This tag is associated with 51 posts

Beyond The Templatised, Individualised Singaporean Notions Of Success

What stood out in the summarised experiences of more than 300 business undergraduates at the Singapore Management University – published in two volumes and which highlight many of their anxieties over success and failure (ST, Jan. 9) – are the templatised, individualised Singaporean notions of success, and the extent to which those who chose different pathways are held up as exceptions. Templatised, and arguably as an extension of our education system, because there are implicit expectations for students to adhere to predetermined pathways leading to stable lives and careers, upon which there are checklists to follow. And individualised, because besides the references to their parents or immediate family relationships, there was little to no mention of how they position themselves in their communities (and even in the country or the world), and how they may contribute to improve the lives of others beyond their personal circles. 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

Ranking Singapore’s Universities: What Outcomes, And For Whom?

That international rankings of universities are imperfect and that Singapore’s universities “would benefit from a ‘much more variegated approach’ in assessing how well they do, given that every institution has a different focus and distinctive objective” (TODAY, Jun. 29) are clearly defined problems. What is less clear, however, are not only the precise outcomes or indicators that the universities would like to measure instead, but also the target audience of these metrics and – by extension – the purpose of these measurements in the first place. Students and faculty members, for instance and in general, are likely to prioritise a school’s strength in teaching and in research differently, and furthermore comparing academic and vocational educational outcomes may not be as straightforward. Continue reading

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