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Speech By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat At The MOU Signing Ceremony - SIM University - NAFA

Speech By Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President Of SIM University At The Memorandum Of Understanding Signing Ceremony Between The SIM University – Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts (NAFA), On 17 March 2008 At NAFA Campus 1


Prof Cham Tao Soon, Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Trustees, SIM University, and Chairman, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Council;
Mr Choo Thiam Siew, President, NAFA;
Distinguished guests, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen;


  1. Since its establishment in 2005, SIM University (UniSIM) has grown a large basket of undergraduate programmes for adult learners that cover a comprehensive range of disciplines. The spectrum includes language and literature, social sciences, psychology, engineering, info-comm, science, business, marketing, counselling and general studies. Soon, we will introduce human resource management, aerospace systems engineering, and Malay language and literature. We are happy that these cater to a wide section of adults who wish to upgrade their knowledge and qualifications and are welcomed enthusiastically by them.
  1. But what we found was lacking up till now is that we have yet to introduce a UniSIM degree that has to do with the fine arts. Those who are interested or working in the areas of fine arts, design, visual communication have been waiting for us to create an educational pathway for them. Indeed, our repertoire of disciplines is incomplete without these interest areas. And, we are not giving the opportunities to those who are gifted in the fine arts and who have already embarked on it as a career the opportunity to gain a recognized Singapore degree while working. By good fortune, the Chancellor and Chairman of UniSIM’s Board of Trustees, Prof Cham Tao Soon, is also the Chairman of NAFA’s Council. And so, by our own desire to broaden our degree offerings, and the nudging and foresight from Prof Cham, we are here today to formalize an academic partnership between UniSIM and NAFA.

  1. By creating the Bachelor of Visual Communication with Business honours programme, in collaboration with NAFA, we provide a pathway for those who graduate from NAFA with the diploma in visual communication to continue on to a full degree qualification, as well as those who are already in the advertising, media and design sectors of our economy to upgrade their qualifications. What is special about the new programme is that it aims to produce graduates who are not only good in their chosen art form and are art professionals in their own right, but also graduates who are knowledgeable in the principles of management, finance, communication and marketing. It brings "art to business and business to art" all in one person. I hope we will be forming a new breed of business-savvy artists who will marry the best of both worlds in their careers. And this is UniSIM’s focus – a partnership with industry to nurture the future professionals of industry.

  1. The good news for entrants to the new programme is made even sweeter by the recent government announcement that eligible part-time undergraduate students at UniSIM will receive up to 40% subsidy from the Ministry of Education. I hope this will encourage many more to do well in their diploma studies and to continue onto the UniSIM programme.

  1. The collaboration with NAFA is not one-dimensional. UniSIM and NAFA are working out details on offering courses in fine arts, music, dance and so on for UniSIM’s General Studies programme, thus opening degree-level modules in these disciplines to adults of all ages to enjoy and stretch themselves in. In fact, I hope students on UniSIM’s regular degree programmes will also take advantage of such general studies courses for enrichment and broadening.

  1. I am pleased that UniSIM has this partnership with NAFA. The Academy has a fine reputation and a strong record of academic quality and relevance. I hope this partnership will flourish in the years ahead, so that the people of Singapore can benefit from the rich offerings that the two institutions can bring together.

  1. Thank you.

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