In July, National University of Singapore President Tan Eng Chye informed me of NUS’s intention, as part of a larger strategic realignment NUS has been pursuing since 2018, to merge Yale-NUS College with its existing University Scholars Program in 2025 to form a new and larger liberal arts college that will not bear Yale’s name.
Yale takes great pride in the accomplishments of Yale-NUS College—a pioneering partnership between two leading universities to create a residentially based liberal arts college. In the eight years since the College admitted its first class, it has become one of the most highly selective institutions of higher learning in the world. Its innovative Common Curriculum has drawn wide attention and served as a model for further innovation at NUS as well as at other colleges throughout Asia. The faculty members drawn to Yale-NUS are truly exceptional; they have been intellectual entrepreneurs who have not only reimagined liberal arts education but then had the tenacity and passion to realize it. The students have embraced this new approach to liberal arts education and have created a unique and remarkable living and learning experience in Singapore.
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. I want to offer my best wishes for the new college and express our gratitude for the generous support of the Government of Singapore in making it possible for us to partner in the creation of a model of liberal arts education that is regarded as one of the most innovative in the world—one whose DNA will live on, we trust, in new and exciting ways.
The current Governing Board of Yale-NUS will remain in existence through 2025 and, with Yale’s full participation, will govern and oversee Yale-NUS College until the class of 2025 graduates. 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. Also, the College’s policy on academic freedom will remain in place through 2025 as well as the various provisions in the Faculty Handbook.
We are pleased that President Tan has said that he wishes to draw on the best features of Yale-NUS College in creating the new college. His rationale for this decision is 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. Yale-NUS has catalyzed and inspired other changes at NUS as well, including contributing to the reimagining of undergraduate education at NUS.
We know there is much value to be derived, and we look forward to learning more about the details of the new college. To all at NUS and at Yale who have shared in this remarkable journey, I offer my gratitude and admiration.
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology
More detail is available in Yale News.