No need for central authority to screen foreign degrees for public service: DPM Teo


There’s hope for the not so bright….

SINGAPORE: Every public service agency is in the best position to decide on the relevance and appropriateness of a candidate’s degree to recruit the best person for a job, while considering other credentials and job requirements, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean,

Mr Teo, who is Minister-in-Charge of Civil Service and Home Affairs Minister, gave a written answer to a parliamentary question by Member of Parliament Png Eng Huat – asking if the Public Service Division would consider setting up a central authority to screen foreign degrees for public service employment. This is in light of the “proliferation of degree programmes and degrees of varying qualities offered in the education industry”, Mr Png had said.

“In assessing foreign degrees, the Public Service Division’s guidance to agencies is to check whether the foreign degree is accredited by the home government where the degree originates,” said Mr Teo.

As for professional qualifications obtained from foreign institutions, the qualifications must be recognised by the relevant professional bodies in Singapore to be considered for the relevant public service post, Mr Teo added. “This is a practical approach and not something a central authority can do,” he stated.

The Deputy Prime Minister also said hiring by public service agencies is not based on academic qualifications alone. “We take into account other important factors such as relevant work experience, personal attributes and motivations, and commitment to public service. For a mid-career candidate, relevant work experience is more important than academic qualifications for a good job fit,” he said. “Therefore, the extent to which a candidate’s degree, whether local or foreign, is considered in the hiring decision will differ from job to job, and person to person.”

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