I think local unis should work harder on attaining a name, not just via silly advertisements - e.g. the recent few that were mocked bigtime (done by NUS Business School) depicting an overseas student rejecting WHARTON and SLOAN of all things to go to NUS Business School.. That is only one example, I've seen a few more which make me ashamed. We care too much about being on global rankings, so we do things here that make us get placed on global rankings, but so what, employers internationally will still often pick certain unranked schools but with a much better name over local schools with good rankings and no name.
I'm not certain how our local unis can do so, but as above example, touting the idea that they can match up to the big name giants without having the substance and presence is not going to the trick as far as I can see.
Not just in civil service, this first/second/third paper race; take for example - investment banking arena; it is not easy to break in unless you have contacts, most foreign firms have very high demands for their male employees when they recruit. I have a friend who interned in a locally based IB firm who has loads of overseas customers, on the male side there are zero local graduates, just to give you an idea of what they think.
P.S. Anyways, just in case someone comes up with some "only overseas then can get degree argument", it doesn't apply in the scenario just above this postscript; IB has all sorts of degrees, chem engine, fin engine, economics; you name it they probably have a graduate in it.
Last edited by night86mare; 18th July 2007 at 10:41 PM.
the degree is just a piece of paper. going overseas can give you the network, and that is the real deal.
The culture, the new experiences, etc. have nothing to do with it.
Just lumping it all together for push factors away from local unis.
Arguments do not have to be in a point by point basis, especially when they're informal.. =D I guess that's the view that got me in trouble with my GP teacher (well, science stream GP teachers are interesting in weird ways) all the time.
What I'm saying; in short, is that:
Doesn't matter what quality your first class honours is if you do not have the name to back up your first class honours. No name no talk, first and foremost.
btw, the banking industry is extremely competitive, it's true that NUS graduates sometimes hardly get a chance, but that's more because of poor knowledge, or poor performance. poor performance during interviews as well. nothing to do with 1st class honours.
I merely mentioned one example of a foreign investment banking corporation with branch here; whose management is largely male-dominated. Therefore, on the female side, for whatever reasons I shall not name (whatever I was told, anyways) the standards on paper are seemingly less stringent to the eye of an outsider.
They do demand stellar resumes from the males though; Ivy League or Oxbridge nonetheless; so it isn't just Singapore who does the paper chase, come to think of it.
You know, like a small man puffing himself to look big, I'm sure you get the idea.
In the first place, the rat race for 1st class honours has to stop, local unis have to get their idea down pat, and this comes in the form of change of culture, PROPER change of teaching methods (no, introduction of creativity or whatever not in the classroom is ridiculous, thankyew).. And giving stringent and overly demanding academic requirements for employability versus a proper university education that is more ideal - I'm sure you'd agree it has to balance out somewhere.
Last edited by night86mare; 18th July 2007 at 11:40 PM.
and if you realised, the rat race comes from the students, not the university system. the system is pretty much similar to many other schools all over the world, so don't blame the school for not getting the honours. in fact i see alot of courses being ''ruined'' by uninterested singaporean students in NUS.
I guess so, you do have your point there. But nonetheless we have to brush up our act somewhat.
What do I mean?
Right now, our universities are at a state where we are psuedo-recognised, neither here nor there, we are known, but not well-known. Something like the good ol' argument about whether Singapore is what-world (you know, first-world, blah); a lot of talent does run overseas for a few reasons: a) the fact that they do not like the proposed lifestyle in order to do well academically here; b) lack of name, and many more.
You state that despite the fact that Singapore isn't the top choice for more employers, giving stringent requirements for first-class ensures that you get a clear division between the cream and the uninterested students with possibly undesirable attitudes which may later on be migrated to their work. I agree. But how do you put it - how do you ensure that the quality of education (whether it is culture, exposure to various facets of education) improves while implementing such conditions which may well deter the development of the former [i.e. improvement of quality of education].
maybe whilst the discussion is hot let me point you to a blog
chezburgr i can haz?
if you ask me, hall involvement is very hard to assess, and probably meaningless to grade since it'll be really arbitrary. if a student wants proof of active social involvement, i'll think getting involved in activities outside the school will be more important than getting oneself stuck in the hall. in some schools in europe, students run their own cross faculty research programs and make substantial contribution to the field, that definitely looks much more impressive on the resume.
when it comes to tertiary education, alot has to do with personal choices and what one wants to get out of one's time in the school. the system will never be perfect, someone somehow will have something against it and it will be changing all the time. actually i think entry into NUS is so easy for singaporeans that most singaporeans only want to get a cert. and don't want to have much to do with improving NUS. that complacency is evident in all the schools in NUS, which makes it even more difficult for qualitative improvement to take place.
Last edited by eikin; 19th July 2007 at 12:13 AM.
Well, I have crashed NUS lectures before, was not impressed by the quality of the lecturers, and that is one complaint I suppose. Small things show the difference between here and there; the NUS medicine faculty is probably one of the oddest balls in the basket when it comes to medical education, as one example. Why so much emphasis on mugging?
So why - overseas uni also never assess hall involvement, but somehow their graduates sell. Our local unis sell too, but usually only locally, I'm sure you'd agree.if you ask me, hall involvement is very hard to assess, and probably meaningless to grade since it'll be really arbitrary. if a student wants proof of active social involvement, i'll think getting involved in activities outside the school will be more important than getting oneself stuck in the hall. in some schools in europe, students run their own cross faculty research programs and make substantial contribution to the field, that definitely looks much more impressive on the resume.
I think it's the overall experience that produces the person somewhat, perhaps like you say poor performance at interviews and all that, but I'm pretty sure employers would somehow choose to interview a candidate from a good overseas school from a good local school, which is kinda sad since to be honest, both can be good at work - but perceptions are everything in the world today, so lose out and suck thumb lor.
But that said, perhaps you should say that the people who enter do not view it as an opportunity, more like a must-do and must-have. Well, this is Singapore after all, we all know that education is good for us, but we will complain and find fault with whatever we must learn.
I think I've mentioned it here before, perhaps 50% or more of the people in university now will never use their skills at work; professional degrees excluding.. But hey, someone once told me that university is all about the training of the mind, not about content. Can't say I disagree.