A distinguished International Academic Advisory Panel met earlier this month in July to advise Singapore’s government on higher educational policies. The panel expressed that Singapore should not follow western strategy of higher education but should concentrate on the needs of students and the economy before expanding the university sector. The panel emphasized the risks of rapidly enlarging traditional, academically oriented degrees in advanced and emerging economies.
It further discussed that the education sector should not expand only to produce more graduates but should ensure quality in education and development in skills that is applicable for employment, careers and outcome. New institutions should offer something different from universities already existing in Singapore. While speaking at theceremony held at the new Yale-National University of Singapore liberal arts college on July 7, 2012,Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed with the panels’ discussions that Singapore should continue to diversify its university sector.
The panel also supported government proposals to enlarge humanities research and social sciences which could provide new methods to prepare people for the fast changing world. Other types of research that would need to be developed in Singapore include- challenges and opportunities facing cities, especially global cities, Asian societies and markets, comparative studies of governance models and practices, and management of multi-ethnic social compacts
Ministry of Education established the international panel in the year 1997 to advise the government on directions and trends in university research and education with an aim to develop Singapore’s universities into world-class institutions. The 12 member panel was attended by heads of many distinguished universities around the world such as Oxford University, New York University, Zhejiang University, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and other university leaders from the Netherlands, Finland and USA.
Source: University World News
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