Academic Views

First CHS, now CDE and New College: A tale of three top-down decisions

Peter Ooi and Melody Madhavan, alumni of Yale-NUS College, consider several proposed mergers in faculties and programmes at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and raise concerns about the lack of stakeholder consultation prior to their announcement. In many policy areas, decision-makers in Singapore are increasingly cognisant that making decisions the right way is just […]

Academic Views

Liberal arts, university autonomy and expectations of activism: Yale–NUS in context

Meredith L. Weiss argues that while Yale-NUS College has had some success in creating a more open and tolerant campus culture, attempts to preserve this have to be viewed in historical context. Over the decades, students’ engagement in wider society has been suppressed and deprioritised. State controls on student activism and university autonomy have worked […]

Academic Views

Muslim extremism after two decades of the ‘Global War on Terror’

Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, an independent researcher who writes on religious reform, multiculturalism and interreligious relations, considers the effect of the US ‘Global War on Terror’ on Muslim extremism. The 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on America, a global superpower, radically changed the world. Two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of the World […]

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Academic Freedom Survey 2021

In August 2021, AcademiaSG published findings of a survey of Singapore-based academics concerning the state of academic freedom in the republic. This groundbreaking survey of Singapore-based academics sheds light on such questions as: Do academics in Singapore subscribe to international norms concerning academic freedom? How prevalent is the sense of being constrained? What are the mechanisms […]

Academic Views

Race-based data: Friend or foe?

Shannon Ang, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Nanyang Technological University, considers whether and when it is useful to disaggregate data by race. A recent spate of racist incidents has led to more discussion of inter-ethnic relations and race-based policies, from arguments about concepts like Chinese privilege and Critical Race Theory to policy debates about the […]

Academic Views

Racial preference: Bad for the economy, bad for business

Linda Lim, Professor Emerita at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan and AcademiaSG Editor, brings an economist’s perspective to the ongoing discussion of racism in Singapore. This piece contains some updates added on 28 June 2021. Recent discourse in Singapore on race, racism and race relations, including on AcademiaSG,  has helpfully […]

Academic Views

Why there is Chinese privilege in Singapore, but it’s not analogous to White privilege

Sai Siew Min, a Singaporean historian now based in Taipei, discusses key features of the Singapore context which distinguish “Chinese privilege” from “White privilege”, including the role of political authoritarianism, the landscape of linguistic inequalities, and the visibility of racialisation as “Chinese” in Singapore, which connects to our incomplete understanding of the history of the […]