Shifting education east

Western schools are expanding to the Eastern countries like Singapore.

by Daily Editorial Board

A new movement in higher education to build schools and programs in Eastern countries is making headlines across the globe. Schools, the most significant being Yale University, are focusing on countries such as China, Singapore and Malaysia, where many of their international students call home.

Yale’s plans for international expansion are apparent: During President Richard Levin’s tenure, international enrollment at Yale has doubled. International students now comprise around 10 percent of the entire undergraduate student body, with students hailing from 70 different countries from all corners of the world. International admissions are at an all-time high throughout the university, with more than 1,600 foreigners studying and working at Yale. There is a high and ever-growing demand for education globally that Yale and other American universities want to reach out to.

The movement also sheds light on the power of higher education to develop society and provoke critical thinking — but in an entirely unique direction. Instead of forcing Western thinking on to students in Singapore, Yale professors “want the curriculum to marry Eastern and Western academic, cultural, and philosophic traditions.” This is an extremely important step that will, hopefully, set precedence for other universities looking to globalize their education system.

Education is the most powerful tool we have. With new programs in Singapore focusing on topics like sustainable development, students can now shape their own society. Yale is even incorporating a local AIDS public policy course to their curriculum. With this growing movement, both communities are coming together to learn something new.