Singapore needs more graduates, not less


Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#2
Read the finishing lines again. It's not to chose between to poles, two opinions, two options. It's about balancing and adjusting. Or to use something more rel;ated to photography: it's not about Black or White, it's about finding the correct grey tone. Which will change every year, of course.
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#3
http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-needs-more-grads-stay-ahead-ntu-president

Contradicting gahmen's message wor... so who is right?

By the way, China's total number of fresh graduates per year will cross the 7 million mark next year.
one is a government tasked to balance the equation, the other wants a higher intake to boost income and rankings/ratings. two different institutions, so don't tie them together.

and nope, just because they have NIE on the grounds and MOE governs the schools in Singapore doesn't make them two peas in a pod
 

dancemania

Senior Member
Oct 1, 2006
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#5
Singapore doesn't need more graduates. Look at today's ST - cleaners with no education can earn at least $1000. Mature graduates can't even get a office job. So what is the use of the degree! The graduate is totally STUCK with no where to go.
 

Big Kahuna

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Dec 15, 2004
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#6
The important thing is manage the expectation...it's good to churn out more graduates...however we need to reinvent our job so that people are proud of doing it....not only becoming managers....it can be technician or highly skilled production worker..or even Casino couplier who are paid resonably well....with that the graduates will not complaint....otherwise jialat...
 

NazgulKing

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Nov 30, 2009
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#7
The important thing is manage the expectation...it's good to churn out more graduates...however we need to reinvent our job so that people are proud of doing it....not only becoming managers....it can be technician or highly skilled production worker..or even Casino couplier who are paid resonably well....with that the graduates will not complaint....otherwise jialat...
The problem is not so much reinventing jobs but increasing the breadth and depth of our economy, for which we have neither.
 

Bukitimah

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Nov 28, 2010
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#8
For a long time, we have been able to control or rather limit the 'output' of uni graduates. These people are being protected and guaranteed a decent paying job on graduation. This is OK and workable until the flood gate opens.

Today not only the rich can send their children oversea, there are also private schools offering the same degrees here locally. Now the big problem, the highly aspired degree is getting too common. Can we now say we recognize only some?

Personally, we are not alone facing such a problem. Instead of trying to artificially control this, we must learn to embrace and accept it. Just last weekend, out of curiosity, I flip the classified adv. I saw this big advert staring at me. 'Master in any discipline' for management trainee. What does it says? The paper qualifications still sell.

Maybe another 10 years to see the change?
 

Octarine

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#9
The problem is not so much reinventing jobs but increasing the breadth and depth of our economy, for which we have neither.
Fully agree.
On the other hand: the efficiency equation has alweays been looked at from the point of costs. Reducing costs (= pay low wages) was the mantra of the past decades, leading to the distortions we can see: companies prefer to hire foreign workers instead of employing local people. How about increasing the results instead? LKY once announced" if someone produces 100 units then we are better and producing 200 units in the same time", starting a race for low costs and similar or lower quality. The same call in Germany resulted in "let's produce 130 units, with better quality and additional (useful) features". The higher value can justify higher price, covering the costs for local employees. This requires skills, knowledge and expertise in engineering and many other areas, graduates or not.
 

NazgulKing

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#13
Fully agree.
On the other hand: the efficiency equation has alweays been looked at from the point of costs. Reducing costs (= pay low wages) was the mantra of the past decades, leading to the distortions we can see: companies prefer to hire foreign workers instead of employing local people. How about increasing the results instead? LKY once announced" if someone produces 100 units then we are better and producing 200 units in the same time", starting a race for low costs and similar or lower quality. The same call in Germany resulted in "let's produce 130 units, with better quality and additional (useful) features". The higher value can justify higher price, covering the costs for local employees. This requires skills, knowledge and expertise in engineering and many other areas, graduates or not.
THe problem is national strategy. The *** was eager for high rates of progress to show its worth. The "stable, law and order with cheap labor" strategy worked in the 70s-90s, but it should have realised by the late 90s that this was not a viable solution, but it persisted on with this strategy into the 2000s. I have no doubt that some people in MTI will claim and show why this will work and still work and whatever not because of their "secret data", but the problem has to be dealt with, and how it is being dealt with is sadly not enough. Productivity can only be achieved with high quality economic activities and not just by merely "restricting the intake of cheap workers" in hope that would solve the problem. The United States has the highest productivity in the world simply because of the quality of the economic activity. This does not hold true for Singapore.

But I know there are people in the Government who either have 1. Given up hope for this, or 2. have psyched themselves into thinking this is the best possible solution. Every policy since the 90s has been a patch work of attempts to "grow" Singapore's economy and most have failed. Claims to be the "Silicon Valley of the East" have failed and were the stuff of hubris. Doing Business in Singapore is expensive because our geographical location is both a curse and blessing. The curse has unfortunately started to bite. Now the question is how to counteract this curse.
 

kei1309

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Apr 12, 2010
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#14
THe problem is national strategy. The *** was eager for high rates of progress to show its worth. The "stable, law and order with cheap labor" strategy worked in the 70s-90s, but it should have realised by the late 90s that this was not a viable solution, but it persisted on with this strategy into the 2000s. I have no doubt that some people in MTI will claim and show why this will work and still work and whatever not because of their "secret data", but the problem has to be dealt with, and how it is being dealt with is sadly not enough. Productivity can only be achieved with high quality economic activities and not just by merely "restricting the intake of cheap workers" in hope that would solve the problem. The United States has the highest productivity in the world simply because of the quality of the economic activity. This does not hold true for Singapore.

But I know there are people in the Government who either have 1. Given up hope for this, or 2. have psyched themselves into thinking this is the best possible solution. Every policy since the 90s has been a patch work of attempts to "grow" Singapore's economy and most have failed. Claims to be the "Silicon Valley of the East" have failed and were the stuff of hubris. Doing Business in Singapore is expensive because our geographical location is both a curse and blessing. The curse has unfortunately started to bite. Now the question is how to counteract this curse.
Not that I'm a fan of the government but there's only so much diversification of economic activities that we can do due to our geographical position.

Furthermore the stemming of the low-cost labor was lobbied for by opposition parties and their supporters. The problem is that the government should never have given in to their demands, but develop policies to solve the issue in the long run.
 

NazgulKing

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Nov 30, 2009
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#16
Not that I'm a fan of the government but there's only so much diversification of economic activities that we can do due to our geographical position.

Furthermore the stemming of the low-cost labor was lobbied for by opposition parties and their supporters. The problem is that the government should never have given in to their demands, but develop policies to solve the issue in the long run.
Precisely why I say the geographic position is both a blessing and a curse. A curse because there is no regional market to speak of that is sophisticated enough to demand sophisticated goods. This again returns to the problem of productivity. There is little demand in the immediate region for sophisticated goods. This means that to sell sophisticated goods, one has to have the capital and the means to export beyond SEA. There are only a few business types that can go around that, but don't bet on them being high yield industries in the long run.

Diversification is in fact NOT the only solution. DEPTH is the real solution. There is no bloody point in thinning out our resources in so many industries when each and every one of them lack the overall sophistication. Our economy lacks sophistication, our engineers generally do not have the skills and the knowledge to do complicated projects, our finance industry lags behind any of the big boys in almost every metric. Shout and boast "World Class" all we want, we are anything but sophisticated when compared to any of the top 5 financial centers in the world.

Stemming the low-cost labor wasn't just lobbied for by the opposition party, because even the Government finally woke up and realised that the productivity was simply not going up. There are elements within the civil service such as Ngiam Tong Dow who disagreed with the policy. Regardless what is to be done, low cost labor had to go anyway but the thing is that there was no real plan to replace those industries that need the low cost labor. High costs of living simply exacerbates the problem.

In short? I think LKY is quite right that Singapore may not necessarily be independent forever. We are simply running out of time to solve these problems.
 

kei1309

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#18

ArchRival

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Sep 17, 2006
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#19
He got the jobs based on an assumption from the schools that he had the p.hd and masters. Therefore he didn't have one, but the schools thought he had one.

Therefore your statement is invalid
:bsmilie::bsmilie:

True true.

Allow me to correct myself then. REAL degree is useless, because real degree << fake degree!
The real degrees do the hard work and eat banana skin, while fake degrees get to be in charge and eat banana!

This bugger has loads of publications at NUS. Now knowing he faked results, seeing those papers made my skin crawl. They are like the footprints of Satan, an evil, rotting blight left behind even though the devil himself is gone.
 

UncleFai

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Mar 10, 2010
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