This tag is associated with 10 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

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

Throwback: Eugene Tan: Captain Not-Obvious

Before the new batch of Nominated Members of Parliament were announced last year, I had the chance to interview Mr. Eugene Tan – Associate Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University – where I quizzed him about his contributions to parliamentary debate, the attention he has paid to the tertiary institutions in Singapore, as well as reform to the electoral system. And I did ask him about the “Captain Obvious” label too. Continue reading