Yale-NUS hosts inaugural Symposium on International Liberal Education and marks campus opening with Singapore’s Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong

7 October 2015

Yale-NUS College will host two milestone events in October.

Symposium on International Liberal Education, 11 October 2015

The first is the Symposium on International Liberal Education held on 11 October 2015, which brings together approximately 40 international thought leaders in higher education from leading institutions around the world. The symposium aims to discuss the fundamental challenges facing higher education today. In addition to the Presidents of Yale-NUS’ parent institutions, Presidents Peter Salavoy of Yale University and Tan Chorh Chuan of the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Symposium features leaders from distinguished international universities and colleges, such as Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford; Catharine B Hill, President, Vassar College; Richard Levin, President Emeritus, Yale University, and Chief Executive Officer, Coursera; Zhang Jie, President, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The symposium discussions are intended to foster visionary thinking around reshaping undergraduate education for the 21st century. In keeping with the Yale-NUS spirit of open discussion and inquiry, the full-day event is set up as an open discussion platform with two panel sessions. Such a format seeks to spark collaboration across universities and dialogue around reforms that will redefine education for today’s complex, interconnected world.

“Yale-NUS College already represents the best of both Asian and Western academic traditions; the creation of its new campus will reinforce its pioneering role,” commented Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. “It’s an enormous pleasure, as a representative of one of the very oldest academic institutions in the world, to participate in the inauguration of one of the very newest. I am certain that Yale-NUS College will contribute enormously both to the free exchange of ideas that characterises our shared academic endeavour and uphold the cherished ideals of academic freedom that are the bedrock of intellectual enquiry.”

Inauguration of the Yale-NUS College Campus, 12 October 2015

On 12 October 2015, Yale-NUS College will celebrate the Inauguration of the Yale-NUS College Campus. The ceremony will be graced by Singapore’s Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Ong Ye Kung, and international college presidents from educational institutions worldwide, including Barthélémy Jobert, President, Paris-Sorbonne University; David W Oxtoby, President, Pomona College; Joseph JY Sung, President and Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Sung Nak-in, President, Seoul National University who will also attend the Symposium on International Liberal Education hosted by the College on 11 October.

Professor Zhang Jie, President of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), congratulates Yale-NUS on this milestone, and says, “Shanghai Jiao Tong University has maintained a long-term and strong academic partnership with both Yale and NUS, two of the most prestigious universities in the world. The inauguration of the new campus is indeed a milestone for both Yale and NUS in their efforts to build a world-class liberal arts college in Singapore. SJTU looks forward to developing a more substantial and fruitful cooperation with this great college. I sincerely wish Yale-NUS College every success in the years to come.”

Since Yale-NUS was founded in 2011, the College has built an intimate, liberal arts college dedicated to undergraduate education. When our inaugural faculty created our curriculum and pedagogy, we sought to draw on the strengths of established liberal arts practices, while introducing our students to the diverse intellectual traditions and cultures of Asia and the world based on an interdisciplinary approach. Four years on, the College has welcomed over 100 faculty members to the Humanities, Science and Social Sciences Divisions, and recently welcomed its third class of students to the College, bringing the student body population to over 500 students.

The four-year fully residential programme that Yale-NUS offers is unique in Singapore, and provides for an immersive experience where living and learning are intertwined. The 64,000 square-metre campus consists of three residential colleges (RCs), 1,000 student rooms, seminar rooms, laboratories, fabrication studios, sky gardens, a library, a black box theatre, a performance hall and art studios among other facilities.

“Our new campus is a ‘learning landscape’ equipped with a multitude of facilities to serve the needs of our students, faculty and staff,” says Founding President Pericles Lewis. “With three residential colleges as well as the common social spaces across the campus complementing our educational facilities, our model of a learning community has been greatly strengthened. This state-of-the-art campus provides our community with the resources to bring the best of the East and West together in a powerful and profound dialogue, helping us shape leaders of tomorrow who will have an impact both within our community and beyond.”

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli of New Haven in the United States and Forum Architects of Singapore, Yale-NUS College received the Green Mark Platinum Award from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in May 2013, and was the first educational institution to receive the Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) certification in August 2014, given out by the National Parks Board (NParks, Singapore) to recognise its efforts in designing and implementing ecologically friendly landscapes.

Yale-NUS’ Campus Green is also home to six existing mature conserved trees, including a Margaritaria indica, an extremely rare tree that was identified as a new species record for Singapore when it was discovered on our campus and conferred a ‘Heritage Tree status by NParks in 2014.

Events At A Glance

Event Date/Time/Venue Details
Symposium on International Liberal EducationPanel 1: Dialogue among Presidents

Panel 2: The future of international liberal education

11 October 2015, 12nn – 6.30pm, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
  • Attended by 40 university leaders
  • Open to media
Inauguration of the Yale-NUS College CampusGuest-of-Honour: Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong 12 October 2015, 10.30am – 1.00pm, Yale-NUS College
  • Open to media


For media enquiries, please contact publicaffairs@yale-nus.edu.sg.


19 June 2020: Outdated links have been updated.