Vital for local universities to keep competing

A recent report mentioned a growing focus on research in the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

This has led to more foreign academics concentrating on research rather than teaching (Degree of concern: Are unis chasing rankings?; Dec 9).

By implication, this sends a strong signal that these universities are chasing rankings, and some academics have expressed their displeasure over this.

I was surprised at this reaction.

How well one does in university is dependent on the calibre of the student and the effort he put in, rather than because of the wonderful teachers one has had.

Many people have failed to recognise the importance of having competition.

Competition stimulates the market and allows people to have choices.

Universities all over the world are competing for the same talent pool.

If our local universities are not ranked highly enough, no amount of financial resources will ever draw people to them.

Universities all over the world are competing for the same talent pool.

If our local universities are not ranked highly enough, no amount of financial resources will ever draw people to them.

People should not forget that the top universities in the world have hundreds of years of history to back them.

By comparison, our universities are fairly young.

In order for them to be recognised globally, they have to continue to stay or improve their rankings.

Chua Boon Hou

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2018, with the headline 'Vital for local universities to keep competing'. Print Edition | Subscribe