Singapore’s first private arts university to open in 2H 2024

·Senior Reporter
·2-min read
The premises of Lasalle College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). (SCREENSHOTS: Google Maps)
The premises of Lasalle College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). (SCREENSHOTS: Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s first government-supported private arts university will open in the second half of 2024.

The University of the Arts Singapore (UAS), formed by an alliance between Lasalle College of the Art and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), will open applications in the third quarter of 2023 for its first cohort of students in August 2024, said a joint statement by the Ministry of Education and the schools on Tuesday (30 August).

UAS will offer an expanded range of programmes in fine arts, design, media arts, performing arts and arts management, as well as in new and upcoming areas in the applied arts. More information will be announced later.

The university will validate, confer and award degrees offered by both institutions, and provide some centralised services.

But within the alliance, Lasalle and Nafa will remain separate legal entities and distinct colleges with their own identities and heritage, the joint statement said.

The two institutions will continue to offer their own programmes on their existing campuses.

"Students can look forward to a common UAS student experience which builds on their Lasalle and Nafa experiences, more learning opportunities through a wider range of cross-college modules, joint electives, enhanced student support services, and new access to shared resources and facilities," UAS said.

Key leadership appointments in UAS will take effect from 1 September.

The UAS Board of Trustees, led by Jose Isidro “Lito” Camacho, has appointed Professor Kwok Kian Woon, currently the associate vice president (Wellbeing) at the Nanyang Technological University, as the university’s inaugural vice-chancellor and chief executive.

Lito is a former board member of the National Heritage Board of Singapore and an avid art collector.

The announcement for a new arts university was made by the then Minister for Education Lawrence Wong in Parliament during last year's budget debate.

"We envisage the university to contribute more to cultural life in Singapore and the region, and offer a stronger value proposition to its students and stakeholders," Wong said.

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