New University of the Arts S'pore, formed by LASALLE & NAFA alliance, to open in 2024

The school will offer an expanded range of programme offerings in fine arts, design, media arts, performing arts and arts management, as well as in new and upcoming areas in the applied arts.

Ashley Tan | August 30, 2022, 07:16 PM

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A government-supported private university, University of the Arts Singapore (UAS), will open its doors for its first cohort of students in August 2024.

The UAS was formed by an alliance between LASALLE College of the Arts (LASALLE) and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), and its name was jointly decided by the two institutions after consultations with Board members, management, staff, alumni and students.

Expanded range of programmes

According to a Ministry of Education (MOE) press release, the new university will build on LASALLE and NAFA's unique strengths and decades of experience in arts education, to contribute towards the arts and culture ecosystem in Singapore.

"UAS will contribute towards making Singapore a creative, innovation-driven city, and a thought leader in the creative arts in Southeast Asia and beyond," MOE stated.

The school will offer an "expanded range of programme offerings" in fine arts, design, media arts, performing arts, and arts management, as well as in new and upcoming areas in the applied arts.

More details of these for prospective students will be announced "in due time", MOE said.

There will also be more learning opportunities through a wider range of cross-college modules, joint electives, enhanced student support services, new access to shared resources and facilities and joint industry events and joint career fairs.

Faculty and staff of LASALLE and NAFA will also be able to share pedagogy and resources, and have access to more programmes to support their professional development.

The UAS will also be a platform for collaborations with world-class arts practitioners and researchers.

However, there will not be a new campus for the UAS, CNA reported.

Government to continue providing subsidies

The university will be opening applications for the 2024 intake in the third quarter of 2023.

Although it is a private university, it will be supported by the government, which will continue to provide funding for subsidised degree and diploma students. This is currently the case at both LASALLE and NAFA.

UAS comprises an alliance of LASALLE and NAFA as constituent members of UAS, and a new central entity, University of the Arts Singapore Ltd (UAS Ltd).

UAS Ltd will lead and provide strategic direction to the university, and act as the coordinating body.

It will also validate, confer and award degrees offered by both institutions, and provide some centralised services to the schools.

Within the alliance however, LASALLE and NAFA will still remain separate legal entities and distinct colleges with their own identities and heritage.

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

The UAS Board of Trustees includes Managing Director and Vice Chairman for Credit Suisse Asia Pacific, Jose Isidro "Lito" Camacho, as Board Chairperson.

The board has also appointed Associate Vice President (Wellbeing) at Nanyang Technological University, Kwok Kian Woon, as UAS's inaugural Vice-Chancellor and chief executive.

Top photo from Hossain Sohag / Google Maps and wanbing zhang / Google Maps