Writing in Times Higher Education, economists Pang Eng Fong and Linda Lim have also commented on the lack of a strong local core in our universities. In addition to the indicators I mention in this chapter, another way to gauge the local impact of our university departments is to look at citations. For example, when I checked one commonly used database of scholarly articles, I was able to find 152 articles on Singapore categorised under economics published since 2015, but only one was by someone currently listed as a regular faculty member of the NUS economics department. NUS accounted for around 30 other articles, but these came from elsewhere on campus, such as the public policy and business schools, and the real estate department.
- The main argument made in this essay may sound unfamiliar or even radical, but it is not new in global higher education circles. Two recent articles on this theme are “The ‘World-Class’ fad – Time to pursue a grander vision“, and “Numbers that matter“.
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