Yale-NUS a timely, visionary initiative: a summary of Professor Tommy Koh’s April 15th, 2012 piece in the Straits Times

Professor Tommy Koh expresses in the Straits Times his disappointment in the resolution adopted by the Yale college faculty, raising four chief points of concern.

First, numerous mutual gains for the “visionary joint venture”, such as a great learning environment and intellectual engagement, were sidestepped.  Second, Asia—especially China, India, and Japan—is booming in importance and has much to offer, and is no longer categorically inferior to America.  Third, there are countless shared ideals between Yale and NUS, most notably in the pursuit of knowledge.  Fourth, Singapore’s harmony in diversity reflects the weight given to non-discrimination of any sorts.

However, in Singapore, racial and religious harmony supersedes the freedom of speech and the press, contrary to the US, in which primacy is given to the latter.  Yet this is not indicative of rightness in one and wrongness in the other.

He concludes by giving Yale-NUS College his full vote-of-confidence.

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