With Opening Near, Yale Defends Singapore Venture

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Students have started to be admitted, faculty members have been hired, and construction has begun on the site that will become the home of Yale University ’s first joint college in its 300-year history.

The first 150 students of the Yale-National University of Singapore College will begin a liberal arts curriculum, incorporating the study of East and West, on the existing N.U.S. campus in roughly one year. The new Yale-N.U.S. campus is expected to open in 2015.

The college could make a valuable contribution to higher education in Asia, some education experts say, but Yale has also received withering criticism for lending its name to an institution in Singapore, where freedom of assembly and association is restricted.

But some academic experts, while acknowledging concerns about freedoms in Singapore, say that many leading universities work in countries criticized for their human rights records, like China and certain Gulf states, and that most appear to operate without much government interference.

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