Yale-NUS closure: Employers say job prospects of graduates remain bright

Students fear employers will not recognise degrees awarded by the school. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - During a dialogue with current Yale-NUS College students on Aug 27, concerns were raised as to how their school's planned merger to form a new college - announced earlier that day - would have an impact on matters like study abroad programmes and post-graduate opportunities.

Several current and former Yale-NUS students interviewed mentioned fears that employers would not recognise degrees awarded by the school, which will no longer take in new students, although current students will remain part of it until 2025 and graduate from it.

Mr Jack Mullan, chief executive of risk management consultancy Barber Mullan and Associates, said both Yale and NUS are strong university brands that are internationally renowned, so job prospects should not be a concern.

"Whether it's NUS, Yale-NUS or another college, we know that NUS speaks for itself, not just to my business but for other global businesses," he added.

Mr Mullan said his company has hired two Yale-NUS graduates in the past two years, and he commended them for their strong writing and problem-solving skills as well as the ability to take the initiative.

Mr Calvin Chu, managing partner of social innovation consultancy Eden Strategy Institute, expressed disappointment over the merger of the college. "The school has provided my firm with confident communicators who can think across disciplines and have a strong concern for social good," he said.

He added that the merger means he will need to re-evaluate the quality of education and calibre of students from the New College - a placeholder name for the merged entity.

Mr Chu, who has hired three Yale-NUS graduates, said: "I think the span of liberal arts training offers an excellent foundation for young managers leading across different industries and organisational departments."

In response to queries from The Sunday Times, Yale-NUS College president Tan Tai Yong said he was confident that graduates will continue to do well.

He cited the annual Joint Autonomous Universities Graduate Employment Surveys, which found that nine in 10 of the fresh graduates from Yale-NUS College's cohorts between 2017 and last year found employment within six months of completing their final examinations.

Singapore Human Resources Institute president Low Peck Kem said NUS can help ease the fears of Yale-NUS graduates and explain to recruiters that the move is not a closure, but a merger.

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