Private university for the arts to be set up in 3 to 4 years: Lawrence Wong

Chia Han Keong
·2 min read
LaSalle College of the Arts (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)
LaSalle College of the Arts (PHOTO: Screenshot/Google Maps)

SINGAPORE — Singapore could see a private university for the arts being set up in the next three or four years, with two of the country's well-established institutions – the LaSalle College of the Arts and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) – as its constituent colleges.

Minister for Education Lawrence Wong unveiled the plan in Parliament on Wednesday (3 March), and said that his ministry – with the support of the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth – will help establish an alliance between LaSalle and NAFA to form the new university.

Within the alliance, LaSalle and NAFA will remain separate legal entities and distinct colleges offering their own programmes, ensuring their unique heritages continue to be cherished.

However, a new central body will be set up within the alliance, to drive synergies between both colleges and support the awarding of degrees in the name of the new university.

The name of the future university and the location of the central body will be decided later.

"The university will draw on strengths from both colleges and drive synergies between them," Wong explained during the Committee of Supply debate for his ministry.

"For example, students in future can benefit from a more diverse range of offerings, with more opportunities to access cross-institution modules and projects, as well as sharing of learning resources. Faculty can also look forward to more opportunities for joint academic collaborations.

"More importantly, 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."

MOE has appointed a pro-tem committee to work closely with the two arts institutions, to develop the structure and operating model of the future university of the arts.

Chaired by Ambassador-at-Large Professor Chan Heng Chee, the committee includes representatives from LaSalle, NAFA, academia, government agencies and industry. The committee is expected to complete its work by early 2023.

LaSalle and NAFA saw an intake of about 300 and 130 Singaporean/permanent resident students respectively into their degree programmes for Academic Year 2020.

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