Arts alive and well

October 29, 2015

The article on Yale-NUS College misrepresents the state of humanities education in Singapore (“Yale-NUS College extends reach of liberal arts’ ‘forbidden fruits’”, News, 22 October). The National University of Singapore had a reputable humanities faculty long before the Yale-NUS partnership. Nanyang Technological University’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences facilitates a range of interdisciplinary studies for students who elect to major in courses such as engineering. Meanwhile, the Singapore University of Technology and Design provides innovative humanities programmes. The suggestion that areas of the humanities might be viewed in Singapore as “forbidden fruits” seems an exaggeration to me from my time working there.

It is alarming that this piece depicts Yale-NUS as bringing the humanities to a culturally starved country. Humanities courses in Singapore are innovative and, in some cases, world-leading.

Chris Murray
Department of English studies
Durham University


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