For students in Singapore, the notion of a “future” feels very well-defined: Do well in school, acquire the necessary skills and knowledge, and prepare for your job and career. But how do we prepare for an uncertain future if the present is precarious? And what if we’re wrong about trajectories of education and higher education in Singapore? With Dr. Adrian Kuah, we learn more about going beyond “the usual technocratic and prosaic fashion of future-proofing [university] graduates” and the changes we might want to see in the broader education sector.
With the aim of improving the way the National University of Singapore handles sexual misconduct through community-led efforts, Students for a Safer NUS – or safeNUS – was formed by a group of concerned students in 2019. With one of its co-founders, Carissa Cheow, we learn more about the initiative and its work to cultivate a safer and more inclusive campus, as well as the challenges the team faces, including coping with burnout and working with the university.
Scholarship portal BrightSparks conducted a survey of 3,215 university, polytechnic, and junior college students, and news outlets ran with the provocative headlines “1 in 5 students in Singapore expect starting salaries of S$4,000 or more, survey finds” (Nov. 21) and “Three in four students in Singapore expect more than $3,000 from their first job” (Nov. 20). Unsurprisingly, the headlines drew derisive criticisms against young Singaporeans characterised as being unrealistic or too demanding with their inflated salary expectations, even though results of the Ministry of Education’s Graduate Employment Surveys (GES) show that the expected starting salaries – especially that of potential university graduates – are very much in reach.