Tag Archive: Singapore

  1. Freedom of thought scrutinized in Singapore

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    A Singaporean journalism professor and outspoken critic of restrictions on media freedom in Singapore — where Yale is establishing a joint college with the National University of Singapore — has been denied tenure at Nanyang Technological University for a second time, sparking renewed debate about freedom of thought at Singaporean universities.

    George Cherian, an associate professor in journalism studies at Nanyang’s School of Communication and Information in Singapore, was first denied tenure in 2009 and then again in this month. He has been a vocal critic of Singapore’s lack of media freedom and published a book last year titled “Freedom From The Press,” in which he argues that the city-state’s media system has been structured to enable the People’s Action Party — Singapore’s leading party — to manipulate the media.

    In a Tuesday evening statement, the Singaporean university said it cannot comment of specific tenure cases, adding that the tenure process at the school is “rigorous.”

    But Cherian’s supporters suspect that his difficulties obtaining tenure might be due to political reasons. His case has reignited conversations about media freedom in Singapore and academic freedom in universities.

    “I am aware of this case, but of course am not in a position to comment on all of the considerations taken into account in Nanyang Technological University’s decision not to award tenure,” Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis said in a Tuesday email.

    Lewis said decisions about tenure at the Singaporean liberal arts college will be based exclusively on academic merit, adding that the school’s tenure system will be “similar to other leading liberal arts colleges, with review for promotion to tenure ordinarily during the candidate’s sixth year of teaching.” Academic freedom is a “bedrock principle” of the new college, Lewis added.

    Cherian’s former students have started an online petition urging the university to publicly disclose its reasons for denying Cherian tenure and to clarify the details of the school’s tenure process. As of press time, the petition had 891 signatures.

  2. Yale-NUS detractors paper campus with fliers

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    Anonymous Yale-NUS detractors struck campus this weekend, posting fliers that lambaste Yale-NUS as “undemocratic” and “indefensible.”

    “Yale-NUS is first and foremost a business venture by the plutocrats who manage [Yale’s] endowment,” the flier reads, referring to the Yale Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. “Their readiness to unabashedly dismiss concerns for basic rights in the face of potential profit shows the priorities of the university are: decidedly NOT with the students, teachers, and workers they are leaving without a voice.”

    The start of an on-campus protest? Perhaps, as Yale’s joint liberal arts venture with the National University of Singapore has repeatedly come under fire for banning political parties and protests on campus.

    Yale-NUS is set to open in the fall of 2013.

  3. Taiwanese media outlet parodies Yale-NUS

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    Reading about a controversial, nuanced subject such as Yale-NUS can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be, thanks to a video that’s about to go viral.

    Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese website that creates CGI parodies of recent news stories, released a video on Monday depicting the controversy surrounding Yale-NUS. Highlights include University President Richard Levin helping Singaporean students do a keg stand, the Yale faculty wielding torches and a surprisingly detailed depiction of the Sterling Memorial Library’s front steps. Watch the video here:

    For other hard-hitting NMA coverage, see their story on James Franco at NYU.

  4. NUS administrator responds to faculty concerns

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    Following a debate on Yale-NUS at a Yale College faculty meeting last week, National University of Singapore Vice President for University and Global Relations Lily Kong said NUS administrators remain committed to working closely with professors in New Haven.

    Several Yale faculty members aired concerns about the college jointly operated by Yale and NUS at the March 1 meeting, and professors introduced a resolution for debate demanding that the Singaporean liberal arts college protect civil liberties. Kong, who serves as acting vice president for academic affairs at Yale-NUS, said in an email to Bloomberg that she thinks the “diversity of views” expressed by Yale faculty can be beneficial for the college.

    “We believe that this discussion should lead to an even higher level of mutual understanding and respect, ultimately making the college even more robust,” Kong said.

    Some Yale professors at the meeting objected to the limited role they have had in approving and planning Yale-NUS. But in an email to the News, Kong said preparation for Yale-NUS has been a collaborative process since launching the college first became a possibility. She said Yale faculty members have visited Singapore multiple times and have been involved in recruiting faculty and planning curriculum for Yale-NUS. She added that NUS officials “look forward to continuing to work together on this groundbreaking project.”

    Faculty members present at last week’s meeting voted to postpone a decision on the resolution until their next meeting in April.

  5. So you want to go to Yale-NUS?

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    Plane tickets to Singapore are expensive, but with the right course load, you too can get a Yale-NUS education — right here in New Haven!

    Yale-NUS students will be taking a 10-course core curriculum, including four courses studying the “Great Works” of the Eastern and Western literary traditions, according to the college’s proposed curriculum. It’s really not so different from what most humanities majors at Yale do every single day. So if these students were at Yale, what would they be taking? Let’s check it out.

    To get a full Yale-NUS experience, start with Directed Studies. This is ridiculous work, but on the bright side, it covers almost the entire Western half of the Yale-NUS reading list. Even better, the program is run by Jane Levin, easily the nicest first lady of any Ivy League university (hi Mrs. Levin!).

    Next up is the Eastern tradition. Since Yale doesn’t have Eastern DS, you’ll have to mix and match a bit. Here’s your best bets:

    SKRT 130a/LING 138a: Intermediate Sanskrit I

    The first half of a two-term sequence aimed at helping students develop the skills necessary to read texts written in Sanskrit. Readings include selections from the Hitopadesa, Kathasaritsagara, Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita. After SKRT 120b or equivalent.

    HUMS 418a/RLST 130a/SAST 367a, Traditional Literature of India, China, and Japan

    Introduction to literary works that shaped the great civilizations of Asia. Focus on traditional literature from India, China and Japan. Readings range from religious and philosophical texts to literature of the court, poetry, drama and epics.

    Now you have to take philosophy and poli sci classes. A little Steven Smith and Jay Elliot, and you should be fine:

    HUMS 319b/PHIL 324b, Prudence and Ethics

    Prudence as a central concept for understanding action, practical reason, and ethics. Focus on the tradition that flows from Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and their twentieth-century inheritors and critics.

    PLSC 114a, Introduction to Political Philosophy

    A study of the first and most fundamental of all political concepts, the regime or constitution. Definition of a regime; evaluation of various kinds of regimes; the kinds of citizens that different regimes produce; differences between ancient and modern conceptions of constitutional government. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Tocqueville.

    And then bam! You got a solid Yale-NUS education, folks! Just take all the D.S., four semesters of humanities, Sanskrit and political science, and you’re golden like the Singaporean sun.

  6. Yale-NUS announces two joint degree programs

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    Students at the Singaporean liberal arts college Yale is building in tandem with the National University of Singapore will be able to earn a Yale diploma through a joint degree program, Yale-NUS College announced in a Thursday press release.

    Interested Yale-NUS students will be able to apply to pursue either a second bachelor’s degree in Law or a master’s degree in environmental studies. The law degree will be awarded by NUS, but the environmental studies master’s degree will bear Yale’s name, and students in the environmental studies program will have to spend three semesters at Yale — one semester in their junior year, and a full year in New Haven after graduation.

    Students who pursue a Bachelor of Laws Honours Degree at Yale-NUS will receive professional legal training through resources available from the NUS law school. Graduates of the program will be able to practice law in Singapore, if admitted to the nation’s bar.

    “The two new degree programs we have developed combine the breadth and depth of liberal arts education with the depth that comes with specializations, whether in Law or environmental studies,” Lily Kong, the vice president for academic affairs at Yale-NUS, said in the press release.

    Yale-NUS will begin its first round of admissions in February, the press release stated.

  7. SOM to partner with international business schools

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    As Yale’s new campus in Singapore approaches completion, the National University of Singapore, which will co-lead the institution, is already partnering with other parts of the University.

    The Financial Times reported Tuesday that NUS and Insead, a business school with campuses in France, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, will be the first two schools to send students to the School of Management’s new Masters in Management program next year. The program will enroll students who have completed Master of Business Administration degrees at the partner institutions.

    SOM Dean Edward Snyder told the Financial Times that similar agreements are already in place at many other business schools — the Master of Science in Management Studies at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, for instance, admitted its first group of students from three international partner business schools in 2009. The SOM, he said, could benefit from participating in a similar network with other business schools.

    The first class of Masters in Management students will arrive on campus in 2012.