Fast-track degrees: What about quality?

A UNIVERSITY education has many objectives. Besides imparting relevant industry and job skills, it develops the mind for higher-order thinking skills and competencies, which are necessary attributes for higher-level responsibilities.

Therefore, I find it hard to comprehend what can be achieved from private degree programmes that can be completed in as short as a year (“More taking private route to a degree”; Sept 4).

Even a junior college education, which prepares students for university, needs two years. A polytechnic education takes three years.

For those in a rush to get a degree, it is prudent to ensure that the programme equips them sufficiently with not only applicable job skills and knowledge, but also a trained mind to handle higher-order, job-related functions.

The Education Ministry should set strict criteria for degree programmes offered by private institutes, like what is being done for autonomous universities.

Otherwise, we risk having degree mills that produce graduates who add only to the numbers but not to quality.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

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