Yale-NUS student named 2018 Rhodes Scholar

Yale-NUS College Class of 2017 student Nicholas Carverhill, 22, has been selected as a 2018 Rhodes Scholar. The Rhodes Scholarship is a postgraduate award given to exceptional students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford, with the aim of nurturing public-spirited leaders of the future.

Mr Carverhill, from Saskatoon, Canada, studied Urban Studies and Global Affairs at Yale-NUS College. He has worked with Rohingya Muslims in Bangkok, volunteered with injured migrant workers in Singapore, and spent a summer supporting the recruitment of teachers for northern Indigenous communities in Canada. He was a Pearson Scholar, Yale-NUS Global Leader Scholar, and is currently a fellow in the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) programme. At Yale-NUS, Mr Carverhill managed an undergraduate global affairs online publication, and was the founding President of the Yale-NUS College Debate Society, which allowed him to spend considerable time supporting and working with debate initiatives and programmes in about a dozen countries.


Facing an Aggressive China: The US May Be Inching Towards Asian Alliance

The juxtaposition of speeches and leadership show a stark contrast. Under Xi Jinping, China is strategic in expanding its influence, while the United States and the Donald Trump administration seem to be floundering, lurching about with policies. “Since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Xi has projected himself as a responsible global statesman committed to maintaining global norms and leading on tackling challenges such as climate change and global trade,” explains Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations. Asian nations assess the strength of commitments as Trump undertakes a 12-day visit with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. “The Narendra Modi government has invested significant diplomatic capital in building ties with Washington, with Modi visiting the United States four times during the last three years,” Pant explains, adding that China’s fast rise may not go completely unchallenged. He concludes that the United States and India along with Japan and Australia could “emerge as guarantors of free trade and defense cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean to Africa.” Again, much depends on the United States keeping its many commitments in word and deed. – YaleGlobal

Yale-NUS students learn diverse languages through teleconference

In an increasingly globalised world, the mastery of different languages is becoming essential to students who hope to embark on careers that span countries and continents.

At Yale-NUS College, students are offered the opportunity to learn diverse languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Sanskrit via the Yale Center for Language Study.

According to Senior Lecturer of Spanish and Associate Director of Language Studies Eduardo Lage-Otero, students have indicated significant interest in these languages. To enable the students to pursue these opportunities, the College worked with Yale to develop language programmes conducted via teleconference. These new classes augment the current range of language programmes that are already being offered at the College, in partnership with the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Centre for Language Studies.


Vietnam and China: Balancing Geography and History

Neighbors China and Vietnam share a long, complicated history. China is the dominant partner and most recently pressured Vietnam to cancel an oil-drilling contract in the South China Sea with the Spanish oil firm Repsol. Soon afterward, Vietnam’s defense minister met with his counterpart in Washington and announced approval of a visit by a US aircraft carrier to a Vietnamese port. Capitulating to China on big issues close to home and connecting to the United States in economic and symbolic ways follow an old pattern. “Hanoi looks to Washington for assistance only when China threatens, but in its heart, the country values Beijing’s comradeship more,” explains Tuong Vu, author, professor of political science and director of Asian Studies at the University of Oregon. Vietnamese leaders were disappointed in the 1970s as China welcomed the United States and elements of capitalism. The Soviet Union’s end pushed Vietnam to normalize relations with the United State in 1995. By 2005, China was aggressive in enforcing claims over most of the South China Sea, “dashing Vietnamese leaders’ cherished hope that the comradely spirit between the two parties would soar above narrow national interests,” Vu explains. Despite many disappointments, ideology remains a priority in Vietnam’s foreign-policy calculations. – YaleGlobal

Students Abroad: Abigail Smith in My Loi, Vietnam

Thanks to funding from the Coca Cola World Fund at Yale, Abigail Smith, a Class of 2018 Master of Environmental Management Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, traveled to Vietnam to work with the World Agroforestry Centre on agriculture and climate-change mitigation.

My work this summer is focused on a Climate-Smart Agriculture project led by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Vietnam. As the planet warms and global population continues to grow and demand for food increases, it is increasingly urgent to devise solutions which achieve sustainable nutritional and ecological security. On the farm level, these overlapping goals necessitate agricultural ecosystems with high levels of biological productivity to maximize ecological interactions and niches, as well as resource use efficiency to minimize artificial or external inputs into the agricultural system.


Can Vietnam Become a Global Tech Hub?

Vietnam is hoping its nascent tech ecosystem can compete on a global stage, and it has started to gain the attention of international investment. Eddie Thai ’12 discusses the challenges and opportunities along the long road to reach the country’s potential.