Yale formally opens Singapore college

AFP-JIJI

Yale University formally opened a controversial liberal arts college in tightly governed Singapore on Tuesday, saying there was demand for “critical thinking” in the city-state and other Asian nations.

The Yale-NUS College, a joint project with the National University of Singapore, had been criticized by faculty members of the leading U.S. university due to Singapore’s restrictions on protests and on student political activity.

In a resolution passed in April 2012, the Yale faculty expressed “concern regarding the history of lack of respect for civil and political rights in the state of Singapore.”

Pericles Lewis, president of the college, said in a speech that “we’re not setting out to change any political discourse, but we’re giving students the tools to be active in citizenship, to think about the issues.”