Higher education can be seen as a focal point of knowledge and its application.
It is also an institution that makes a great contribution to the economic growth and development through fostering innovation and increasing higher skills.
Having said so, let’s check out the state of the Higher Education system in two of the most potential countries in Asia. In the world of globalization, we see almost every country in the world is looking out ways to reform their higher education system and cater to the needs and demands of the students. It also wishes to foster the necessary skills and knowledge to its students through best in class higher education facilities that help the students meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
Singapore Higher Education System
Singapore, a progressive State in its own right is fast becoming a center of learning. The Singapore government has a pro-high technology policy of the government and has therefore invested much of foreign investments in the fields of biotechnology, IT and research.
Singapore’s Higher Education is managed and as well as administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE). Right from the age of 17, students receive an education that trains them for their professional life. Further, it is the MOE which plays a crucial role in supervising and offering advisory to the Private run schools and Universities.
The Junior Colleges and Centralized institutes act as a preparatory school for Higher Education and offer two-year or three-year programs, resulting in the GCE “A” level examination. The polytechnics, on the other hand, have the intention of educating middle-level professionals in technical and economic fields with the program ending with an advanced diploma.
Basically, Singapore’s Higher education institutions equip students with the knowledge and skills imperative to work in the industry.
Singapore has five autonomous Universities namely the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Technology and design, Singapore Institute of Technology and one comprehensive Private University (Source)
The purpose of the polytechnics institutions operating in Singapore is to provide specific skills for the workplace. Similarly, the branch campuses of foreign higher education institutions working in Singapore offer industry-specific courses of study. Further, its government-affiliated educational institutions also offer specific diploma and degree programs.
National University Singapore is the highest ranking University in Asia, competing head-to-head with world-renowned institutions from England and the U.S.
Specialty in Terms of Pedagogy
Singapore’s educational success is attributed to three key factors, namely- flexible and focused curricula, pedagogy and quality teaching standards.
The teaching and pedagogical system in Singapore follows a flexible approach that helps the students in developing their potentials and aptitudes. The clear-cut objective of the Singapore education system is to deliver a holistic and broad-based education. The mission of MOE is to mold the future of the nation, with a vision of Thinking Schools, Learning Nation. The target is to nurture a spirit of Innovation and Enterprise (I&E) among the students as well as the teachers. The slogan for the teachers is 0“Teach Less and to Learn More” (TLLM)
Singapore Embraces Education Technology at a National Level
As an initiative to nurture innovations through education, educators in Singapore are depending much on the use of technology for assistance to foster skill-based learning. Although the education system in Singapore is globally recognized as a high performing education system, yet in order to retain its good track record and adopt modern best practices, the MOE has been taking up numerous initiatives. These initiatives are directly based on the improvement of learning and teaching with the use of technology which has made Singapore an advanced nation.
Singapore is also taking into consideration, the rise of the knowledge economy which has generated new global infrastructures with information technology playing a key role in the global economy. It is IT that has changed the entire gamut of knowledge and thereby compelled to restructure higher education, research, and learning. The new policies for the higher learning in Singapore is framed taking into context that an increasing number of institutions of higher learning are being established with new missions and innovative configurations of training and serving a population who did not have access to better higher education.
A commendable step by Singapore in the recent times has been to reform the Vocational training facility that is essential for an individual to thrive in the 21St century. Click here to know more on reforms.
Indian Higher Education System
In terms of the size, India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, just after China and the United States. It is the UGC or university Grant Commission (India) which is a statutory organization that looks after the coordination, determination, and maintenance of Standards of University Education. Besides providing grants to eligible Universities and Colleges, this Commission offers valuable advice to both the Central and State Governments on the measures that are necessary for the development of higher education.
Besides the state-run Universities in India, there are many Private Universities in India which offer various kinds of professional courses. The issue with Indian higher education system is however that it does not offer cross breed of courses that are available in the Foreign Universities.
The reason why Indian education is standing in the midst of a crisis of quality is that institutions are not paying adequate attention to pedagogy. The government is also solely focused on the delivery system and inputs. The focus is also on the teacher’s role and what she does rather than engaging with the learners or how they are learning and the efforts they make in the classroom.
However, to tackle all such issues, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) in India along with education stakeholders is taking some bold steps of reform in the recent time. So, the Indian higher education system is facing an unprecedented transformation in the coming decade. It is believed with such reform at the place, India can be the world’s third-largest economy, with a corresponding rapid growth in the size of its middle classes.
Strengths of Indian Higher Education Sector
India is one of the emerging hubs for commercial, R&D sector. However, to sustain its rate of growth it needs to upgrade the quality of its higher education and also increase the number of institutes as well.
The country offers a huge market and a playing field for private initiatives at both the national and international levels. By 2020, it is expected that 325 million people in India will reach their working age and it will be the largest in the world. While the rest of the developed world will be facing with an aging population, in India it will be just the contrary by 2020. So, India’s middle class will be heavily investing in higher education and this is going to be a huge boost for the growth of the education sector in India.