Major Rethink Needed In Degree Education

News / September 11, 2014

The what to do dilemma facing students with ‘A’ levels spreads well beyond the UK. Whilst most still consider a university degree as the optimum, the costs involved are becoming increasingly burdensome.

The thought process whereby a degree is assumed the best option to enhance career and life style is under review. Resulting from the proportion of graduates who struggle to capitalise on their degree and end up working in lower order jobs, many are reconsidering whether there was a tangible benefit to the university slog Рalthough the lifestyle may be good! Comparing their lot with a non graduate is not easy. The graduate is saddled with tuition fees, a student loan and may discover employment opportunities in their degree discipline non existent. In the meantime their compatriot may have found erstwhile employment, earning an income and having gained three years of productive experience.

But we are not alone. Hailed as one of the best educational systems in the world, Singapore is also facing issues over the extent of qualifications a student should attain. Whereas Singaporean students would naturally ebb towards a degree as a given the government educational department is urging a rethink. Four keys issues have emerged:

    1. The future for employment will be based on skills not paper qualifications
    2. There needs to be a re-emergence of polytechnic colleges and apprenticeships
    3. Best qualifications do not mean the best jobs. Employers need to adjust their employment criteria
    4. Degree courses should  become more sophisticated.

Crucial to this rethink are the economic forces that will affect Singapore and the global markets in the future. Put simply there are not enough jobs in the world to meet the demands of an increasing population. This situation is delaying global recovery. The World Bank said recently that 600m additional jobs are needed by 2030 to meet population growth.

In Japan economic restrictions have reduced spending in Japans schools. Predicted shortfalls in teaching resources are now being met by parents paying for expensive private tuitional support to fill the learning gap.

Around 30 per cent of money spent on educational comes from private sources in Japan to maintain standards, this compares with the 3 per cent funded by the private sector in Sweden.


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