By Daryl Yang | Images as credited
From 25 March to 29 March 2018, several Yale-NUS staff and faculty attended the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education Annual Conference (APAIE) 2018 and shared their expertise in higher education. Drawing on their insights from the Yale-NUS experience, they presented on diverse issues in higher education at various sessions during the international conference.
Director of the Yale-NUS Centre for Teaching & Learning (CTL) and Senior Lecturer of Political Science Dr Nancy Gleason spoke about the value of the liberal arts on a panel titled ‘Distinctive Pedagogy of Liberal Arts in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
Yale-NUS file photo: Dr Nancy Gleason (second from left)
As Director of CTL, Dr Gleason is responsible for enhancing faculty development in teaching and student support in learning. The CTL aims to foster, recognise, and promote excellence and innovation in teaching and learning at Yale-NUS to help build a community of teaching practice that is open, friendly, and collaborative.
“I spoke about the challenges that the fourth industrial revolution creates for employability and the future of work. There are key skills that have been identified as useful in the automation context. These include critical thinking, problem solving, cognitive agility, negotiation and several others”, Dr Gleason shared.
Using the case study of the Global Affairs major, she sought to highlight how an interdisciplinary liberal arts education develops the kind of thinkers that are needed in the knowledge economy.
“Higher education can no longer focus solely on information transfer because information is now everywhere. A sound liberal arts education transfers interdisciplinary analytical skills that are essential for leading a successful life in the 21st century,” Dr Gleason explained.
Yale-NUS staff from various departments also participated in the conference to share their insights in various areas from admissions to student life and study abroad programming.
Ms Jasmine Seah, Senior Associate Director of Admissions & Financial Aid (centre in photo below), spoke at an interactive session called ‘Competing on American Soil. Exploring U.S. Student Recruitment for APAIE Universities’.
“I gave a presentation outlining key recruitment strategies which have contributed to Yale-NUS College’s enrolment successes. I also spoke about how student mobility is paralleled by students’ interest in institutions that mirror and challenge their experience outside of a traditional framework and how, at institutions like Yale-NUS, we attract learners who search for institutions which can deliver deep learning in an environment of cultural and ideological diversity,” Jasmine said.
Ms Petrina Loh, Manager at the Dean of Students Office, was invited to speak on a panel titled ‘Beyond Pizza and Kimbap: Campus Activities towards Student Empowerment’, where she shared about the use of co-curricular campus activities to develop intercultural communication skills that are critical for a diverse student body.
Her presentation was jointly delivered with Mr Douglas Lee, Assistant Director for Student Leadership & Involvement at the University of Utah Asia Campus in South Korea.
“For our presentation, we introduced the student affairs theories we often use to guide our work on our campuses. We also shared specific examples of our on-campus programmes where we see the theories at play and how we see students engaged to lead their communities,” Ms Loh said.
“Specifically, I shared about our First-Year Orientation with regard to how we are mindful that everyone comes from a different cultural context. For instance, we have conversations about what academic integrity means to them in their culture, and also introduce what this concept means now that they are at Yale-NUS and in this community,” she added.
Ms Loh also took the opportunity to talk about the Language Tables initiative at Yale-NUS where students, staff and faculty can interact with one another over informal conversations in a particular language, held over a meal. Using this example, she illustrated how the dining hall experience can contribute to making students feel engaged to their campus while giving them an opportunity to learn and practise a language.
Beyond on-campus experience, staff from the Centre for International & Professional Experience also shared on the College’s study abroad programming and career and graduate school advising. The Centre’s Associate Director Lindsay Allen and Programme Manager Beth Uding participated in a poster session titled ‘Connecting Study Abroad, Careers, Graduate School: A Resource for Advisors’ to present on the global opportunities provided by the College to enhance students’ academic learning, broaden their perspectives and hone their skills.
From left: Ms Beth Uding, Programme Manager and Ms Lindsay Allen, Associate Director, from the Centre for International & Professional Experience
The APAIE Annual Conference and Exhibition brings together international education policy-makers, practitioners and experts from across the globe to the Asia-Pacific to network, improve professional skills and learn about new developments in international education. It attracts around 1500 delegates each year.