Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NTU down 101 places in latest best university rankings..... kept the eye on the wrong ball??

Changi Airport has apparently waltzed home with a whole barrage of best airport awards. This is kinda something Singaporeans have come to accept and to take for granted.

Singapore plays this game extremely well. I think it's something taught in the civil service school.... Best Awards 101 - "How to game the system". Almost every gahment and quasi-gahment organization picks up best awards galore, often by just astutely gaming the system. Doesn't matter what falls in the cracks, as long as the main checklist boxes score max points. Such training actually begins in school at a very young age, and schools, parents and students conspire ad work furiously through the year to pick up max points for all spheres of educational "excellence".

The universities play this game as well.

Once a while though, this gamesmanship backfires.

The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings recently revised her ranking criteria to apparently deliver the "most rigorous, transparent and reliable rankings tables ever".

With a single stroke, our Nanyang Technological University fell 101 places to a pathetic 174th in the world. Our National University of Singapore maintained her position, just dropping 4 spots to 34th.

So someone in NTU now has a bit of egg on the face.... spending $$$ to restructure and game the system, only for the rules to change.

Is this a problem of not keeping your eye on the real ball...... going for the cosmetic rather than the substance.

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