The Octant, in a conversation with Joanne Roberts, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, discusses the commitments of staff and faculty to create an authentic experience for the Class of 2025 at Yale-NUS College.
Story | Kriti Andhare (she/her), Contributing Writer
Photo | Tan Shan Min, Managing Design Editor (she/her)
Yale-NUS College hopes to expand opportunities for students to benefit from programs like summer study abroad, Prof. Roberts told The Octant in an interview.
When questioned about what her benchmarks would be for maintaining a full Yale-NUS experience, Roberts announced a host of measures to consolidate the Yale-NUS experience in the final years of the college, including, but not limited to, a commitment to offer a full range of courses until 2025, an increased number of spots for Yale summer sessions and semesters abroad, and guaranteed housing for all Yale-NUS students, regardless of year group, LOA, or DDP status.
With the announcement of the merger, members of the Class of ‘25 voiced their fears about losing the unique opportunities and experiences offered by the College.
These fears had only been exacerbated by the recent cancellation of Week 7 Learning Across Boundaries programs (LABs) — faculty-led experiential learning projects of short duration — due to heightened COVID-19 restrictions in Singapore. The program was also waived as a graduation requirement.
Speaking further to the college’s commitment to ensuring the final batches enjoy financial security, Roberts stated the following:
“We’ve locked in everyone’s financial aid for all four years. And that means that we’re fully committed to everyone’s financial aid at the level it’s at. If anyone has a change to their situation, of course, we can always reconsider. But it means that no one’s financial aid will be trimmed, going forward.”
Roberts also announced an increase in study abroad slots at Yale. Exchange slots have been expanded to 30 per semester instead of the usual 16. Furthermore, 30 students will be sent to Yale for the summer session. CIPE and Roberts have also been working diligently to launch more research opportunities with Yale faculty for Yale-NUS students.
The Dean of Students office has been working on crafting LABs that will be offered to students after May.
Finally, speaking on the academic future of the College, Roberts reassured and re-emphasised her and Yale-NUS’s commitment to offering the full suite of majors, courses, and electives.
“Even if there are only four students in one majors left in ‘24 or ‘25, we intend to offer a full suite of electives for those people.”
Roberts reiterated that the governing board, Yale-NUS staff, and faculty remain committed to maintaining and providing to the Class of 2025 the full Yale-NUS experience.