While we are on the topic of 'management by metrics', Prof Lily Kong of the NUS wrote a rather defensive letter to the Straits Times about the NUS apparent fall in ranking during the recent publication of the Quacquarelli survey.
Prof Kong's response says a lot but actually says nothing much that we don't already know. ..that NUS looks very good on paper, when the right parameters are used. This is because NUS has a strategic approach based on certain metrics that will do well in ranking exercises. The fact that when the ranking metrics are altered, ranking falls so precipitously suggests a lack real 'health' in the system. I have posted recently on the management by metrics approach that many organizations take nowadays, and this is really what is happening here. So little of what Prof Kong says reflects on the NUS real commitment to teaching and training. Recruitment of new staff is fundamentally based on the research accomplishments rather than on a passion for students and teaching.
For professional schools such as engineering and medicine, this will result in sub-quality practitioners and professionals produced by the schools.
My suggestion to NUS....and NTU as well....get away from these artificial metrics and go back to basics about your strategic directions as a university. By all means recruit people who are good academics but please make sure they are also good teachers, and are people who have a heart for students.
6 years ago