New Liberal Arts and Sciences Institutions in India and Singapore: The Role of STEM Education

  • Bryan Penprase


India is facing a vast unmet demand for both a greater quantity and quality of higher education. The rise of India’s middle class, youth-dominated demographics, and emerging high-tech sectors make the expansion of higher education in India an urgent priority. Private philanthropy has enabled the development of a new sector of private liberal arts and sciences universities. We describe several of these new universities in India, and how they each uniquely embody liberal arts in India. Yale-NUS College as an interesting counterpoint is also described, with its interdisciplinary curriculum that blends East and West. These new universities offer great promise to educate students in ways that are rooted both in the twenty-first century and in the cultures of India and Singapore.


liberal arts curriculum development institution building STEM Education Indian education 


  1. American Council on Education & Center for International Higher Education—International Briefs for Higher Education Leaders. (2013). India—The next frontier. Retrieved from
  2. Ashoka University. (2015). Founders. Retrieved from
  3. Azim Premji Foundation. (2015). About us.
  4. Azim Premji University. (2015). Academic vision. Retrieved from
  5. British Research Council. (2014). Understanding India: The future of higher education and opportunities for international cooperation. Retrieved from
  6. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. (2013). Vision 2030. Retrieved from$FILE/EY-Higher-education-in-India-Vision-2030.pdf
  7. Fitzgerald, F. S. (1936, March). “Pasting it together”, part two of The Crack-Up. In Esquire.Google Scholar
  8. Garsten, B., Patke, R., Bailyn, C., Jacobs, J. J., Chuan, K. H., & Penprase, B. (2013). Yale-NUS College—A new community of learning. Retrieved from
  9. Hindustani Times. (2013). A vision for education—From 2013 to 2030. Hindustani Times. Retrieved from
  10. Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar. (2015). India Ki Khoj. Retrieved from
  11. Kohli, G. (2015, April 16). Private universities ready for choice-based credit system. Hindustani Times. Retrieved from
  12. Narayanan, N. (2015). Whether the UGC is scrapped or revamped, it has failed India’s higher education. Retrieved from
  13. Nussbaum, M. C. (2011). Democracy, education and the liberal arts: Two Asian models. University of California at Davis Law Review, 44, 735. Retrieved from
  14. Penprase, B. (2015a). Liberal arts in India [blog post]. Retrieved from
  15. Penprase, B. (2015b). The future of liberal arts in India 2015 [conference website]. Retrieved from
  16. Penprase, B. (2015c). Foundations of Science at Yale-NUS overview [webpage]. Retrieved from
  17. Pollard, D. (2015). Keats: On overcoming Milton [blog post]. Retrieved from
  18. Revi, A. (2013). Personal interview for Penprase, B. The expanding universe of higher education (in preparation), chapter available upon request.Google Scholar
  19. Sen, A. (2005). The argumentative Indian. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  20. Tagore, R. (1922). Creative unity. New York: The Macmillan Company.Google Scholar
  21. Tharoor, S. (2015). How Modi government is undermining Indian education. Retrieved from
  22. Young India Fellowship. (2015). About YIF [webpage]. Retrieved from
  23. Wipro. (2015). About Wipro [webpage]. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan Penprase
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Teaching and LearningYale-NUS CollegeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Pomona CollegeClaremontUSA

Personalised recommendations