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Lessons for Singapore from Germany's education system – TODAYonline

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Germany’s tertiary education system is founded on three pillars – strong research, good academic teaching and a strong pool of academia whose professional experience is continually enhanced by on-the-job learning. In other words, the German university lecturers are excellent specialists with industry experience.
Work-study degree programmes are common in German universities, including the Munich University of Applied Sciences.
Back in 1990, many had prophesied that the reunified Germany would be an economic laggard behind the United States, China and Japan.
Since then, Germany has stunned many nations with its economic vibrancy. This question often asked is – why has Germany, which boasts no Silicon Valley, nor an army of cheap industrial workers like those in China, become the economic powerhouse in Europe?
The answer lies in Germany’s educational and vocational training sector, which is the silent ‘engine’ powering Germany’s economic rise over the years. And there are lessons here for Singapore.
Propelled by the conviction that a nimble and skills-based educational system prepares youths for jobs, the German government made a hard-nosed decision to revamp the educational sector after 1990. The reform hinged on a strategy to combine theoretical knowledge with practical application within the vocational secondary and tertiary sectors.
This has led to a new bottom-up movement where new ideas have sprouted in numerous small and medium-sized German companies over the last 10 years. This flourishing of ideas on new products, services and innovations has raised the technological performance of German manufacturers (SMEs) in the global market.
These businesses have thrived thanks to cohorts of educated vocational assistants and vocational masters (Geselle und Meister in German) as well as thousands of graduates from the universities of applied sciences founded after 1990.
These applied science graduates and vocational craftsmen, backed by government support, have provided the driving force for Germany’s technological superiority.
Currently, Germany’s tertiary education system is founded on three pillars – strong research, good academic teaching and a strong pool of academia whose professional experience is continually enhanced by on-the-job learning. In other words, the German university lecturers are excellent specialists with industry experience. The requirements for recruiting a professor at universities of applied sciences include a compulsory stint of at least five outstanding years of professional practice outside the university sector.
This is a stringent requirement, but Singapore perhaps can learn from Germany on this front. Apart from the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) which is pioneering the Applied Learning model, Singapore universities are entrenched in the traditional system where most lecturers are educational heavyweights with a string of degrees.
A key pillar of SIT’s applied learning model is the Integrated Work Study Programme where its students are immersed in the industry through a job stint lasting from six to 12 months. This is the only structured job immersion programme here. At the end of the IWSP, the students have to complete a capstone project. Throughout this entire process, the students are closely monitored by the lecturers and Professional officers from SIT to ensure that they are learning and contributing to the company they work in. Other universities in Singapore may have similar internships but they are usually much shorter and not as structured.
What else is there about the German educational system that may be of interest to Singapore policy makers?
First, Germany has a well developed cooperative degree programme where students gain both theoretical and practical experience through the universities‘ tie up with companies throughout a student’s entire undergraduate course.
The companies pay the vocational trainees and students a monthly salary of between 800 and 1000 Euros and understand the importance of building up a long-term partnership with students who will eventually grow into loyal employees. (any bond for these sponsorships?) Hence underlying the seemingly altruistic behaviour is a calculated, long-term investment in human capital.
As Singapore’s economy is highly dependent on its human resources, investment in building a quality pipeline of future talent should merit some consideration. In a world of technological disruptions whereby the skillsets need to match new jobs created, the tertiary education is a critical pathway which, if well managed, can help the university graduates to secure job offers even before they step into the working world.
Second, the US, China, Japan and France and other countries currently have a fixed system of ranking educational institutions. Singapore students, which are part of the Anglo-Saxon and Chinese educational systems, tend to attach importance to the existing rankings. Hence, the best students in Singapore, China and other countries may not consider attending the universities of applied sciences or cooperative studies, as the latter are not included in such rankings.
A leading German human resource manager once said: “An Ivy League graduate – so what! If my company has the opportunity to select, we prefer to offer the best high-school graduates a three year study course in co-operative studies where we can monitor them daily for three years.”
Therefore, Singapore students interested to pursue an overseas tertiary education should learn about the changing realities, instead of being blinkered by tradition into following the conventional track.
Finally, Singapore universities can take a leaf from the experience of some old research universities in Germany. Many of their graduates find that compared to those in universities of co-operative studies, they seem slower and less ready to help solve the problems of their customers, unlike those students who have done earlier work stints with the same employer. These research-based graduates also have to undergo a 12-month traineeship, thus inflicting a high training cost on the company.
As a result, German companies prefer graduates of universities of applied sciences or cooperative studies as they are able to add value on day one of their work.
In our fast-changing world, where new technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence are impacting the industry landscape, the best academic and vocational education system at the secondary and tertiary level should be one that integrates theoretical learning with professional experience or industry knowledge. In addition, all major players, from state institutions to the industry and social institutions, must be committed to sharing this workload of training the students.
SIT’s applied learning model is a great step in the right direction. However, one swallow does not make a summer. Hence, it may be timely for other universities to review and tweak their learning model by getting more of their students to undergo immersive job stints with employers so that their graduates can acquire the necessary skillsets and be more future-ready.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Professor Georg Nagler is President, Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg Mannheim (Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim). He spoke recently at the first Applied Learning Conference organised by Singapore Institute of Technology in Singapore.
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Business

Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits

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Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.

Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.

Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!

The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:

1. Supports gadget

Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.

2. Advances Glowing Skin

Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.

3. Fortifies Bones

Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.

4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)

These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.

5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke

Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

6. Further develops the natural framework Health

Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.

7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign

Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.

Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.

According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.

8. Advances Healthy Heart

To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.

9. Forestalls devolution

Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.

10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform

Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.

11. Palatable Anti-Aging

Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.

12. Advances Weight Loss

Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.

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