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. 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 courses are aligned with the degree courses 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 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”.