Singapore unis’ questionable QS rankings no big deal, our degrees cannot be eaten

The PAP will be patting themselves on the back for NTU’s 11th and NUS’ 15th top unis ranking by QS.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 😦 Who would ever believe that NUS is ahead of Yale, Johns Hopkins, etc? Is it not insulting to rank NTU ahead of Princeton and Cornell? Something is clearly wrong with such a uni ranking methodology.
2018 QS top uni ranking

Singapore unis have been able move up their rankings easily by throwing hundreds of millions in tax dollars to improve the international student/staff ratio, etc.

As recent as 3 years ago, PAP extended taxpayers’ generosity to foreign students to the tune of almost $400 million a year, according to Roy Ngerng.

The figures have not been disputed by the government.

Really top unis do not require their governments to throw vast sums of tax dollars to increase their ranking by increasing the ratio of foreign students/researchers/teaching staff.

QS flawed rankings have invited criticisms from:
Philip Altbach, professor of higher education at Boston College and also a member of the THE editorial board: “The QS World University Rankings are the most problematical. From the beginning, the QS has relied on reputational indicators for half of its analysis … it probably accounts for the significant variability in the QS rankings over the years. In addition, QS queries employers, introducing even more variability and unreliability into the mix. Whether the QS rankings should be taken seriously by the higher education community is questionable.”
(In Singapore, the biggest employer is … the PAP government.)

David Blanchflower, a leading labour economist: “This ranking is complete rubbish and nobody should place any credence in it. The results are based on an entirely flawed methodology that underweights the quality of research and overweights fluff… The QS is a flawed index and should be ignored.”

A more reliable ranking of top unis is provided by Times Higher Education. (Between 2004 and 2009, QS produced the rankings in partnership with THE. In 2009, THE announced they would produce their own rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, in partnership with Thomson Reuters.)

It is laughable that NTU and NUS could have easily overtaken other more reputable unis such as Yale, Cornell, Columbia, etc.
In THE 2016-2017 rankings, NUS came in at number 24 and NTU at 54th place.

If high rankings mean our unis are much sought after, there will be no evidence of this once the PAP withdraws hundreds of millions in tax dollar funding for foreigners.

Instead of pursuing a degree in our country which boasts top university rankings, ministers like Khaw Boon Wan has discouraged citizens from doing so. According to Khaw, a degree is ‘not vital for success’.

How could any country which boasts 2 unis in the top 20 places encourage its citizens to only pursue diploma and ITE courses? The real reason is because PAP has to reserve thousands of uni places for foreigners to improve local universities’ rankings.

Image source: undertheangsanatree

Singaporeans should not cheer our high rankings and should instead be really worried. The moment a local graduate enters the workforce, he will face competition from foreign graduates invited to local universities by the PAP. Worse, employers have been allowed to hire cheaperer foreign graduates from unheard-of universities in India, China and the Philippines.

If our local uni degrees are really sought after, employers in any part of the world would be seeking out an NUS/NTU graduate, similar to, say, a graduate from other top 20 universities. But this is not the case.

Without all the propaganda, local degrees offer little in value and it would be wiser not to pursue one. This is according to degree-tak-boleh-makan-minister Khaw Boon Wan.

From the perspective of the government, local graduates can’t even helm GLCs like DBS which had to hire a former Indian national. Or SGX which somehow could not find a local CEO before replacing the jiak liow bee Magnus Bocker with Loh Boon Chye.

Since all this ranking thingy only benefits PAP’s ego and at the end of the day screws up local graduates, what is the big deal?

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2 Responses to Singapore unis’ questionable QS rankings no big deal, our degrees cannot be eaten

  1. Sinkie says:

    All these Uni rankings are BULLSHIT.

    Ever since the 2000s bust, more & more people are going for Uni rankings based on real-world starting salaries and also mid-career salaries.

    This is the answer to Cow’s “degree so what … cannot eat”.


    There are also other Uni rankings & lists based on cost-benefit analysis. I.E. the most bang for your buck —- highest salary per dollar of tuition costs.

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