Yale University, which has been one of the principal institutions behind shaping liberal arts education in the United States since the 19th century, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS), will be establishing the Yale-NUS College - an autonomous institute under NUS - as the first ever liberal arts college in the Asian region.
The NUS-Yale collaboration had run into some rough weather following concerns among a section of the Yale faculty and administration over the academic freedom that they could enjoy in the rigidly regulated Singaporean environment. However, with the eventual feeling of assurance that faculty members can research and teach in topics here without restrictions, Yale announced its final decision to go ahead with the project.
The inaugural class of the College will commence in 2013 with about 150 students, and aims to add 250 new students every year, aiming for a total student population of about 1000.
The College will develop a new curriculum, synthesizing Western and Asian perspectives with an integrated general education spanning the first two years of study, before concentration on a major. Upon completion of the four-year program, students will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts or Science (Honours) from the Yale-NUS College, awarded by NUS.
The College will also include some distinctive features such as seminar-style classes which restrict the number of attendees to 18 in each class. This will be Yale's first campus outside Connecticut and also the first school at NUS to adopt a fully residential model.
Incidentally, NUS has recently displayed a great focus on internationalization, undertaking major initiatives with leading institutions around the world. The University's collaborations with overseas institutions include a graduate medical school with Duke University, a conservatory of music with Johns Hopkins' Peabody Institute, and concurrent and double degree programs with New York University's Law School. NUS also has a partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over a decade.