Guess which University I attended?
Warwick lecturers vote against Singapore campus
By John Burton in Singapore
Published: October 14 2005 11:57 | Last updated: October 14 2005 11:57
Senior lecturers at Warwick University in the UK have voted against setting up a branch campus in Singapore due to worries about limits on academic freedom, dealing a possible setback to the city-state's ambitions to become a regional hub for higher education.
Singapore requires international educational institutions operating in the city-state to agree not to conduct activities seen as interference in domestic affairs.
The lopsided 27-13 “no” vote by Warwick's senate this week is believed to be the first time a foreign university has rejected the conditions set by Singapore. Although the vote is non-binding, it is likely to put pressure on the university council to abandon the Singapore plan when it makes a final decision on October 18.
Warwick and Australia's University of New South Wales are the only two foreign universities selected by Singapore's Economic Development Board to set up a full-scale campus.
The city-state has succeeded in attracting smaller schools operated by several top institutions, including Insead and the University of Chicago Graduate Business School, in an effort to triple the number of university students to 150,000 in the next decade.
The Warwick vote came as the outgoing US ambassador to Singapore warned in a farewell speech that Singapore's limits on expression might cause the government to “pay an increasing price for not allowing full participation of its citizens”.
Faculty and students at Warwick have questioned the costs of the nearly £300m ($525m) project and the university's ability to attract quality students and staff to the Singapore campus. But much of the criticism has focused on limits on academic freedom and civil liberties, including curbs on gay rights and high execution rates for criminals.
Warwick recently sent a letter to EDB asking that its students in Singapore be exempt from strict laws limiting freedom of assembly, speech and the press, and the removal of bans on homosexuality and certain religious practices on campus.
It also sought guarantees that staff and students would not be punished by the Singapore government for making academic-related comments that might be seen “as being outside the boundaries of political debate”. EDB said it would not comment.
The demand that the Singapore campus enjoy the same degree of academic freedom as in the UK came in response to an advisory report[requested a copy but was informed that the commissioned opinion is confidential] by Thio Li-ann, a law professor at the National University of Singapore, which said freedom of “speech is permissible as long as it does not threaten real political change or to alter the status quo”.
She warned that “the government will intervene if academic reports cast a negative light on their policies” but said the presence of Warwick in Singapore could “serve as an impetus for continued liberalisation”.
Does anyone know what the word 'vindication' means?
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