 1938, more than 15,000 full-time students, and over 140,000 students from our part-time and junior courses, have graced our halls. Notably, NAFA’s 13 Cultural Medallion recipients and 15 Young Artist Award winners illustrate the academy’s rich heritage and strong traditions rooted in its Southeast Asian identity. Through the decades, our dedicated NAFA family has stayed true in being a leading arts institution which enriches lives and communities through education and practice.

This year, we celebrate our 85th anniversary with key highlights such as NAFA’s first-ever virtual challenge, Arts in Motion, a Fundraising Gala Dinner, a Music Gala Concert, and a Performing Arts Festival.  There are many more events, such as students’ music, theatre, dance performances, as well as art and design showcase and exhibitions.  While these are regularly put up by our talented students in all seasons, they take on an additional special meaning in this celebratory year.  I warmly welcome you to join us in the festivities and may you discover the transformative power of the arts.  As we continue our journey together, we will imbue our values of passion, care, and excellence in all endeavours.

We take pride that NAFA is unique in Singapore and in the region, being the only arts institution that champions learning at all ages and levels.  This stems from our mission: Inspiring learning and growth through the arts. From our flagship diploma and degree programmes, to our Centre for Lifelong Education courses, as well as our junior courses in the School of Young Talents and arts-enriched preschool education, no matter your age or level, as long as you are interested in the arts, NAFA will support you in your artistic pursuits.  We are able to do so because of our diverse and world-class faculty, who provide inspirational mentorship to students, nurturing them to be future-ready changemakers.  With our Faculty of Art & Design, Faculty of Performing Arts, and Faculty of Interdisciplinary Practices, NAFA’s multidisciplinary approach and emphasis on strong technical foundations afford a sturdy canvas for all arts aspirants to boldly craft their futures.

I call on all enthusiasts, budding artists and designers out there: have the courage to create and never be afraid to be different. Empower your artistic passion. Join our family.

Mrs Tan-Soh Wai Lan
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts




A leading arts institution enriching lives and communities through education and practice



Inspire learning and growth through the arts


Core Values

Passion, Care and achieving Excellence through
the NAFA spirit of Creativity, Exploration and Resilience



南艺学生设计新丧礼设计 满足不同宗教需求 为丧家提供更好服务 NAFA students create new funeral designs to meet various religious needs, providing better services to bereaved families

19 September 2023


17 September 2023

S’pore to keep investing in arts education to meet needs of creative professionals: Lawrence Wong

03 September 2023

NAFA launches open applications for residencies at Paris studios and the first Living Archive of Contemporary Asian Art

02 September 2023

Celebrating 85 Years of Excellence: NAFA's 'Bold & Gold' Gala

01 September 2023

郑木彰等南艺校友捐作品 为母校85周年筹款 Tay Bak Chiang and other NAFA alumni donate works to raise funds for the 85th anniversary of their alma mater

28 August 2023