Graduates must continue to learn even in working life: Education Minister Lawrence Wong

Education Minister Lawrence Wong at a webinar session by the National University of Singapore on Dec 3, 2020.
Education Minister Lawrence Wong at a webinar session by the National University of Singapore on Dec 3, 2020.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Graduates from institutes of higher learning (IHLs) will have to embrace learning even in their working lives, said Education Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday (Dec 3).

This will mean there is less pressure for IHLs to front-load knowledge during the formal years of studies, he said at a webinar session by the National University of Singapore (NUS) to celebrate its 115th anniversary.

"We can stretch out education and learning with regular injects throughout the person's career," he said.

Individuals can attend training by their companies, or programmes offered by third parties and the IHLs, leading to qualifications such as a specialist diploma.

Mr Wong cited the example of NUS graduate Eric Liu, who is in his late 30s.

He started his career as a production technician, but found his work too routine and wanted to upgrade himself, said Mr Wong.

Mr Liu enrolled in a part-time diploma programme in electronic engineering at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and later a part-time degree programme at NUS.

He graduated from NUS last year with highest honours and a degree in electronic engineering.

"With his new skills, he continued to progress in his career, and he started a new job last week as a digital hardware engineer in ST Engineering," Mr Wong said, describing Mr Liu as an inspiration to all Singaporeans.

The IHLs must support individuals' pursuit of active learning throughout their careers, the minister added.

"It's about supporting them after they enter the workforce, continuously engaging with them to update them on the latest trends in industry, to help them grow their professional networks and encourage them to proactively upskill and reskill."