The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

This Is What Could Fuck Up Singapore’s Progression …
April 15, 2008, 7:32 am
Filed under: Comment


I know what you’re thinking …
“An ad for Singapore University, SMU, doesn’t look that dangerous” – however when you see who those 4 dodgy characters are, it might help you see where I’m getting at …
Yep, they’re bankers [well, the PWC bloke isn’t, but accountancy is close enough!
Bankers who seem to be trying very hard to smile warmly at the camera but end up looking incredibly uncomfortable.
Anyway the reason why I think this ad is a bad omen for Singapore’s future is because when a University starts communicating that the main reason you should study there [regardless of subject] is because you could get a job in banking, it demonstrates [at least to me] that many education establishments have forgotten what their role is and have moved their focus from knowledge advancement to production-line fulfilment.
Of course not all Universities are like this – and Singapore is particularly bad given their obsession with ‘business’, ‘pseudo-intellectualism and money’ – however I find it incredibly disappointing that a University has adopted this stance – even a Management University – because their overriding corporate policy shouldn’t be about ‘grooming’ tomorrow’s bankers, it should be about creating an environment where students learn, interact and debate regardless of who they are and what they end up doing.
To make it even worse, SMU was created to be a place of learning for the more ‘entrepreneurial’ student – the people who will be the next generation of leader, regardless of what industry they work in – so it’s especially tragic they’ve decided to publically position themselves like every other Singaporean Uni, as a ‘production line for bankers’ when what the country needs are more visionaries, not more bloody sheep.
What’s the point of SMU employing people like the brilliant and talented Professor Mark Chong when they are going all out to attract the kind of student who only cares about how much money they can make in as short a period as they can???
This sort-of links back to the post I wrote about a while back – the one where I was called a racist – because Singapore’s reluctance to value/celebrate creativity [in whatever manifestation it may take] means other opportunities that could change students [and Singapore’s] future for the better will be overlooked, which in this fast-paced, ever changing World is very dangerous, especially when you’re as small as Singapore.
Don’t get me wrong, the banking industry is hugely important and I’ve said a billion times how much I love Singapore/Asia – however when Universities pubically and blatantly push [and value] one industry over all others, then you start to see how education policy is being too influenced by corporate profit – and while that might be fine in the short-term, somewhere down the line it’s going to bite everyone in the arse and not in a good way.
I hope Singapore and it’s Universities realise before it’s too late …

10 Comments so far
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Bain are management consultants but the point remain valid – SMU seems to be all about producing men in suits, no women I note.

Comment by John

are you having an affair with this mark chong bloke, you love him dont you?

management consultants, bankers, lawyers, all faceless fucks who thrive by keeping things moderatily progressive so their clients keep the faith while their fees keep racking up.

if ever a country needed a “gap year” its singapore because the fuckers are slowly creating a country of business robots and undervalued women.

on the bright side, thats good for dodds and his asian lady quest.

Comment by andy@cynic

I love that the tag line is ‘lets make a difference’, what possible difference will a bunch of bankers make – other than to the fortune of someone or some company that is already loaded.
We do the ITE work – which has done a lot of good to shift kids who aren’t that academic from thinking that they are useless – to thinking that the ‘practical’ skills they have/can learn have value. luckily web design, chefs, engineers are easy to make look cool – so its not hard to make that shift – but it still doesn’t stop teachers/people thinking/saying that any kind of skills based course is the end of the line. which doesn’t make it any easier for the students. and this kind of deification of guys whose main skills are in calculator operation and ordering expensive lunches just perpetuates it.
rant over – thanks for prompting it. feel better now

Comment by Mr McG

Qualifications without imagination means a person focused on perfection, not progression.

Comment by Bazza

Imagine if we were all consigned to thinking we were the “end of the line” before we were even 15 ! That is what happens here. I am so happy that the ITE is helping to put “creative” and entrepreneurial folk up where we belong. The SMU is disappointing to say the least in this approach – but SO expected.

Comment by fan

I think Bazza’s gone Californian on us already.

Comment by John

You’ve only been gone a month Bazza and you’re already sounding like the sort of bloke I hate.

Sort it out or we won’t hand over the ‘mug’ profits [Not that you’d notice on your extortionate salary. Bastard!]

I’m actually working with a government department in Singapore relating to education policy and one thing I want them to do is get people to think about how they’d like to be remembered rather than what they want to achieve now – because it opens up a thought-process that is beyond money and possession, and more to do with values, goals and dreams.

I’m not suggesting it will solve it all – but it might help open up the debate rather than this myopic focus on business and cash PLUS [as fan said] give a sense of equal opportunity to those kids who are not so accademically bright.

Finally I rewrite this absolutely brilliant quote from Peter Ustinov …



Comment by Rob

Looks like an ad for the Singapore Conservative party.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

mortimer? what the fuck are you doing here? have you been sacked? proud of you if you have. hows it all going? fun or full of wankers?

Comment by andy@cynic

No, just posting at home in the two hours I get between train home and bed.

At least no one can tell me i’m not dedicated!

Been good fun so far, full of nice people and already working on some interesting stuff.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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