'We would have liked nothing better than to continue its development': Yale president on Yale-NUS 2025 closure

Peter Salovey said Yale takes great pride in the accomplishments of Yale-NUS.

Sulaiman Daud | August 27, 2021, 10:28 AM

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The National University of Singapore (NUS) announced on Aug. 27 that the University Scholars Programme (USP) and the Yale-NUS College (Yale-NUS) will eventually be combined into a single new college.

This means that the Yale-NUS college will effectively shut down in 2025, to be replaced by this new entity.

Yale President Peter Salovey issued a statement on the development, commenting that he would have liked to continue the development, and that Yale took pride in the accomplishments of the Yale-NUS college.

NUS & MOE helped pay to open Yale-NUS

Salovey, who is also the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, said that in the eight years since Yale-NUS admitted its first class, it has become "one of the most highly selective institutions of higher learning in the world".

He said that the Common Curriculum has served as a model not just at NUS, but at other colleges around Asia.

He highlighted the "exceptional" faculty members who were drawn to Yale-NUS, calling them "intellectual entrepreneurs" who "have not only reimagined liberal arts education but then had the tenacity and passion to (realise) it."

Salovey added, "The students have embraced this new approach to liberal arts education and have created a unique and remarkable living and learning experience in Singapore."

A Yale press release noted that "the establishment of a college with a broad liberal arts program represented a departure from the prevailing approach to undergraduate education in Asia, where undergraduate students entered directly into (specialised) courses of study, such as medicine, law, economics, or engineering".

It also noted that "NUS and Singapore’s Ministry of Education have borne the costs associated with the establishment and operation of Yale-NUS, supplemented by generous donations."

Yale-NUS graduates will continue to be international affiliates of the Yale Alumni Association.

Wanted to continue

Salovey said that he wished the partnership could have gone on longer.

"Given our great pride in Yale-NUS College and our love and respect for the faculty, students, and staff who compose its extraordinary community, we would have liked nothing better than to continue its development. We are very proud of what we have accomplished together."

However, he offered his best wishes for the new college and expressed his gratitude for the "generous support" provided by the Singapore government who allowed Yale to partner in the creation of a liberal arts education model.

"One whose DNA will live on, we trust, in new and exciting ways," he added.

Salovey confirmed the following:

  • The current Governing Board of Yale-NUS will remain in existence through 2025.
  • This board has Yale’s full participation and will govern and oversee Yale-NUS College until the class of 2025 graduates.
  • The College’s policy on academic freedom will remain in place through 2025 as well as the various provisions in the Faculty Handbook.

Salovey added, "The Governing Board is committed to providing current students with the full Yale-NUS experience and the financial assistance they were promised and to ensuring a smooth and successful transition for the faculty and staff."

He said that Yale is pleased that NUS president Tan Eng Chye said he wishes to draw on the "best features" of Yale-NUS in creating the new college, citing the rationale that the formation of the new college will enable it to offer elements of the Yale-NUS curriculum and deliver interdisciplinary liberal arts education at a greater scale for the student population.

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Top image from Yale Facebook page.

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