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Seeking private degree? Do your homework, says PM

Ensure it has rigorous standards and jobs available, says PM Lee

Published on Sep 5, 2014 9:07 AM
PM Lee at a live television forum last night with Channel NewsAsia hosts Dawn Tan and Nicholas Fang. Mr Lee noted that the Government's recent move to redefine success beyond paper qualifications is starting to take effect, and parents are now more open-minded. -- PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

Singaporeans planning to go to private educational institutions received some advice from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: Do your homework and ensure the degree you choose is rigorous in standard, valuable and "where you can, which has jobs available".

Otherwise, there is a risk of not being able to find a job relevant to the qualifications, he indicated at a live MediaCorp television forum last night when responding to a question on the increase in degree holders caught in such a dilemma.

The paper chase has come under scrutiny recently amid worries that Singaporeans are chasing degrees that may not give them the skills that are in demand.

This, however, is not the case at Singapore's four universities: National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

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Background story


Yes, absolutely. Why not? We have women doing well in many careers... They are engineers, bankers, lawyers, they are technicians. You have CEOs, we have MPs, we have ministers. Why shouldn't we have a PM? I hope you will be one.

- His response to primary schoolgirl Stacey Seah, who asked if Singapore would have a female PM


You need to be a bit of a showman, you need to be a bit of a doctor, you need to be a bit of a psychologist so you can get people to go along with you and understand how people think. You also have to be a hard-headed person who knows, well, these are the things we need to do, let's do them in the best way we can.

- On leaders Singapore would need in the future


I said I shouldn't still be the PM when I am 70 years old. I think that is still my objective. We have a team of young ministers. I think they are all good and promising, and I am sure in time, from among them, a leader will emerge. And we hope that in the next election, I will bring in more people, and we will reinforce the team.

- On his previously held position on handing over


When I was eight years old, I once wrote an essay in school, and I said I hope one day I will be an aeroplane pilot... And every time I go onto an aeroplane, I take a peek in the cockpit and wonder what it would be like.

- On what he wanted to be when he was a child