“Criticisms of the Yale-NUS venture have centered on Singapore's politics. This has obscured the fact that Yale-NUS is, above all, a pioneering educational experiment. Yale and NUS hope to create a new model for liberal arts education in Asia — with lessons for all of us all over the world.” – Fareed Zakaria
From the NY Times article “Faculty Gives Yale a Dose of Dissent Over Singapore” by Tamar Levin (here):
Yale announced a year ago that it was creating the “first new college to bear the Yale name in 300 years” at the National University of Singapore, and last week, after reviewing 2,500 applications, it sent out the first handful of faculty job offers for Yale-N.U.S. College.
So it is distinctly awkward timing that members of the Yale College faculty, which never voted on the plan, are now raising concerns about joining their storied institution with an autocratic city-state where drug offenses can bring the death penalty, homosexual relations are illegal and criminal defamation charges are aggressively pursued.
On campus, there is a whiff of a Yale Spring, a slow awakening — at a university with no faculty senate — to faculty discontent. Many Yale professors are unhappy about the absence of a vote on the Singapore project, while some go further and attack it as a dangerous collaboration with a government that does not support the broad freedoms they believe are central to liberal arts education.
In his article “A global education for a global age” in the Yale Daily News, journalist Fareed Zakaria supports the new school (here):
When I arrived at Yale from India in the fall of 1982, I felt distinctly unprepared. I had gone to a first rate, rigorous high school in Mumbai but, like many entering freshmen, I found that Yale operated at a different level. In one sense, though, I had an advantage. I had studied, in depth, a whole different civilization, and that background in Indian history, politics and culture gave me a broader context in which to place my Yale education. If Yale's collaboration with the National University of Singapore succeeds, it will create on a much grander and more sophisticated scale a global education, a unique blend of East and West, which would be a vital asset in an increasingly connected world…….
The Yale Daily News in an editorial “Remaining Yale in Singapore” writes (here):
Yale-NUS College will open in 16 months. No amount of criticism from faculty, alumni or others will stop Yale’s first-ever international franchise from welcoming its inaugural class of students in fall 2013.
The school’s opening will be the keynote of University President Richard Levin’s efforts to globalize Yale. It is also clearly a boon for Singapore. The city-state’s government wanted a way to train a diverse group of students to help Singapore thrive, and it wanted a brand name to anchor the new college. It received everything it could have asked for by signing a name as big as Yale. Both sides have expressed their excitement about the partnership with speeches and press events.
But the truth remains that Yale will henceforth be closely linked with an authoritarian regime, and the University will have to find a way to balance partnership and pushback. It will not be enough just to advance the frontier of modern education or to build an excellent, rigorous college. The University must use all its weight to keep the new institution true to Yale’s values and to the needs of future students at Yale-NUS.....