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ERIC Number: EJ770968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun-22
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
A Pandora's Box in Singapore
Overland, Martha Ann
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n42 pA38 Jun 2007
Singapore is no longer content to produce only engineers and technocrats, says Tharman Shanmugaratnam, minister for education. The government wants to foster a dynamic environment that can attract thinkers and leaders in many fields, not just science. Singapore's planners envision their city as the "Boston of the East"--where the alchemy between top universities, research institutes, artists, and the industries they have spawned help feed economic growth. Unfortunately, in a deeply conservative society, governed by a powerful single political party that permits little criticism, too much independent thinking can be a liability. On the other hand, most Singaporeans do not seem all that unhappy with the restrictions. For the past four decades, Singapore's ruling party, the People's Action Party, has delivered stunning economic growth. What was once a malaria-ridden colonial outpost on the equator now has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Shanmugaratnam, is concerned that Singapore's successes have produced a generation of young people who are apathetic. He would like to see more public discourse and a greater willingness of students to engage in debate. Most educators and policy makers in Singapore feel that if academic freedom comes up at all, it is because outsiders are raising it. You can not blurt out anything you want, or do anything you please. But some ask if that is truly the definition of academic freedom in the first place.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore