Yale-NUS College’s inaugural class will consist of 157 students from 26 countries, according to a Sunday press release from the Singaporean college.
According to the statement, the new liberal arts college’s acceptance rate was under 4 percent, with a yield rate of 52 percent. Ninety-seven students from the inaugural class hail from Singapore, while the rest are from the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, as well as from several European, South American and African countries. The new college received over 11,400 applications overall.
“Students with opportunities at Ivy League schools and leading universities throughout the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore chose Yale-NUS College,” Yale-NUS Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Kristin Greene said in the statement. Greene assumed her current position on Jun. 1, following the departure of former dean Jeremiah Quinlan ’03, who now serves as Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Yale.
Here are the numbers for the Yale-NUS College Class of 2017 at a glance:
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.
Yale’s decision to venture into Singapore with Yale-NUS hasn’t been received very well on campus, to say the least. Last April, the faculty passed a resolution demanding the upholding of nondiscrimination and civil liberties on the NUS campus as ideals of a true liberal arts education. Students spoke out against the college, on the pages of the News and via other avenues. Political science lecturer Jim Sleeper and other Yale-NUS opponents wrote scathing critiques of the Yale Corporation and the limited freedoms of Singapore. The general consensus became that Yale-NUS was bad news.
So why would over 9,200 applicants to the Yale College class of 2017 — that’s around one-third of the total applicants — choose to share their application with Yale-NUS? The answer is simple — because Yale made it way too easy to do so.
To send their Common Application to NUS, all prospective Yalies needed to do was check an additional box on the Yale College supplement. No additional essay questions or separate forms were required.
New York University, which also has campuses abroad, requires applicants to write an explanation of why they’d like to forward their application to admissions offices in Abu Dhabi or Shanghai. The university recognizes that NYU proper and NYU abroad are separate institutions that applicants should have separate reasons for wanting to attend. Yale, however, seems to think that any reasons you could articulate on your application for wanting to attend college in New Haven (Harold Bloom, Toad’s, etc.) must apply to Singapore as well.
Applicants who checked the box to apply to Yale-NUS didn’t need to research the college to craft a perfect 500-character answer in response to a question like, “Why Yale-NUS?” It is very well possible that many of them have no idea about the level of controversy surrounding the institution. The NUS option is a blatant continuation of the trend across university admissions practices of falsely creating the allure of a low admission rate. More NUS applications mean more rejections, and we seem to associate that figure with the quality of an education.
Despite the Admissions Office’s assurances, applicants may have felt that their decision of whether or not to check the NUS box might affect their chances of admission at Yale in New Haven. Or, the Yale-NUS option on the application may have simply served as way of convincing applicants that they were improving their chances of receiving a diploma with the name “Yale” on it. It’s deceiving and it’s wrong.
Ideally, Yale-NUS would have an entirely separate application process from Yale College, meaning that applicants to Yale College would only be able to apply to NUS in addition by filling out an NUS-only application. The Yale-NUS College Charter begins: “The National University of Singapore (‘NUS’) and Yale University (‘Yale’) have established the Yale-NUS College (the ‘College’) as an autonomous college of NUS.” If the college is truly autonomous, it deserves its own application process.
At the very least, by virtue of being a separate institution from Yale (not to mention located in a different country with horrible policies on homosexuality and lots of other things Yalies love), there should be some additional essay questions or a supplement involved in forwarding an application there. It has become clear over the past year that Yale and Yale-NUS will provide very different educations for their students – it is unfair and misleading to allow applicants to believe otherwise.
Yale-NUS received roughly 2,600 applications in its first and second rounds of admissions, and has just opened its penultimate round that will end in January 2013.
The college — which seeks to fill an inaugural class of about 150 students — admitted 96 applicants in its first round in May and 65 in its second round in December, with applications coming from students across 72 nationalities. Its next two rounds, ending in January and April of 2013, will round out its first class of students to begin their studies in Singapore in August 2013.
Jeremiah Quinlan, Yale-NUS dean of admissions and financial aid, said in a statement that the college has received “an incredible number of applications from top students in Singapore and around the world.”
The deadline for this next round of Yale-NUS admissions is January 2013, and accepted students will be notified by the end of March. The last round of admissions has a deadline of April, and students will be notified by mid-May.
Students applying to Yale this year have the option of checking an option on their supplement forms that allows for their applications to be shared with the admissions office at Yale-NUS at no additional cost. Applicants selecting this option will be considered for admission separately at both schools.
More than 60 students from the first admitted group of 96 have accepted their offers of admission, according to the college.
Correction: Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
An earlier headline and version of this article mistakenly stated Yale-NUS has opened its final round of admissions. In fact, the school is in its second-to-last round.
In a separate statement entitled “NCAC Supports AAUP’s Concern Over Yale Campus in Singapore” published on NCAC’s website yesterday, the Coalition urges the University to answer “some tough questions” about its plan to found a liberal arts college in an authoritarian state.
AAUP, a member of the coalition, included in its open letter a list of specific questions, such as whether members of the Singaporean college community will be subjected to Singapore’s Internet firewalls and monitoring systems, and whether speakers invited to campus will be affected by restrictions on visitors to Singapore.
“There’s been a lot of double-talk from Yale officials about free speech and academic freedom at [Yale-NUS College],” Joan Bertin, executive director of NCAC and consultant to AAUP’s committee on academic freedom and tenure, said in the statement.
Bertin called statements from Yale officials regarding the Singaporean liberal arts college “simply disingenuous and nonsensical.” If Yale creates a satellite campus that does not “honor the most basic principles of higher education,” Bertin said, other institutions might soon follow in its footsteps.
Yale-NUS President Pericles Lewis has told the News previously that Yale-NUS College is committed to upholding academic freedom. The new college will welcome its inaugural class of roughly 150 in fall 2013.
The Elm City’s famous underground graffiti artist “Believe in People” has struck again, this time using his creative expression of free speech — street art — to comment on Yale-NUS, the University’s joint venture to build a liberal arts college with the National University of Singapore.
Believe in People’s latest art can be found in Yale’s steam tunnels that run underneath campus, the New Haven Independent reported yesterday. On an underground brick wall, Believe in People left his rendering of a bright orange road sign with black script reading “Under Construction: Yale-N.U.S.T. ‘Going Lower Than Ever Before,'” and on a nearby concrete wall, a nearly identical sign reads “Yale-N.U.S.T. ‘Freedom of Speech Guaranteed.’”