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The Straits Times

This category contains 238 posts

Be More Specific About Diversity Of Public Scholars

That the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are working to increase the diversity of both their scholarship applicants and recipients – for instance, by encouraging “more of those living in one- to three-room Housing Board flats and those from poorer families to apply for the scholarships” (ST, Jul. 21) – is encouraging, though they have to be more specific about what is meant by “diversity” and how it is measured and tracked over time. In addition, perhaps having defined diversity across race, gender, socio-economic status, as well as family or educational backgrounds, these metrics ought to be communicated more consistently. Continue reading

Singaporean Universities: Define And Specify Your Outcomes To Measure

While it has been agreed upon that international rankings of universities are imperfect, little has been said on the specific measures or outcome indicators that Singaporean universities would like to hold themselves accountable to and how they would like to communicate that information, and even less on how stakeholders beyond the administration and the academics – such as students and their parents – would be consulted. In other words, if the current rankings are problematic because they privilege broad-based universities with research prowess and are biased towards old legacy universities in the West (ST, Jul. 19), then universities which point to the importance of other abstract factors need to not only identify these factors, but also define and specify how they can be measured. Continue reading

Safe NSF Communication Channels Key To Deter Abuse

That the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is adopting a zero-tolerance approach to the abuse of soldiers is encouraging. In addition to the development of a comprehensive safety management system over the years (ST, Jul, 11), however, the availability of safe communication channels to report transgressions – for full-time national servicemen (NSFs) in non-commanding positions, in particular – is important. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen mentioned in parliament that new recruits are briefed on how they can make reports through unit supervisors or feedback units, yet two questions follow: First, how many reports are actually made, and how have the figures changed with time; second, the extent to which such reports have translated into disciplinary action or policy changes. Continue reading

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