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Lasalle, Nafa to jointly set up S'pore's first university of the arts

SINGAPORE — Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) will team up to establish a new private university over the next three to four years, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday (March 3).

Lasalle, Nafa to jointly set up S'pore's first university of the arts

Under the new arrangement, both institutions will remain as separate and distinct entities, but students enrolled in either institution will be able to access a wider range of opportunities from both.

SINGAPORE — Lasalle College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) will team up to establish a new private university over the next three to four years, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Wednesday (March 3).

This will be Singapore’s first university of the arts, he added.

Under the new arrangement, both institutions will remain as separate and distinct entities, but students enrolled in either institution will be able to access a wider range of opportunities from both.

For instance, they would be able to take courses and programmes offered by both Lasalle and Nafa.

Both institutions will also be able to award degrees in the name of the new private university.

The name of the new university, as well as the location of the institution’s central body, will be decided later.

A new pro-tem committee has been appointed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to develop the structure and operating model of the new private university.

It should complete its work by early 2023, and the new institution is expected to be set up within the next three to four years.

Making these announcements during the debate on MOE’s budget, Mr Wong said the new private university would “draw on strengths from both colleges and drive synergies between them”.

“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,” he said.

The pro-tem committee is chaired by Professor Chan Heng Chee, ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It includes representatives from Lasalle, Nafa, academia, government agencies and the arts industry.

In response to media queries, an MOE spokesperson said Lasalle and Nafa saw an intake of about 300 and 130 students who are Singaporeans or permanent residents respectively for the academic year of 2020 for the institutions’ degree programmes.

The spokesperson added that over the past three years, the overall employment rates for economically active degree and diploma graduates at both arts institutions have averaged about 80 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.

REVIEW OF ITE, POLY EDUCATION

During the debate, Mr Wong also gave more details about the review on the opportunities and pathways offered to those enrolled in the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and polytechnics.

The review, led by Second Minister for Education Maliki Osman, was announced last December by Mr Wong.

The review will look into how the opportunities and pathways in applied education can better support the diverse and unique strengths and aspirations of polytechnic and ITE students, MOE said in a statement.

Aside from looking into how to strengthen the institutions’ curricular offerings, the review will also consider the employment opportunities and outcomes for students — both in the immediate and long term.

“This will help our students acquire sufficient versatility to seize emerging opportunities over the course of their careers,” said MOE.

Another area the review will look into is how to expand community partnerships and programming to better support disadvantaged students.

The review is under way and engagements are continuing with students, alumni, staff members at the respective institutions, and employers.

MOE will progressively provide updates on the review.

Related topics

NAFA arts university Lasalle College of the Arts

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