Monday, September 14, 2015

NUS and NTU better than Yale and Cornell Universities

According to the latest Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, NUS and NTU ranked above Yale, Cornell, Johns Hopkins and King’s College of London. NUS is not only the top university in Asia but ranked 12th in the world.  NTU is ranked 13th.  What a great achievement! Beida, Xinhua, Tokyo, Waseda, Hongkong, move aside. We have the best universities in the whole world. There is no need to go to the US or UK to get quality education. No need to waste money going to lowly ranked universities in Australia and the rest of the world.  That is, if you believe the ranking equates to quality of universities and quality of its output, ie students.

The criteria for the rankings are academic and employer reputations, student to faculty ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio and also research excellence. How would these criteria affect or benefit the students? Academic and employer reputations, presumably the graduates are highly sough after by employers. Is that so? We only know that our junks did not have the right skill sets and are often rejected by employers that preferred to hire from the 3rd World unranked universities. Fake degrees and degree mills also better, or can do.

Student to faculty ratio, presumably a smaller ratio would mean closer and personal attention on the students and can be translated to better grades. Enrol Ah Meng and check if better student to faculty ratio would make Ah Meng smarter. Citations per faculty and research excellence would mean better academics and thus benefit the students and their quality. Use the Ah Meng to confirm if this is also true. International faculty ratio and international student ratio, both imply that with more foreign faces, the universities are better. So just pump in more 3rd world lecturers and students also can. How would these improve the quality of the graduates, more international friends, can relate and socialize with foreigners better, easier to integrate with them? EQ is important, what about grades?

What the rankings said is that we are world best. When we were not world best, we need to borrow international names, pay them, bring the whole faculties here, to say we have world best universities. Now we can do the reverse, the universities of the world would want to have joint campuses with us, bring our whole faculties to their countries and pay them good rupiahs, rupees and renminbis. Maybe can get Japanese Yen also.  There will be many joint campuses in other countries with the NUS/NTU brand and our lecturers would be in demand. We can send all our foreign lecturers to these countries and hire more foreign lecturers to replace them. What about Singaporean lecturers? What is that?

My recommendation, there is no need to send our students to the universities. The employers would still not hire them. Maybe in 30 years time. So a better recommendation would be to send them to the unranked universities in the 3rd World. That is where the employers find all their good employees. Not in our world class top universities.

Why so funny? Paying for such good reputation but no market value, no demand. If the high rankings would lead to a situation where the employers are queuing up to snatch all the graduates from our top universities then it would make sense. To be real, to be able to get employed, it is better to go to universities in the 3rd World and sign up with employment agencies from the 3rd World given a licence to operate here. They are the game changer. They will get the applicants the right jobs, not the piece of paper from our top universities. They still cannot produce the right graduates with the right skill sets for the job market.

Maybe the Quacquarelli Symonds System may want to add a new criteria, the universities must produce graduates with the right skill sets for the job market. If their graduates are not wanted by the employers, did not have the right skill sets, give them a big F.

What do you think? Are we wasting public money for the wrong things, for a superficial branding without substance?

PS. Watch MIT, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, we are going to over take you. We will bring in more foreign faculty staff and foreign students to improve our rankings further. And watch out students, the fees will increase with the improvement in quality, I mean rankings.

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