Education Expert Warns Against "Over-vocationalising" University Education

Education Expert Warns Against "Over-vocationalising" University Education

Date
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Media Type
Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: Education expert Professor S. Gopinathan has cautioned against "over-vocationalising" university education in Singapore.
He was commenting on the government's move to diversify the university sector with more applied degree programmes that have close ties with industry.

Professor Gopinathan was speaking to Channel NewsAsia on the sidelines of an education conference organised by international publisher Marshall Cavendish.

He is a professorial fellow at the Policy & Leadership Studies (PLS) and Curriculum, Teaching & Learning (CTL) Academic Group in the National Institute of Education (NIE).

"As a nation, we've always been concerned to make sure that school graduates, university graduates are employable," Professor Gopinathan said. "We've always tended to say, relevance, relevance, relevance!"

But he asked: "But in the 21st century knowledge economy and society, what is relevant? How do we know what will be relevant?

"How do we ensure that a broad base of 21st century skills and competencies are something that students will fine-hone and get at university?"

Professor Gopinathan believes that while there is a place skill and for understanding what skills will be required, "there's also a place for broadening of one's exposure to the knowledge base, to the knowledge and skills that are and should be available through a university education."

Source: Channel NewsAsia, mediacorp