Rising number enrolling in arts courses says Nafa

(22 February 2016, Monday) More students are opting for arts qualifications, going by figures at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa), one of two publicly funded tertiary arts schools here. The school had 816 students enrolled in its diploma programmes last year, up from 714 in 2014 and 641 in 2013. The number of applications it received also grew from 1,238 in 2013 to 1,348 last year. The other publicly funded arts institute, Lasalle College of the Arts, declined to share its intake and application figures.

Some 60 per cent of Nafa graduates were hired a month after they graduated, based on the school’s latest graduate employment survey, which was done from November 2014 to January last year. And 91 per cent of its graduates landed a job within three months of graduation. Diploma-holders earned a median monthly income of $1,900 while degree-holders earned $2,500.

Nafa offers 18 diploma courses and nine degree courses in partnership with local and foreign universities across its three schools. They are the school of art and design, school of music, and school of arts management, dance and theatre.

Mr Jerry Soo, dean of Nafa’s office of academic affairs, said it works actively with creative industry partners to offer students internships and industry projects. These opportunities prepare students for professional careers, he said, adding that graduates go on to work in the arts, creative and entertainment industries. They take up jobs such as designers, film-makers, arts administrators, entrepreneurs and teachers.

Third-year Nafa student Marc Lee had considered enrolling in animation courses at polytechnics but was drawn to the diploma programme at Nafa, which allowed him to learn illustration and animation skills. The 20-year-old, who had taken art lessons in primary school and art as an O-level subject, said he enjoys learning alongside students of various nationalities.

About 58 per cent of the students in Nafa’s diploma programmes are Singaporeans or permanent residents, while the rest are international students.

“It helps me grow in knowledge and perspectives as we exchange opinions,” said Mr Lee, who is in a diploma course in illustration design with animation. He will be graduating in September this year and hopes to pursue a degree in graphic communication at Nafa or go abroad to study. “Nafa also encourages us to go on internships and develop our skills,” he said. During a two-month internship at a design company, he helped to design fliers and advertisements as well as produce illustrations.

Media: The Straits Times, Page B11

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南洋艺术学院 Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

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