23 August 2016
Professor Philip Altbach, founding director of the Centre for International Higher Education at Boston College, believes that “old school” ideas like going to university to broaden the mind are more relevant than ever.
There is currently much debate on how universities should better prepare their students for the changing workforce, with some advocating the deepening of technical skills.
But according to Professor Altbach, the emphasis on skills-based education has been “overblown” and it has gotten more difficult to get people to think about education in the broader sense of the term.
Professor Altbach is also of the opinion that in Singapore, there has been an over-emphasis on university rankings and that Singapore needs to be more confident and not look for external validation all the time.
While the SkillsFuture push includes a focus on equipping workers with the right skills for jobs, it also contains a philosophical dimension of getting Singaporeans to think of learning as a personal endeavour.