Friday, April 08, 2011


"Is it worth having a liberal arts college here?

THE deal is set for the Yale University and the National University of Singapore to set up a liberal arts college here ('Yale-NUS College gets faculty, alumni backing'; April 1).

But the question I want to pose is: Is it worth it?

The college will be offering a degree in liberal arts, which is not exactly a commercially viable qualification.

The fact is, to live and succeed in a competitive country like Singapore, there is more pressure on students such as myself to get a degree that will help us get a stable job, rather than something we would like to do.

The unfortunate truth is that students go to university for the degree, and not for the experience.

Also, the liberal arts 'scene' in Singapore is virtually non-existent. Students who want to actually apply what they learn in the programme will have to migrate to a country with more liberal arts opportunities, something conservative Singapore cannot provide.

Therefore, having a course that binds Western and Eastern cultures becomes moot.

Also, why not go straight to Yale, or any other university in a liberal arts savvy foreign country to study since they will have to migrate anyway? How useful will the students find this programme?"

I wonder if the author of this letter to the editor is being sarcastic or does it truly reflect the attitudes of the youth in Singapore today?

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