Comparative Study on Singapore vs Indian Higher Education System
Comparative Study on Singapore vs Indian Higher Education System
Abstract: In the world of globalization almost every country in the world wants their education system to be the best, so their students can obtain the necessary skills and knowledge taught by the schools/universities that meets the challenges of the 21st century. The present article explores how Singapore and Indian way of higher education system works; in which way both the countries differ and how they are leading in the field of higher education and it also highlight the different pathway that leads to the student’s progression from their nursery to doctorate degree.
1. 0 Indian education system: The University Education Report had set goals for development of higher education in the country. While articulating these goals Radakrishnan Commission on University Education, 1948-49 put it in following words: “The most important and urgent reform needed in education is to transform it, to endeavor to relate it to the life, needs and aspirations of the people and thereby make it the powerful instrument of social, economic and cultural transformation necessary for the realization of the national goals.
For this purpose, education should be developed so as to increase productivity, achieve social and national integration, accelerate the process of modernization and cultivate social, moral and spiritual values. ” India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, after China and the United States. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission (India) is a statutory organization established by an Act of Parliament in1956 for the coordination, determination and maintenance of standards of university education.
Apart from providing grants to eligible universities and colleges, the Commission also advises the Central and State Governments on the measures, which are necessary for the development of higher education. Central Government is responsible for major policy relating to higher education in the country. It provides grants to University Grants Commission (UGC) and establishes central universities in the country. The Central Government is also responsible for declaration of Education Institutions as ‘Deemed to be University’ on the recommendation of the UGC.
Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by 12 autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission. At the end of the third year of XI Plan (2009-10), the number of Universities has gone up to 493 (42 Central, 130 Deemed and 316 State Universities and 5 Institution established under Special State Legislature Acts) and the number of Colleges to 31,324, thus registering an increase of 36% in the number Universities and 48% in the case of Colleges in comparison to the figures at the end of X Plan (31. 03. 2007). During the academic year 2009-10, there had been 146.
25 lakhs (provisional) students enrolled in various courses at all levels in universities/colleges and other institutions of higher education as compared to 136. 42 lakhs in the previous year, registering an increase of 7. 2 per cent. Out of 146. 25 lakhs, 60. 80 lakh had been women students, constituting 41. 6 per cent. The comparative trend of total students enrolment and enrolment of women students, among states during 2009-10 had been increased.
The enrolment of women students, in terms of absolute numbers, had been the highest in the state of Uttar Pradesh (8. 4 lakhs), followed by Maharashtra (7. 8 lakhs), Andhra Pradesh (6.1 lakhs), Tamil Nadu (5. 2 lakhs) etc. In terms of percentages, Goa accounted for the highest percentage of 59%, followed by Kerala (57%), Punjab and Meghalaya (51%) etc. indicating the dominance of girl students over boys in these states and A&N Islands (52%), Chandigarh (51%), Puducherry (50%) among the Union Territories. (Annual Report, University Grant Commission (UGC, 20092010)).
The enrolment position in the academic year 2009-10 reveals that majority of students in the higher education system had been enrolled for a variety of courses at the under-graduate level. The students at this level constitute provisionally 86.
55 per cent of the total number of students in colleges and universities put together. The percentage of students enrolled for Master’s level courses had been 11. 49 per cent while a very small proportion i. e. 0. 89 per cent of the total number of students had been enrolled for research. Similarly, only 1. 15 per cent of the total number of students had been enrolled in diploma/certificate courses. As regards the distribution of student’s enrolment between universities and affiliated colleges, the largest number of students in the higher education system had been enrolled in affiliated colleges.
About 90. 24 per cent of all the under-graduate students and 70. 83 per cent of all the post-graduate students had been enrolled in the affiliated colleges, while the remaining had been in the universities and their constituent colleges. (Annual Report, University Grant Commission (UGC, 2009-2010)). 115 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012 There has in fact been considerable improvement in the higher education scenario of India in both quantitative and qualitative terms.
In technical education, the IITs, and in management, the IIMs have already marked their names among the top higher educational institutes of the world. Moreover the Jawaharlal University and Delhi University are also regarded as good higher educational institutes for doing postgraduates courses and research in science, humanities and social sciences. As a result, students from various parts of the world are coming today for higher education in India. Apart from these higher education institutes there are several private institutes in India that offer various professional courses in India.
According to the Department of higher Education, government of India, there are total enrolment of students (146. 25 lakhs), 42. 01% students had been in the faculty of Arts, followed by 19. 30% in Science and 17. 83% in Commerce/ Management. Thus, 79. 14% of the total enrolment had been in the three faculties of Arts, Sciences and Commerce / Management while the remaining 20. 86% had been in the professional faculties indicating the highest percentage in Engineering. /Technology (10. 33%), followed by Medical courses (3. 48%), etc. In the academic year 2009-2010, the total number of teachers in universities and colleges had been 6.
99 lakhs as compared to 5. 89 lakhs teachers in the previous year. Out of 6. 99 lakhs teachers, 86% teachers had been in Colleges and the remaining 14% in University Departments / University Colleges (Annual Report, University Grant Commission (UGC, 2009-2010)). accounting, teaching, medicine, law, agriculture, veterinary, polytechnic and others. 1. 2 The Current Scene: India is today one of the fastest developing countries of the world with the annual growth rate going above 9%. In order to sustain that rate of growth, there is need to increase the number of institutes and also the quality of higher education in India.
Therefore the Prime Minister of India has announced the establishment of 8 IITs, seven Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and five Indian Institutes of Science, Education and Research (IISERs) and 30 Central Universities in his speech to the nation on the 60th Independence Day. The outlay for education during the 11th Five Year Plan, which runs from the current fiscal to 2012-13, represents a four-fold increase over the previous plan and stands at Rs 2500 billion. 1. 3 Advantages of Indian higher education:
With India emerging as a global hub for commercial R&D (India Today International, 3 Oct 2009), R&D within the scope of Higher Education has gained greater importance. Now, the country is fast emerging as a major centre for cutting-edge research and development (R&D) projects for global multinationals such as Microsoft and Motorola as well as Indian firms. More and more companies in industries ranging from IT and telecommunications through pharmaceuticals and biotech are setting up ambitious R&D projects, in part to serve the Indian market, but also with an eye to delivering new generations of products faster to the global market.
It has been stated that 150 international firms have set up R&D centers in India and in 2004 US patents office granted over 1000 patents to Indian units of US companies. India has developed one of the largest systems of Higher Education in the world with over 493 universities and 6500 vocational colleges catering to about 10 million students. India provides a big market and playing field for private initiatives at both the national and international levels. It is very rich in human resources, in terms of quantity as well as quality.
Statistics from the Indian census bureau shows, over 35% of our population is below the age of 20. By 2020, it is expected that 325 million people in India will reach working age, which will be the largest in the world. This will come at a time when the rest of the developed world will be faced with an ageing population were as India with its bourgeoning middle class people who are willing to invest in quality higher education will be an asset for India’s growth in education.
No wonder that foreign universities from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore are vying for students from India. India, too, is trying to attract students from neighboring countries. It is also willing to cater to the needs of the Indian Diaspora. Many non-resident Indians are now sending their wards to India for professional education in the fields of medicine, engineering, and business management. For them, higher education in India is both cost-effective and culturally rich. 1. 1 Pathway of learning in Indian education system:
The Indian Education System is comprised of six stages: nursery, primary, secondary, higher secondary, graduation & post-graduation. Schooling prior to university lasts 12 years. Higher education in India starts after passing the higher secondary education or the 12th standard. However, there are considerable differences between the various states in terms of the organizational structures within these first 12 years of schooling. The government is committed to ensuring universal elementary education (primary and upper primary) education for all children aged 6-14 years of age.
These various stages of Education, set by the Indian Education Ministry, are instrumental in an individual’s growth. Thus to ensure consistency in the overall development of the individual, first 12 years of education are made basic for all. Graduation and Post Graduation though depends upon person’s academic interest. Depending on the stream, doing graduation in India can take three to five years. Postgraduate courses are generally of two to three years of duration. After completing post graduation, scope for doing research in various educational institutes also remains open.
(See the table 1. 0 for details) Education system in India covers almost all kinds of careers right from health services, management, mass media, legal services, social science, home science, fine arts to environmental science, administrative services, fashion courses, vocational courses, engineering, technology and 116 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012 If TeamLease Services were to be believed, by 2025 India will be proud possessor of a workforce equivalent to a quarter of the world’s human resource capital.
This positive forecast comes with a rider. A study conducted by the staffing firm, TeamLease Services, suggests India has to harness the latent talent of its young and productive population to achieve this goal. As per the ‘India Labour Report 2009’ released by Teamlease Services in collaboration with IIJT Education, the India can achieve a per capita income of USD 4,100 (approximately Rs 187,554 at an exchange rate of Rs 45. 74 per dollar). The report says this is not impossible if a labourfriendly atmosphere is in place.
The study suggests some drastic reforms in the labour policy. The report says, “If we harness this dividend by 2025, India will not only have 25 per cent of the world’s total workforce, but our per capita income will be USD 4,100. ” The report further adds: “This would rise to USD 9,802 in 2040 and USD 20,836 in 2050. This will finally put poverty in the museum it belongs. ” higher education. The pro-high technology policy of the government has invited billion of dollars of foreign investment in the fields of biotechnology, IT and research.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for controlling the development and administration of the schools and various government-funded educational institutions. In case of private schools, the MOE plays a crucial supervisory and advisory role. Education mainly revolves around the interests of the students. The teaching and pedagogical system follows a flexible approach that helps the students in developing their potentials and aptitudes. ” [Source: Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore] The Singapore education system aims to provide students with a holistic and broad-based education.
Given the multi-cultural and multi-racial characteristics of Singapore, the bilingual policy is a key feature of the Singapore education system. Under the bilingual policy, every student learns English, which is the common working language. Students also learn their mother tongue language (Chinese, Malay or Tamil), to help them retain their ethnic identity, culture, heritage and values. The mission of the MOE is to mould the future of the nation, with a vision of Thinking Schools, Learning Nation.
Since 2003, Singapore has also focused on nurturing a spirit of Innovation and Enterprise (I&E) among students and teachers. “Teach Less, Learn More” (TLLM) was a call for all educators to teach better, improve the quality of interaction between teachers and students, and equip students with the knowledge, skills and values that prepare them for life [Yearbook of Statistics Singapore, 2011]. For both public and private schools there are variations in the extent of the autonomy in their curriculum and the scope of government aid and funding.
Students in primary school do not pay school fees, while students at secondary and Pre University levels pay subsidized school fees. The Ministry of Education aims to help their students to discover their own talents, to make the best of these talents and realize their full potential, and to develop a passion for learning that lasts through life. They have been moving in recent years towards an education system that is more flexible and diverse. The aim is to provide students with greater choice to meet their different interests and ways of learning.
Being able to choose what and how they learn will encourage them to take greater ownership of their learning. They are also giving their students a more broad-based education to ensure their all-round or holistic development, in and out of the classroom. Singapore currently has three autonomous universities, with a fourth slated to open in 2012. They are the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU). The Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) will be Singapore’s fourth autonomous university.
It is developed in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Zhejiang University. SUTD’s mission is to advance knowledge and nurture technically grounded leaders and 1. 4 Issues for Indian Higher education: India is being projected as a would-be super-power by the year 2020; at the same time, higher education, which is growing at the rate of 20% per annum worldwide, is being counted as one of the most important ingredients in knowledge-based economies. India therefore faces a big challenge in achieving its goals in this respect.
Private initiatives in higher education are not only feasible, but also desirable, if India is to meet the target of 20% of its youth in the age group of 17-23, as against 7. 2% today. The government has not been able to attain the desired level of literacy during the last 65 years. At the time of independence, the literacy level was just 14%; India’s target is a 100% literacy rate by 2020. At present there are 300 million adult illiterates in India and only 60 million out of 170 million children at the primary school level are able to make to secondary education.
Out of these 160 million, only 9 million make it to post-secondary education. According to a recent report by Asian brokerage and investment group CLSA, India’s education and training market is valued at $40 billion and is growing rapidly. It is expected to be a $70 billion industry by 2012. Primary education (K-12) makes up about half of the market. However, India continues to face challenges. Despite growing investment in education, 35% of the population is illiterate and only 15% of the students reach high school [Source: India still Asia’s reluctant tiger, by Zareer Masani of BBC Radio 4, 27 February 2008].
As of 2008, India’s post-secondary high schools offer only enough seats for 7% of India’s college-age population, 25% of teaching positions nationwide are vacant, and 57% of college professors lack either a master’s or PhD degree[Source : SPECIAL REPORT: THE EDUCATION RACE, by Newsweek, August 18–25, 2008 issue] 2. 0 Singapore Education System: “Apart from enjoying a status of famous shopping and tourism destination, Singapore is also emerging as a place for pursuing 117 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No.1, 2012 innovators serve societal needs.
This will be accomplished with a focus on Design, through an integrated multidisciplinary curriculum and multi-disciplinary research. The university is expected to open its doors in April 2012, with its campus constructed by 2015. A graduate medical school, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, was also created through a partnership between Duke University School of Medicine and NUS to increase Singapore’s capacity to develop a vibrant biomedical hub. Specialized institutions have also sprung up, both local and international.
For instance, well-known business schools University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and INSEAD, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) provide specialized education in the arts, and the Digipen Institute of Technology focuses on world-class technology education. In addition, polytechnics were also set up to train middle-level professionals and their main aim is to educate and nurture their students to excel in work and in life, and to equip young as well adult learners with skills and knowledge to enhance their employability in the market.
A total of five polytechnic schools (Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, and Republic Polytechnic) were established in Singapore to cater to students those who passed the secondary school and those who are interested in learning more technical subjects with hands on training. Most of the diplomas offered are three years duration and their course curriculum is designed to meet the industry needs. Last, but not the least; the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) was established as a post-secondary technical institution of excellence.
The basic purpose of the institute is “To Create Opportunities for School Leavers and Adult Learners to Acquire Skills, Knowledge and Values for Lifelong Learning in a Global Economy” [Mission statement: ITE]. The Institute of Technical Education campuses were reorganized under the “Collegiate system” into 3 major colleges around the island, ITE College Central, ITE College West, ITE College East. You may also choose to send your children to one of the over 300 private education institutions in Singapore. Private schools offer a large variety of courses, including language and professional programmes.
When choosing a private school, do make sure it has proper accreditation. The EduTrust for Education and Singapore Quality Class for Private Education Organizations are two hallmarks of quality implemented in Singapore. Under the MOE, The Higher Education Division (HED) oversees the provision of tertiary and technical education in Singapore as well as registration of private schools. It oversees nine statutory boards — five Polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the Science Centre Singapore (SCS), the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and the Council for Private Education.
HED also oversees the development of four autonomous universities (the National University of Singapore, the Nanyang Technological University, the Singapore Management University and the Singapore University of Technology and Design). (See the table 1. 0 for details) More details can be found in MOE website. 2. 2 The current scene: The proposed vision of Singapore education is to develop a self-sustaining education ecosystem offering a diverse and distinctive mix of quality educational services to the world, thus becoming an engine of economic growth, capability development and talent attraction for Singapore.
Education ecosystem refers to a cluster of mutually reinforcing, complementary education institutions which vary in terms of student enrolment numbers, country of origin, cultural environment, nature of activity, academic level, academic discipline/subjects, research interests and price. This network of institutions will raise education standards, create more choice for Singapore students and enrich the overall student experience. Singapore has placed an essential emphasis on education. This can be seen from the fact that education spending forms at least 20% of the budget of Singapore.
Primary education has become compulsory for all the citizens of Singapore and if parents fail to enroll their children into school, it is considered a criminal offence. Singapore’s public schools maintain high standards of teaching and learning. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2009/2010, Singapore was ranked 1st internationally for the quality of our educational system. Singapore was also rated as one of the world’s best performing education system, with an excellent teaching force, according to the McKinsey & Company 2007 report How the World’s Best-Performing School Systems Come Out on Top.
Enrolment in educational institutions, see table below [Yearbook of Statistics Singapore, 2011] 2. 1 Pathway of learning in Singapore education system: According to the system, students in Singapore generally undergo six years in primary school and four to five years in secondary school. They can then enroll in post-secondary institutions, pre-university courses, or move on to the polytechnics. Eligible students are subsequently given the opportunity to enroll in the universities. [Source: Ministry of Education, Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic,118 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No.
1, 2012 Temasek Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, National Institute of Education, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and Singapore Institute of Technology. Note: Data for primary, secondary and junior college exclude private schools. 2. 3 Advantages of Singapore higher education: Singapore has several competitive advantages that position it well as a global education hub.
These include a strategic geographical location, reputation for educational excellence, a vibrant business hub (which presents opportunities for institutional-industry collaboration), and a safe and cosmopolitan environment. Singapore can capture a larger share of the global educational market (estimated at US$2. 2 trillion), and increase educational services’ contribution to GDP from the existing 1. 9% of the GDP to a projected 3 to 5% in 10 years. [Source: Executive Summary – Developing Singapore’s Education Industry Prepared by the Education Workgroup].
About 120 of the 353 primary and secondary schools in Singapore have some form of exchange programmes which allow students to visit overseas schools. In 2005, the Ministry of Education set up a SGD 4. 5 million School Twinning Fund to facilitate 9,000 primary and secondary school students to participate in these exchange programmes, particularly in ASEAN countries, China and India. [Source: Forss, Pearl (2005-10-13). “Education Ministry sets up $4. 5m fund to facilitate student exchange programmes”. Channel News Asia].
Singapore Government aims to increase the numbers of foreign students studying in Singapore from the current 97,000 to 150,000 by 2015. Based on current statistics, approximately one-fifth of those applying through UCAS are third-country nationals mainly from mainland China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore is aggressively moving forward to become an education service provider in the region, the Economic Development Board has also continued to pursue brand-name foreign universities to set up specialized campuses to serve an international market from Singapore.
The number of students studying for foreign qualifications in-country – Transnational (TNE) programmes – was 36,700 in 2001. According to latest HESA TNE data for 2009/10 the number of students studying for a UK qualification in Singapore is 42,715 – The majority of these are delivered in partnership with local private institutions. According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) done in 2006, cited by MOE in a 2007 survey by the Fraser Institute, Singapore was ranked fourth among 45 education systems.
Dr Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS, also proudly claimed that educational leaders around the world are flocking to Singapore to copy Singapore’s successful educational model. He said that some North American schools are even using similar textbooks as those used in Singaporean schools. While Singapore is clearly proving to be a popular destination for students from Asia, small numbers of students from Europe, the United States, and Australia are also choosing to study in Singapore.
Many international students consider Singapore to be a comfortable introduction to Asia, providing both the chance to get a Western education at a leading institution and become familiar with Chinese language and business practices as well closer to their home country. Moreover, most MNCs have their regional base here and with Singapore positioned as the business and commercial capital of the region, job opportunities for graduating students are aplenty.
Given the better job prospects that Asia currently offers as compared to the US and Europe, it is likely that Asian students will continue to pursue their higher studies within the region and more specifically in Singapore. This is a win-win situation for all – the students, Singapore’s education industry and the companies based in the city-state. [September 22, 2009, in Doing Business in Singapore] 2. 4 Issues for Singapore Higher education: Critics of the education system, including some parents, state that the education system is too specialized, rigid, and elitist.
Often, these criticisms state that there is little emphasis on creative thinking, unlike education systems in other societies, such as those in the States. Those defending the current education system point out that Singaporean student have regularly ranked top when competing in international science and mathematics competitions and assessments. Detractors believe this is more an indication of students’ skills in using rote to prepare for a certain style of competition or examination than of their ability to think critically.
There have also been complaints about excessive educational streaming at a young age. A popular local film, I Not Stupid, highlights the competitiveness of the system and the social stigma that students struggling with studies have to face. The best students are streamed into the best and normal classes, while the others are streamed into the foundation class, where teachers usually allow them to get worse, since they are part of the “ungifted” class [Source:http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Education_in_Singapore# Development_and_future_plans].
“Singapore’s Ethnic Education Problems” The problem is a serious and persistent one. Figures from the Education Ministry show that while Singaporean exam results have increased across the board over the last decade, the stark disparities between the city-state’s main three ethnic groups remain. In 2008, just 59. 3 percent of Malay students achieved 5 passes at O-level, the exams taken by 15 and 16-year-olds, compared to 86. 2 percent of Chinese and 73 percent of Indians.
[Source: Written by Ben Bland, Feb 2, 2010 in http://www.asiasentinel. com] 119 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012 Overview of the Singapore vs. Indian Education System Table 1. 0 Conclusion: I understand that I have different ways of thinking and different mindsets compared with most people. My comments only show my perspective, not an absolute authoritative assessment of the situation. I admit to have a certain level of subjectivity due to my previous involvement in the system and my limited set of experiences.
Progression pathway for the students might be different from county to county but what is the key in higher education is who provides better service with high quality education at affordable rate is in high demand worldwide. 120 IRACST- International Journal of Research in Management & Technology (IJRMT), ISSN: 2249-9563 Vol. 2, No. 1, 2012 REFERENCES          Blackwell, Fritz (2004), India: A Global Studies Handbook, United States of America: ABC-CLIO, Inc. , ISBN 1-57607-348-3.
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http://www. asiasentinel. com/index. php? option=com_content&ta sk=view&id=2318&Itemid=195 AUTHORS PROFILE NaganathanVenkatesh obtained his Degree and a Master degree in Computer Science from University of Madras, India as well he also holds another Masters Degree in Human Resource Management and presently he is pursing PhD in Computer Science & Engineering from University of Madras, India. As Research Scholar, from NITTTR(National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 October 2016
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