Saturday, January 28, 2012

NUS, an unfree university, really?

Some of you all may be aware that an exchange student from Yale wrote an article, based on his observations during his stay in Singapore, asserting that there is no student freedom at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Expectedly, this article attracted what may be described as a flood of comments - some agreeing with the author's assertion and others rebutting him. And on Facebook, partly due to the fact that I am a recent Political Science graduate from NUS, I have been privy to the sharing and rebutting of the article by my fellow NUS Political Science students and by NUS Political Science professors.

As several others have already cogently refuted the article, I shall only say that, in my opinion, the author of the article has made several sweeping and damning conclusions based only on rather superficial observations.

For those of you all who are interested, what follows below are two of the critiques of the article, besides the comments (which are well worth the time reading through) made on the article's website, I have seen online so far.

i) "From Singapore: a defence of Yale's partnership"

ii) "A letter to Max de La Bruy√®re, Editor-in-Chief of Yale Daily News" (notably, this was written by Mr. Bernard Chen Jiaxi who is Secretary of the Workers' Party Youth Wing)

I perhaps may be biased but in my opinion, although NUS is not perfect or the most free university around, it is not as bad or unfree as some may think it is.

P.S. It may perhaps no longer be there but one of my more vivid memories of the NUS Political Science Honours Students Room was the Reform Party/JBJ commemorative poster that was affixed onto one of the walls in the room. So NUS, an unfree university, really?

P.P.S. 30/1/2012

Came across this other Facebook note on the issue by another exchange student from the US: "Academic Freedom at the National University of Singapore".

Another post by another exchange student from the US: "Academic Freedom is Alive in Singapore".

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