Learning to Leave: Emigration, Employability, and Changing Universities

Wed, 1 Aug, 2018, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (GMT+8)
The HEAD Foundation 20 Upper Circular Road The Riverwalk #02-21 Singapore 058416

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The question of how schools can prepare students for future work has long dominated public conversation, from international policy debates to teacher meetings within local classrooms. In this talk, Yasmin Ortiga tells a story of how this issue plays out in the Philippines, one of the largest source countries of migrant labour in the world. Based on findings from her research, Ortiga discusses how higher education institutions are expected to not only produce graduates for a domestic labour market, but also for potential employers beyond national borders. This attempt to educate Filipino youth for “export” creates serious problems for higher education, undermining the job security of college instructors, skewing local curriculum towards foreign requirements, and challenging efforts to develop academic programmes in line with local needs.
As more developing nations turn to migration as a development strategy, Ortiga’s work raises important questions on what role universities should play in today’s global economy. Co-panelists Kong Chong Ho and Yang Peidong contextualise such phenomenon in a world of increasingly diverse forms of emigration, and the role of places like the Philippines in shaping international mobilities.


Assistant Professor Yasmin Y. Ortiga
Department of Sociology, Singapore Management University

Yasmin Y. Ortiga  is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Singapore Management University.  She recently published the book, "Emigration, Employability, and Higher Education in the Philippines" (Routledge).  Her work has also been published in the International Migration, Social Science & Medicine, and the British Journal of Sociology of Education.

Associate Professor Ho Kong Chong
Sociology and Research Leader of Asian Urbanisms, National University of Singapore 

Ho Kong Chong is Associate Professor of Sociology and Research Leader of Asian Urbanisms at the National University of Singapore. Kong Chong is an editorial board member of Pacific Affairs and the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Recent higher education publications include “Intra-Asia Higher Education Mobilities” Routledge Handbook of Asian Migrations (2018) and “The Research University in East Asia: graduate student and faculty perspectives” Asia Pacific Education Review (2018).

Dr Yang Peidong
Lecturer, Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education 

Yang Peidong is a lecturer at Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Singapore. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in education from the University of Oxford. Peidong’s main research interests are international educational mobility (particularly international students), migration and its social/cultural consequences, and the sociology/anthropology of education.

This event is presented by The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based think tank devoted to research and policy influence in education and leadership, for development in Asia.

Admission is free.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by the speaker in this talk are their own and do not represent the opinions of The HEAD Foundation.

Learning to Leave: Emigration, Employability, and Changing Universities

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