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New Haven Independent
As part of its growth as a global university, especially in Asia, Yale announced plans Monday morning to open a new college in Singapore.
Yale President Richard Levin announced the news in a release Monday morning.
The new institution would be a joint venture between Yale and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Like Yale, it would have a residential college system and focus on liberal arts.
Yale signed a memorandum of understanding with NUS on Sept. 10 for the project, which Yale’s release said “might become a model for all of Asia.” Read a Yale prospectus for the project here.
Since becoming president in 1993, Levin has sought to broaden Yale’s world footprint. He has transformed the school’s mission from creating an American meritocracy—grooming the nation’s leaders, seeking to lure the best students in the country regardless of their willingness to pay—into a developing ground for an international meritocracy as the world’s economies became more intertwined. Yale dramatically increased its study-abroad programs and joint educational programs, especially first in China, then India. Yale’s admissions and aid policies broadened to lure and financially help more foreign students. Yale created a global fellow program luring rising leaders early in their careers.
The Singapore joint venture would open in 2013, admit about 1,000 students at first, and grant NUS degrees, not Yale degrees.
“In a world that is increasingly interconnected, the qualities of mind developed through liberal education are perhaps more indispensable than ever in preparing students to understand and appreciate differences across cultures and national boundaries, and to address problems for which there are no easy solutions,” Levin said in Monday’s release.
Yale’s new initiative is bound to renew debate about how open Western institutions should deal with counterparts in more closed societies. Yale has been criticized for some for its closeness to the regime in China, serving as a partner rather than a critic of government repression. Levin has become a leading advocate of engaging countries like China, arguing that academic partnerships gradually help push open closed societies.