In the previous article (link previous article here) we dove into some of the structural changes and difficulties students in higher education faced in Singapore. Here we look at some of the softer realisations the Covid-19 Pandemic has brought on.

Cooperative, Compassionate, Shaped by Education

A seemingly unexpected takeaway from the Covid-19 pandemic is that Singapore hopes to bring its students more than just pragmatic, job-related knowledge for their futures.

In a Facebook Live discussing education after the Pandemic, Education Minister Lawrence Wong talked about the importance of a softer, more cooperative and compassionate society shaped by education, or as he succinctly summarised, “learning for good transcends every job.”

On its face, this perceptual shift is strange for a country as pragmatic as Singapore, but hardly unexpected in the face of changing priorities in a global economic slowdown, bringing more humanitarian lessons to light which Singapore is also working on embracing.

After all, in world with recurring pandemics and crisis, it might be the practical step to learn how to care and cooperate with others.

Cooperation and Collectivism

Speaking of cooperation, a recent study from the University of Kent found that cultures with a collectivist mindset are more likely to comply with social distancing and hygiene practices that drive the reduction of Covid-19 cases in a society. As a primarily Asian culture, Singapore places a higher priority on wearing masks and staying a safe distance from aged or immunocompromised members of society as a form of protection to them.

An article by Jim Logan at UC Santa Barbara suggested that social coordination, which is a key coping mechanism for a society in a pandemic, may be associated with more collectivistic cultures like those found in China, South Korean, Taiwan and Singapore. With groups in these cultures acting to protect both individuals and communities.

That may also be why Singapore is now only facing an average of 5 cases daily, with the majority of these being returning locals.

These are challenging measures for challenging times, and as an inbound student, it is important that you enter a higher learning system that is stable and supported like Singapore’s.

While there are still growing pains and kinks in the system to be ironed out, Singapore institutes of higher learning seem poised to take on the new normal, and to guide their student body to success.