February 24, 2009

Thoughts on Singapore

What a great place Singapore is – really interesting city and buzzing with potential.

I’ve been here for a conference and whilst that was interesting (more later) just wandering around Singapore has been fascinating.

1. It is an incredibly connected and mobile city. Everyone is using their phone and interacting using mobile.

2. THere is something of an energy about the people here that is refreshing after doom and gloom at home. Sure, there’s a lot of doom and gloom here to, but things are still positive and you get the feeling that there is a mood of waiting for the up-turn – ready…steady….go – they will be out of the blocks far more quickly than we will

3. The appetite for education is massive – it’s a society hungry for knowledge and ideas

4. The cultural mix is amazing

5. Stuff just works – it’s clean and to time and nothing feels crowded though we are on a densely populated little island.

6. Panglish is the way to go.

I have also learned a few important lessons.

1. Business cards are crucial here – I didn’t bring any. Oops. There is an etiquette to handing out cards and muggins here bolloxed all that right. As if to drive home the point the conference organiser gave me a business card holder as a thankyou for chairing. Right, so I am a muppet – I get it!

2. I don’t think we send enough administrators out here. We should organise a little world tour for key people to get a sense of how these places operate and what excites our potential students, staff and partners here and in other areas. Don’t think you can substitute in territory experience for insights into how we think about international strategy. This should not be the reserve of the International Office. Considering how globalised future students will be we need to understand this much much more.

I shall leave Singapore with lots of positive thoughts. Hope the news at home doesn’t drag us down too quickly!

Plus – loads of good networking and a conviction we need to arm students with video cameras – it’s the way forward.


- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Brendan

    Tom, on your lesson 2 – I couldn’t agree more – you often hear people say that organisations don’t need a marketing dept but a marketing orientation. I’m convinced organisations such as mine and yours need to be thinking the same in terms of international orientation. Holding the skills and experience within one office just seems plain daft to me.

    Thanks again for the twitter stream, there were quite a few interesting little nuggets in there. If you’ve got the time and the inclination I’d love to hear how you thought some of the speakers came across and whether there was much in room discussion and sharing?

    25 Feb 2009, 22:58

  2. Hi Brendan – there are a few posts to be written on the back of this trip so I hope to add some more to this later.

    26 Feb 2009, 08:56


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