Audio engineering school SAE Institute shutting down in Singapore

Nurul Azliah Aripin
Lifestyle Lead
Rapper Kimmese sings at a recording studio in Hanoi on February 14, 2014

SAE Creative Media Institute said on Monday that it would cease operations in Singapore in October next year due to rising costs and competition.

"Rising costs and declining demand for creative media education across Singapore, coupled with increased competition, has meant that we cannot continue to deliver world-class teaching and learning programs in the long term," the school explained on its website on Monday.

It made the "difficult decision" following an extensive review of its operations, it said.

From the end of this month, SAE will be in a ‘teach-out’ phase, with the final intake of diploma and degree students completing their studies next October.  

In Singapore, the school has been offering courses in audio engineering, digital film, graphic design, and iOS development, among others.

SAE assured that all current students will have sufficient time to complete the courses in which they enrolled and to graduate with a qualification from the school.

SAE Institute (formerly known as School of Audio Engineering) was established in 1976 as the world’s first practical audio engineering school before opening its first Asian branch in Singapore in 1989, at The Riverwalk, at 20 Upper Circular Road, near Boat Quay.

According to its website, it has educated more than 3,000 Singapore students through its creative media courses, which covers audio, film, web and mobile.

A James Woo, who runs local music community website Soft.com seemed shocked by the news. On Facebook, he said, “No no! Was the first batch who attended the school. Definitely dictated the direction my life took.”

Later in the comment section he said, “The place was small but I love[d] it!”

A Danny Ng said in the comment section as well, ”Market in Singapore too small to survive. This is the real world. Same as the CDs business, closing one after another, then the books retail business will be gone too. Next time we need to travel overseas to get those stuff."

There are other institutions in Singapore that offer audio engineering courses as well, such as Orita-Sinclair School of Design, New Media and the Arts, Singapore Polytechnic and Lasalle College of the Arts.