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Behind the success of Singapore universities

Congratulations, Nanyang Technological University. NTU is now No 1 among all the universities in the world that are less than 50 years old, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. The question now: Will the university have more Singaporean postgraduates?

  “It can be difficult to encourage Singaporeans to choose the academic path. At Nanyang, for example, just 30 per cent of the postgraduates are locals,” David Matthews wrote in the Times Higher Education (THE) in November last year.

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Retiree households among the poorest in Singapore

The Household Expenditure Survey presents a grim picture of retiree households, where nobody is working and everyone is over 60.  They are poorer than the poor. Even with CPF and help from the government, family and friends, their average income is less than the poorest 20 per cent households’.

While the poorest 20 per cent households had an average monthly income of 2.020 Singapore dollars (about $1,600) in 2012/13, the average retiree household’s was considerably less – not even S$2,000.

Retiree households’average monthly income

Retiree households’average monthly income

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One in five Singapore households can’t make ends meet

One in five Singapore households can’t make ends meet. The poorest 20 per cent continue to earn less than they have to spend.

This was not mentioned by the Straits Times and Today though they both quoted the Household Expenditure Survey.

“Household incomes up, with bottom 20 per cent seeing fastest rises,” said the Straits Times front-page headline.

What went unsaid was, their incomes had still not caught up with their expenditures. 

This is mentioned in the survey report — not in the executive summary, but deeper inside.

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Lee Kuan Yew on here and hereafter

“It’s Chinese lessons as usual for Mr Lee on 91st birthday,” reported the Straits Times. We saw the Facebook updates from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanking well-wishers for wishing his father a happy birthday and from Goh Chok Tong, who visited the old man and said: “He looked well and sharp…”

Resoundingly, however, there was not a word from the man himself.

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew

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What’s up, and why, on Facebook and Twitter

The Straits Times coverage of social media on Saturday ignored a fundamental difference between Facebook and Twitter. Twitter you can use, like Google, to search for information. Facebook, not quite.

Let me give an example. Jeremy Au Yong, the Straits Times US Bureau chief, wrote about a police officer gunning down 19-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which triggered an avalanche of tweets but hardly seemed to register on Facebook. I could still find some of the old tweets yesterday, almost a month after the incident, using the hashtag #Ferguson. Here are a couple of tweets posted the day after the shooting on August 9. [click to continue…]