CJ Koh Professorial Lecture: Skills For The 21st Century

CJ Koh Professorial Lecture: Skills For The 21st Century

Wednesday, 02 November 2011


On 3 November 2011, the National Institute of Education (NIE), Singapore is organising the CJ Koh Professorial Lecture titled as “Skills for the 21st Century”, to be delivered by Professor Andreas Schleicher.

Professor Schleicher is Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Secretary-General, and Head of OECD’s Indicators and Analysis Division in the Directorate of Education. For further biographical details on Professor Schleicher, please refer to Annexe A.

The series of C J Koh Professorial Lectures has been made possible through a donation of S$1.5 million to the Nanyang Technological University Endowment Fund by Mr Ong Tiong Tat, executor of the late lawyer Mr Koh Choon Joo's (C J Koh) estate. The endowment serves the programme of the Koh Choon Joo Professorship in Education. An additional sum of S$500,000 was donated to the endowment fund for the awards of the Pradap Kow (Mrs CJ Koh) Scholarship in Higher Degrees in Education.

Topic: "Skills for the 21st Century"


Most governments have understood that skilled workers are an economic advantage, and public spending on education and training alone represents 13 per cent of total public expenditure in the industrialised world.

The trouble is that there is no automaticity in these relationships. Skills do not automatically translate into higher incomes and high productivity and there is good evidence that systems can do better in both developing and making use of the skills of the workforce.

Success with converting skills into jobs and growth will depend on a good understanding of what those skills are that drive strong, sustainable and balanced economic outcomes; whether the right mix of skills is being taught and learned in effective, equitable and efficient ways; whether economies and labour-markets are able to fully utilise their skill potential; and whether governments can build strong coalitions with the business sector and social investors to find sustainable approaches to who should pay for what, when and where. The lecture will examine internationally comparative evidence in this field.


About the Speaker

Andreas Schleicher is Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Secretary-General. As Head of OECD’s programmes on indicators and analysis in the Directorate for Education, he is also responsible for the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems and on the impact of knowledge and skills on economic and social outcomes, including the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), the Programme for Measurement on Teachers, Teaching and Learning and the Education Indicators Programme (INES).

At the OECD, Andreas Schleicher has also held the posts of Deputy Head of the Statistics and Indicators Division in the former Directorate for Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (1997-2002) and Project Manager in the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) (1994-1996). Before joining the OECD in 1994, he was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA) within the Institute for Educational Research in the Netherlands (1993-1994) and International Co-ordinator for the IEA Reading Literacy
Study, at the University of Hamburg, Germany (1989-1992). Originally a graduate in physics, he subsequently studied mathematics at Deakin University in Australia, where his master's thesis received the Bruce Choppin Award.

In 2003, Andreas Schleicher was awarded the “Theodor Heuss” prize, named after the first president of the German Federal Republic of Germany, for “exemplary democratic engagement” in association with the public debate on PISA. He also holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. In 2002, Andreas Schleicher was awarded the “Educación y Libertad en el Ámbito Educativo” prize by the Spanish national
association of private schools.