SINGAPORE — Ten years after it was launched amid controversy as the first liberal arts college in Singapore and one of the first in Asia, Yale-NUS College is shutting down.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is merging the University Scholars Programme (USP) and Yale-NUS College into a new college, which has yet to be officially named, said NUS in a media release on Friday (27 August)
Yale-NUS will continue to run its academic, co-curricular and research programmes until the end of academic year 2024/25, when this year's batch of students are expected to graduate. Students currently enrolled in the USP will transit into the new college from academic year 2022/23.
With the formation of the new college, this year's batch of students to enrol in Yale-NUS College will be its last. The new college will welcome its first intake of up to 500 students in academic year 2022/23.
According to NUS, it will read a new common curriculum adapted from the best of both the USP and Yale-NUS foundations, enhanced with new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) elements.
It will offer students the opportunity to benefit from an immersive, interdisciplinary liberal arts education that brings together the best features of both institutions, said NUS president Professor Tan Eng Chye.
NUS did not elaborate on why it is not renewing the affiliation agreement with Yale.
In a separate statement, Yale University said that its representatives will play no role in the oversight of the new college.
Independent student newspaper Yale Daily News quoted Pericles Lewis, vice president for global strategy and Yale-NUS’s founding president, as saying that Yale was pleased with the collaboration and was not the proponent of its dissolution.
He added that questions of academic freedom were not a factor in the decision to close Yale-NUS.
Yale-NUS College was set up in 2011 as a collaboration between NUS and Yale University. In response to its formation, Yale professors passed a resolution in 2012 expressing concern over Singapore’s “lack of respect for civil and political rights”.
College of Design and Engineering to be officially launched in November
In addition, the College of Design and Engineering (CDE) will be formed through the merging of the Faculty of Engineering and the School of Design and Environment.
The new CDE will be home to the 11 departments in its two merged schools. Starting from this year, the new cohort of about 1,800 students enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering and School of Design and Environment can take courses from both schools to develop competencies across different fields.
Professor Aaron Thean, the current dean of the Faculty of Engineering, has been appointed the dean-designate of CDE, and will lead the merger of the two schools to form the new college, which is expected to be officially launched in November. Students who are enrolled in the two schools will transit into the new College from 1 January next year.
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