One oft-cited argument in defense of a high percentage of foreign faculty and students in Singapore universities is “global competitiveness,” which is, presumably, measured by the ranking of our local universities in the world.
Our top local university, the National University of Singapore (NUS), currently ranks 22nd in the 2013 World Reputation Rankings published by the Times Higher Education (THE).
Let’s look at how much the internationalization of NUS’s faculty and students contributes to its 22nd position.
THE ranking uses 13 indicators grouped under five categories. You can see from below that “International outlook” is worth only 7.5% out of the overall score of 100% (see methodology).
- Teaching: the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall ranking score)
- Research: volume, income and reputation (worth 30 per cent)
- Citations: research influence (worth 30 per cent)
- Industry income: innovation (worth 2.5 per cent)
- International outlook: staff, students and research (worth 7.5 per cent).
Out of the 7.5%, the ratio of international to domestic students is worth only 2.5%; same for the ratio of international to domestic staff. This means no matter how “internationalized” the university is in terms of its foreign faculty and student community, the university can only get a maximum score of 5 percentage points out of 100. Continue reading…