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Old 06-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #21
Helfin
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Oh sorry for the slow after-thought. But I was thinking, it is not cheap to hire more NUS/NTU level of faculty members. Not that SMU/SUTD/SIT have poor faculty quality, but the NUS/NTU type has to churn out research (which does not directly add to/reduce teaching and student experience) so NUS/NTU type will tend to be more expensive.

So the more affordable way (instead of increasing GST and school fees, and get complaints for all of us) will be to reduce student intake. Having more courses does not mean you need a huge student intake. You can always reduce class size per course. Which is how you score in the staff-student ratio anyway.

This means or could even be the reason why SUTD and SIT are set up while SMU is being expanded to take up the numbers shed by NUS/NTU while ensuring quality for all of us.
Just to add that I just noticed that the MOE Press release I quoted was in 2008. And in that same 2008 year, the whole framework was only for NUS, NTU, SMU, 4th Uni.

But in 2009, they added SIT as the 5th Uni.

This technically allows them to decrease NUS and NTU intake numbers below their 2008 numbers, as SMU expansion plus SUTD and SIT will be able to take up more students than if they had stuck to SMU and SUTD earlier.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:43 PM   #22
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If I say Harvard is #1 and Yale is #2. Would you care about that ranking?
Allow me to give my opinion. If you say that Harvard is #1 and Yale is #2, I'd ask what criteria you've based your claim on, and what methodology you've used to come up with this ranking. I think Singaporeans tend to base their college decisions too heavily on rankings. Very often, they fail to consider the other factors that should go into the decision-making process, such as the quality of teaching, research opportunities available etc.

I've spoken to my friends' parents on why they want to send a kid to a certain institution, and their reason is usually something like, "Oh, because this college is ranked ____, so I think my son should go there."

My take is that a college or university should be chosen based on the education and environment that it gives you. If you had a choice between a #1 university in which you are unable to secure leadership or research opportunities, and say, a #15 where those are widely available, which would you choose? Of course, this is but a hypothetical question.

The factors in rankings are completely arbitrary, and if an institution wanted to, it can base its ranking on certain factors such that an unknown university would rank highly. In this case, would you want to go to this university based on this ranking? I don't think so, right?

That said, rankings can provide a gauge of academic quality, but it should not be the main factor on which one bases his or her decision on.

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Which means that we might soon see a reduction in NUS and NTU vacancies if they want to improve their rankings. An estimate would be Ivy League unis take about 4,000 (?) students a year, and NUS take about 6,500 (?), NTU takes about 5,500 (?) a year. So if they are to be on par with the Ivy league, we should expect NUS to cut 2,000 and NTU to cut 1,000 in intake numbers in a few years.
I believe that if NUS and NTU wants to reduce their vacancies, it should be to improve the quality of teaching, not to improve their ranking. Of course, if their ranking improves because of the improvement in the quality of teaching, then that's a different story, and it's definitely beneficial for the students and the university. I hope you are talking about vacancies alone, because merely reducing vacancies will not necessarily place them "on par" with top universities in the world in terms of academics and research.

Just my two cents' worth.
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Last edited by Run; 06-25-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:19 PM   #23
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I've spoken to my friends' parents on why they want to send a kid to a certain institution, and their reason is usually something like, "Oh, because this college is ranked ____, so I think my son should go there."
That was exactly what I was saying about Singaporeans or the way teh choose Universities. But I do not think is it wrong. I think we need more information about education in our system. Our JCs have to be staffed with higher education/career counselors like the private schools have.

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I believe that if NUS and NTU wants to reduce their vacancies, it should be to improve the quality of teaching, not to improve their ranking. Of course, if their ranking improves because of the improvement in the quality of teaching, then that's a different story, and it's definitely beneficial for the students and the university. I hope you are talking about vacancies alone, because merely reducing vacancies will not necessarily place them "on par" with top universities in the world in terms of academics and research.

Just my two cents' worth.
You see, Staff:student ratio is a factor in ranking systems. There are 2 ways to score in this factor. One is to increase staff strength, which is very expensive. The other is to reduce student intake, which is very cheap.

Plus consider MOE's position. MOE is the provider of funds to the Unis. Less students in NUS and NTU means less tuition grant subsidies to give out. And if better Uni rankings result from lower budget, would you rather choose to pay more for better rankings?

Less students will mean better education experience without hiring more staff. Because the lower staff:student ratio means your students get more attention from your staff.

I think I wrote about why giving the student intake to SMU, SUTD and SIT is much cheaper than NUS and NTU earlier. Their staff are lower costs because NUS and NTU need to churn research. The lower cost staff however do not mean lower quality of teaching or student experience. They just don't do as much research, which is another financial bomb to finance.

Pushing NUS and NTU up the ranking ladder does well overall for Singapore education brand name. It also gives employers and investors assurance that they will get the best educated students. And of course, we don't have to send scholars overseas to be educated anymore. So much better for everyone isn't it?

So I think NUS and NTU will reduce student intake while SMU, SUTD and SIT will pick up the numbers.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #24
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That was exactly what I was saying about Singaporeans or the way teh choose Universities. But I do not think is it wrong. I think we need more information about education in our system. Our JCs have to be staffed with higher education/career counselors like the private schools have.



You see, Staff:student ratio is a factor in ranking systems. There are 2 ways to score in this factor. One is to increase staff strength, which is very expensive. The other is to reduce student intake, which is very cheap.

Plus consider MOE's position. MOE is the provider of funds to the Unis. Less students in NUS and NTU means less tuition grant subsidies to give out. And if better Uni rankings result from lower budget, would you rather choose to pay more for better rankings?

Less students will mean better education experience without hiring more staff. Because the lower staff:student ratio means your students get more attention from your staff.

I think I wrote about why giving the student intake to SMU, SUTD and SIT is much cheaper than NUS and NTU earlier. Their staff are lower costs because NUS and NTU need to churn research. The lower cost staff however do not mean lower quality of teaching or student experience. They just don't do as much research, which is another financial bomb to finance.

Pushing NUS and NTU up the ranking ladder does well overall for Singapore education brand name. It also gives employers and investors assurance that they will get the best educated students. And of course, we don't have to send scholars overseas to be educated anymore. So much better for everyone isn't it?

So I think NUS and NTU will reduce student intake while SMU, SUTD and SIT will pick up the numbers.
You seem to imply that university rankings is the most important area that the universities need to improve, and I disagree with this. You are right to say that university rankings are important, and I don't deny that, but rankings should not come before the quality of education. The main aim of any measures that are proposed or should be proposed should be to improve the quality of education directly, and any increase in ranking should be a by-product of the improvement in the quality of education, not the other way around.

The primary aim of the MOE is to develop an educated workforce, not to create highly-ranked universities to attract foreigners or let the man in the street a hemisphere away know that a "National University of Singapore" exists. Your proposition to decrease the number of students to directly influence the rankings is commonly known as "gaming" the rankings.

By increasing the quality of education through increasing research expenditure and attracting more high-quality academics to teach classes, we can still create a "brand name" for ourselves (through rankings or otherwise) and offer our brightest minds the best education available.

Also, you seem to miss the point of sending scholars overseas. The objective of them being sent overseas is to receive a quality education, and not merely just to attend a college that is highly ranked.
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:16 AM   #25
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You seem to imply that university rankings is the most important area that the universities need to improve, and I disagree with this. You are right to say that university rankings are important, and I don't deny that, but rankings should not come before the quality of education. The main aim of any measures that are proposed or should be proposed should be to improve the quality of education directly, and any increase in ranking should be a by-product of the improvement in the quality of education, not the other way around.

The primary aim of the MOE is to develop an educated workforce, not to create highly-ranked universities to attract foreigners or let the man in the street a hemisphere away know that a "National University of Singapore" exists. Your proposition to decrease the number of students to directly influence the rankings is commonly known as "gaming" the rankings.
You totally missed the point. Read again.

If you want the world to know your education system is the best in Asia Pacific, you need flagships. Name me any 1 or 2 now. And for flagships, you need to push them up the ladder. Name me who qualify to be pushed up the ladder?

And reducing UNDERGRADUATE numbers means you can focus on GRADUATE programmes which gives you the QUALITY.

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By increasing the quality of education through increasing research expenditure and attracting more high-quality academics to teach classes, we can still create a "brand name" for ourselves (through rankings or otherwise) and offer our brightest minds the best education available.
Enlighten us how increasing research EXPENDITURE can increase quality of education? Best researchers may not be good teachers. People who know a lot of things may not be able to transfer the knowledge to their students. The co-relation you proposed is weak.

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Also, you seem to miss the point of sending scholars overseas. The objective of them being sent overseas is to receive a quality education, and not merely just to attend a college that is highly ranked.
So you are saying that NUS, NTU, the 2 institutions built, staffed and whose policies are guided by the very brightest minds whom Singapore sent OVERSEAS all these years are of lower quality than the overseas ones? We must now examine why the country's brightest after graduating from the world's best are not able to produce better quality institutions! And this points directly to the evidence that sending scholars overseas does NOT help create a better Singapore! Time to stop overseas scholarships!
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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You totally missed the point. Read again.

If you want the world to know your education system is the best in Asia Pacific, you need flagships. Name me any 1 or 2 now. And for flagships, you need to push them up the ladder. Name me who qualify to be pushed up the ladder?
You proposed reducing class sizes by reducing the intake of students, and by sending them to the other universities. So you're "raising the quality of education" in these two universities at the expense of the others? And why do we need flagships to let others know that our education system is the best in Asia? Why not improve all our institutions, or at least, a greater number of them instead of just two? And how will our education system be the best in Asia if most of our resources are channeled into just two institutions, while the rest have smaller funding, larger student numbers, and hence, possibly a lower quality of education?

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And reducing UNDERGRADUATE numbers means you can focus on GRADUATE programmes which gives you the QUALITY.
I don't see how focusing on graduate programs can give you the quality, not everybody is able to afford or desires a graduate education. It would be great if you can explain. It might increase your rankings, but if only a minority of students go into these programs, I don't see why the graduate programs should be focused on at the expense of undergraduate ones.

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Enlighten us how increasing research EXPENDITURE can increase quality of education? Best researchers may not be good teachers. People who know a lot of things may not be able to transfer the knowledge to their students. The co-relation you proposed is weak.
Research expenditure does not have to all go into hiring researchers. It can go to the undergraduates as well, in the form of funding for research projects, which are important for students looking to enter graduate school and the world of academia. There are many other uses for research money; it's not limited to just the hiring of researchers.

And also, perhaps you missed out the second part of the sentence, or maybe I wasn't clear enough. If it's the latter, I apologize. By "high-quality academics", I was not merely referring to the ones who are "superstars" in their respective fields or Nobel Prize winners. I also meant the ones who are knowledgeable in their fields, and who are known for being good at teaching as well.

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So you are saying that NUS, NTU, the 2 institutions built, staffed and whose policies are guided by the very brightest minds whom Singapore sent OVERSEAS all these years are of lower quality than the overseas ones? We must now examine why the country's brightest after graduating from the world's best are not able to produce better quality institutions! And this points directly to the evidence that sending scholars overseas does NOT help create a better Singapore! Time to stop overseas scholarships!
Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough, I apologize again. When I said "quality education", I didn't mean what one learns in the classroom, I meant the things they (scholars) learn from interacting with people from around the globe, and the different insights and perspectives they pick up, both of which are important for the future leaders of Singapore. In terms of what students learn in the classroom, I don't think there's a big difference between the two systems (although the teaching style is different). Education, after all, is not limited only to the classroom.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:17 AM   #27
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Default 5 Reasons Why Every Single College Ranking Is a Pile of Crap

1. College rankings are often based on opinion and not actual data
US News & World Report is now producing a list of schools that have the "best undergraduate teaching." How did they do that? According to their description of their methodology, the magazine "asked top academics as part of the regular U.S. News peer assessment survey to name the schools that they think have faculty with an unusually strong 'commitment to undergraduate teaching.'" Got that? They measured the quality of teaching at one school by asking people who work at other schools how good the teaching is. It would be like basing the Fortune 500 on just the opinions of other CEOs instead of things like revenue and profit.

2. Rankings can be based on factors that have no demonstrated impact on academic results
Many college rankings - including US News & World Report - rank colleges based on the proportion of faculty who are full-time. The problem? According to a report from The Delta Cost Project [PDF], "in higher education, in contrast to K-12, there is no consistent research showing that access to full-time faculty pays off in greater student learning, student retention, or degree attainment." Oops.

3. The benefits of attending a more selective college might very well be canceled out by the benefits of attending a less selective college
Most of the major college rankings are based in part on selectivity: either by looking at the acceptance rate or by looking at the high school GPAs and SAT scores of students. But a savvy student might be better off attending a school with a bunch of students who are dumber than he is. Why? A recent study of law school grads found that the correlation between class rank and salary is stronger than the correlation between school prestige and salary. "Under-matching" - that is, attending a law school where you're smarter than many of your classmates - is likely to result in better grades and a better class rank and a higher salary. Princeton economist Alan Krueger has theorized that this phenomenon may explain why students who get into elite colleges but attend less elite colleges earn as much money as students who attend elite colleges. Krueger found that students who graduate seven percentile ranks higher in their class tend to earn about 3.5 percent more money.

4. Rankings that look at career earnings fail to consider the aptitudes of students
Payscale Inc. gained a lot of press when it published a ranking of colleges based on a return on investment calculation: Taking the earnings of graduates and comparing them to the sticker price of the colleges. The problem with this ranking is that it assumes that the only difference between an MIT grad (the #1 ranked school by return on investment) and a Black Hills State grad (which Payscale ranked dead last at #852) is that one went to MIT and the other went to Black Hills State, and that the return on investment has nothing to do with the talents or intellect of the students.

5. Real experts -- as opposed to people trying to sell magazines full of car ads -- who look into this stuff have realized you can't compare colleges in any meaningful way
In September 2005, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings convened a meeting of 19 top education experts to study college accountability and outcomes. The study reported that colleges provided "no solid evidence" of their value that consumers could use in comparing one college to another.
But the largest problem with all these college rankings and guides is this: A student's success or failure in college and in life will ultimately be determined by who they are, not which college they attend. Successful people attended all kinds of colleges - only three CEOs of the top 20 Fortune 500 companies attended "elite" colleges, and 12 of the top 20 attended public colleges.

http://consumerist.com/2010/08/5-rea...e-of-crap.html
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:03 PM   #28
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hello everyone!nice to meet you!
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