I am happy to announce that, with the strong support of the NUS Board of Trustees, MOE, and the Yale Corporation, agreement has been reached with Yale to establish the Yale-NUS College at NUS.
At the heart of this historic partnership is a strong desire of both our Universities to work together to make a significant contribution to educational innovation for the future. The Yale-NUS College will develop a novel curriculum and an integrated residential education model that is new to Singapore and Asia, which we believe can serve as a catalyst for new thinking and enhancements in liberal arts education globally.
Central to the distinctiveness of the Yale-NUS College experience will be:
· A novel curriculum that will synthesize Western and Asian ideas and perspectives with an integrated general education spanning the first two years of study, before concentration on a major. The general education component will therefore be much greater than other courses in NUS (including NUS’ University Scholars’ Programme), where breadth-requirements typically make up about 25% of the curriculum.
· A pedagogy that will emphasize critical thinking and intense classroom interaction. Most classes will be taught in seminar-style with 18 or fewer students.
· A residential college experience for all students throughout their years of undergraduate study. The three residential colleges, adapted from the highly successful Yale College model, will create a strong sense of community where living and learning are intentionally integrated. State-of-the-art learning and student-life facilities and interaction spaces will be provided in the core campus, with additional facilities designed into each college itself.
· A rich array of co-curricular activities, including global, internship and leadership programmes, which will focus particularly on developing leadership skills and teamwork, and also encouraging community service.
When it opens in 2013, the Yale-NUS College will provide an unparalleled opportunity for high-potential students who are seeking a broad-based education that enables them to build a wide intellectual base while being able to think deeply and rigorously about specific issues. The College will also offer its students a number of specially designed double-degree programmes with other Faculties at NUS. Together with the rich residential life and co-curricular activities, students will have the opportunity to develop holistically.
The Yale-NUS College will be located to the north of NUS’ main campus at Kent Ridge. It will be designed for a student body of 1,000, with each of the three residential colleges catering to about 330 students. The College will hire its own permanent faculty, complemented by NUS and Yale faculty members who may opt to teach for a semester, a year, or longer.
The Yale-NUS College will be an autonomous college of NUS. It will be headed by a College President who will be assisted by a team of Vice-Presidents. The College will also appoint a number of Deans with responsibilities for faculty recruitment, student life, curriculum development, international and professional experience, and the development of educational resources and technology. Charles Bailyn, the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor at Yale, has agreed to be the inaugural Dean of the Faculty, with responsibility for faculty recruitment.
I am delighted that many NUS faculty members and staff have expressed support for and interest in contributing to this initiative. NUS faculty participation may occur in the following ways:
· NUS faculty with a strong interest in, and record of, teaching and pedagogical innovation may be considered for transfer to the College or be seconded for more than a year;
· NUS faculty may offer courses designed for College students; or
· College students may enrol in courses taught by NUS faculty at NUS.
For friends and supporters of NUS who are interested to contribute in one way or another, please contact Professor Lily Kong, Vice-President (University and Global Relations) (firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 6516 8001), who has been truly instrumental in leading this project at NUS.
The establishment of the Yale-NUS College marks the beginning of a very strategic partnership that will offer prospective students a unique undergraduate option at NUS of the highest quality. It will help NUS to attract top students from Singapore, Asia and beyond, even as the competition for such talent continues to intensify internationally. Through this College and working very closely with Yale, NUS also has the opportunity to help shape the development of higher education in Asia and beyond.
Most importantly, the College will prepare high potential students – from Singapore and beyond – for leadership and engaged citizenship in a complex and rapidly changing world where Asia will play an increasingly prominent role.
Very exciting development having 1 of the best liberal arts college in our own shore.