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What matters is ability, not a university degree

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    263,173 posts since Dec '99
    • What matters is ability, not a university degree: Ong Ye Kung

       

      Urging the public not to be “overly-fixated” with the university cohort participation rate, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung stressed on Monday (May 8) that all Singaporeans “need to keep learning and deepening our skills throughout our lives”.

      Speaking in Parliament during the second reading of the Bill to set up the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) as the Republic’s sixth autonomous university, Mr Ong said that degrees can become obsolete in a world where information and knowledge can be found online easily. Degrees also do not enable people to earn a living, he pointed out. Instead, it is “our ability to keep pace with changing needs of the economy is what helps us earn our keep”, he said.

      He added: “Skills are what carry a premium now, and skills need to be honed throughout our lifetimes.….All of us need to keep learning and deepening our skills throughout our lives.”

      Mr Ong’s comments came after his remarks at the 47thSt Gallen Symposium last week sparked a spirited public debate by some, including former GIC chief economist Yeoh Lam Keong. During the event held in Switzerland, Mr Ong spoke about the need for the education system to be aligned with the structure of the economy, and this means that the proportion of graduates in a cohort has to be capped at about 30 per cent to 40 per cent.

      In a Facebook post, Mr Yeoh said Mr Ong had trotted out the “same old unimaginative line”, and argued that “the history of education policy is full of examples of existing policy makers underestimating the skill and education needs of the modern economy and overestimating their ability to forecast them”.

      Towards the end of his speech in Parliament, Mr Ong alluded to the discussion that arose from his earlier comments. He reiterated that given the diverse needs of the economy requiring more talent from wider fields of expertise, there should be “diverse and multitudinous” paths for people to upgrade their skills. Among other things, these can be academic upgrades, apprenticeships, industry certifications, overseas exposures, or simply gaining work experience and making a name for oneself in the respective fields, he said.

      “It would truly be “unimaginative” to confine ourselves to university academic education as the only way to develop to our full potential,” Mr Ong said.   “Degrees don’t define us, individually, or as a society….. Our society needs to evolve, such that all occupations, crafts and trades, whether the skills are acquired through a degree education or not, are respected and recognised.”

      Singapore’s university cohort participation rate has increased progressively from 20 per cent in 2000, to 30 per cent by 2015. The number is expected to grow, increasing from 35 per cent this year, and 40 per cent by 2020.

      The majority of graduates – about 90 per cent hail from the autonomous universities - are able to find jobs within six months after graduation, Mr Ong noted. This is not the case in many countries experiencing severe graduate unemployment due to an over-supply of graduates, and Singapore has to “guard against” suffering from the same fate, he reiterated.

      The Government had earlier announced that it would be renaming and restructuring SIM University into an autonomous university. To expand its offering for adult learners, it will further refine its programmes for working students, and work with SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (or SSG) and sector agencies to develop industry-relevant courses.

      SUSS will also deliver programmes with a “strong social focus”, such as championing disciplines that bring positive impacts on society, said Mr Ong. This could include building a strong niche in the social sciences, such as social work, early childhood education, and human resource management. The university will also “infuse the mission of social development into other disciplines”, such as having a compulsory service learning component which requires students to initiate, conceptualise, and execute a social project and champion a cause under SUSS’ full-time programmes.

       

      todayonline

  • minx's Avatar
    851 posts since Sep '15
    • Bullshit.    Lee ah long doen't like Singaporeans be well educated by going universities that is why the subordinate is now aggressively talking rubbish to stop locals go for degree.     What the father built the son destroys. 

  • <Precious>'s Avatar
    6,590 posts since Jul '06
    • The PAP are talking much worse bullcrap than what SGF can offer.....!

      They have run out of ideas how to run Singapore and have nothing else to offer the country anymore. Yet, they will not step down because their pay is too darn good. So they just sprout this kind of crap to confuse the public. A confused public will mean it is a lot more difficult for the people to get a consensus to get rid of them....... the classic Divide-And-Rule tactic that has served them so well through the years.

      Do we see any minister or MP putting their children in ITEs or polytechnics? No, they will attend the most prestiggious educational institutions! This is the clearest indication that they do not subscribe to what they preach..........

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • University Degree =/= Ability BUT why should Ability not = University Degree?

       

  • minx's Avatar
    851 posts since Sep '15
    • Originally posted by <Precious>:

      The PAP are talking much worse bullcrap than what SGF can offer.....!

      They have run out of ideas how to run Singapore and have nothing else to offer the country anymore. Yet, they will not step down because their pay is too darn good. So they just sprout this kind of crap to confuse the public. A confused public will mean it is a lot more difficult for the people to get a consensus to get rid of them....... the classic Divide-And-Rule tactic that has served them so well through the years.

      Do we see any minister or MP putting their children in ITEs or polytechnics? No, they will attend the most prestiggious educational institutions! This is the clearest indication that they do not subscribe to what they preach..........

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Well, we have someone whose path was created to be BG, MP , now MP and Pig M.  Everything is ready for him.   All ministers, all policies , law , media and so on are what they are to cater to this obnoxious arrogant hopeless tyrant.  Singapore first, Singaporeans first not in his mind.   To him is "I first".    It is much easier for him to deal with the less educated as such "don't go university'.     Never expect this scumbag to change ,  he is in to continue to screw us.  Those that voted him and his party are doing a disservice to Singapore and her people. 

       

       

       

  • Eunice is nice's Avatar
    13 posts since Jun '17
    • Does SUSS deserve a spot among Singapore’s autonomous universities?

      The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has joined the ranks of the country’s prestigious autonomous universities. This brings a new approach to the top tier of the nation’s schools.

      by Francesca Ross

      The once-private university, the Singapore Institute of Management (UniSIM), has rebranded as an autonomous university in a move that should see more full-time applications and significantly higher revenues.

      Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education said, “as an autonomous university, UniSIM will support lifelong learning, targeting both students and adult learners, in the domain of social sciences.” The switch to a public school has been under discussion for some years but does it deserve its place among Singapore’s academic big-hitters?

      The autonomous universities are traditionally known for their high academic standards

      Singapore’s traditional five autonomous universities are generally renowned for their highly-competitive entry criteria. They also have a reputation for equipping graduates with the credentials that get them coveted positions in top-performing companies world-wide.

      The National University of Singapore was named the top institution in Asia for the second consecutive year in 2016, rising two points to 24th in the World University Rankings. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was named the World’s Fast-rising Young University by Times Higher Education, coming in at second place in Asia and 13th in the world.

      NTU is in the world’s top ten for education, electrical and electronic engineering, and Materials Science. It is ranked sixth in the world in engineering. Singapore Management University is ranked tenth in Asia and the Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) is the only Asian business school to make the top five international rankings.

      The new recruit to the group offers courses with a more social focus

      The new Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), by comparison, boasts five academic schools, including law and accountancy. University leaders say their new strategic plan means courses will have a social focus and the school will carve out a unique role in the university system.

      This is in line with the Ministry of Education’s pledge to increase the cohort participation rate, or number of people that go to university, to 40% by 2020. SUSS will support this by increasing the current annual intake of 580 students to 1,000 in the next few years.

      UniSIM was traditionally considered a flexible choice for working adults who do not meet the prerequisites of other higher-profile schools. Some of their courses were entirely vocational and had no grade point average requirement. The university’s most popular courses were communications, logistics, early childhood education, social work, and project management.

      Just 900 students were on full-time programmes with the school last year. This compared to 13,000 people enrolled for part-time degree study. Many of these were attracted by heavy government subsidies, bursaries and loans for part-time courses.

      Recognition is likely to attract more students; and more revenue

      UniSIM president Cheong Hee Kiat has acknowledged the importance of these subsidies. He believes they suggest “recognition by MOE that UniSIM offers quality degrees.” The new declaration of autonomous status is likely to underline this perception and push up enrolments.

      This, in turn, will bring in more revenue for the university board. A four-year degree in Singapore currently costs around 53% of a person’s income and this is expected to rise to over 70% by 2030.

      Current students hope the declaration of autonomous status will also increase the perceived value of their programmes by employers. Full-time accountancy student Tan Jun Cheng wanted to see the higher revenues from more full-time students pushed into, “more entrepreneurship programmes and stints that will give us more industry exposure.”

      Applied skills education can help tackle youth unemployment and promote prosperity

      The education minister says the move towards applied skills is desperately needed. “I cannot just make a big change in the system by pumping in another billion dollars, build another polytechnic, build another university,” he said.

      “But instead, it is changing the way we do things — uncovering students’ talents, developing them to the fullest,” he explained. This is important when Singapore is predicted to sit sixth in the world for youth unemployment to 2030.

      The addition of SUSS to the fold of Singapore’s autonomous universities marks a new understanding of education priorities. The SUSS does not have the reputation or standing of the older five but that is not the reason for its promotion.

      The SUSS has been elevated thanks to recognition by the authorities that the workplace needs more than thinkers with academic star quality. It also requires doers with practical professional experience that understand business and commerce. Full-time programmes offered by SUSS include a mandatory internship period which provides this insight.

      The truth is that the management of the SUSS will make a lot of money from its upgrade thanks to increasing numbers of full-time students, but if that can bring down the worrying youth unemployment then – in the long-term – so will Singapore.

  • 100162260's Avatar
    2 posts since Jun '17
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