Friday, September 18, 2015

University rankings good but not the key objectives

Hsien Loong said this at the Nanyang Technology Institute’s reunion dinner, ‘The key performance indicators (KPIs) of universities in the Republic should not be about how high their rankings are, but how well they serve Singapore.’ This is like what is so good about high rankings if they did not serve the interest of Singapore and its people? And what are these interests, jobs, skill sets, building a Singaporean core in all fields and industries.

What if high rankings lead to a hollowing of the quality pool of Singaporean academics and university students? What is the point to providing so many good paying employments to foreigners at the expense of Singaporeans, of providing good university places to foreigners instead of to our children? A good comparison is the ranking of our media by foreigners. Never mind if we are ranked 146, a few notches from the bottom, if the media are serving national interests, the good of people and country.

He then reiterated the importance of university KPIs as: "Rather, the KPI should be how well the universities serve Singapore. Whether they are academically and intellectually rigorous and vibrant, yet develop an authentic Singaporean character. Whether they give Singaporeans a good education, not just academically but holistically, building skill sets relevant to the economy so that people can get good jobs and fulfil their aspirations….’

It is sad that the Prime Minister had to say this to remind our supposedly very intelligent academics in the academia not to waste money on superficial rankings, on providing good jobs to foreigners and hollowing our academic talent and resources. Isn’t this a crime against the people? Using public funds to feed foreigners and replacing our own academics in the universities? Get your priorities right!

Would Tharman stand up and say ‘Cheap, we have no local talents in the universities and we need 30 years to get it right again like not Singaporean bankers and finance talents?’ Shit, I shouldn’t use the word ‘local’. It should be ‘Singaporeans’ and not meant to include PRs. We need to grow our own timber if we are going to survive as a people who called ourselves Singaporeans and this island home. If not, yes, we would be just a hotel for foreigners and we become the prostitutes servicing them and saying thank you to them for patronising us, and we pay them for it.

Is this not what Hsien Loong meant when he said, and I quote: “(While) at the same time, imbuing in students and alumni a sense of loyalty and belonging to Singapore, a sense of purpose in their lives, so that people are rooted here - with networks, friends and family - and want to give back to Singapore." You don’t expect foreigners to sink roots here and be one of us, to give back to Singapore when they are here for the good time and waiting to make their pile to return home. A few foreigners would be good, but we can’t expect too many to stay, and it is also no good if we have to depend on foreign talents to stay. This is an easy way out to increase our talent pool but would discourage the growing of our own talents. And what is there then for our own people if this is the case?


Don’t give me that globalisation and borderless shit. Treason is the word for these naive terminologies. The quitters and nomads like to use them to rubbish the citizen’s right in their own countries.  If not careful, and still blindly going down the road of bringing in more foreigners, one day the daft Sinkies would be like the refugees marching to Europe, people without a place called home, kicked out from their countries they once called home.

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