Preaching Moderation

Updated at: 14 Mar 2019 07:34:14

As an (hopefully) involved NUS student, I have been following the developments about NUS matters through NUS Whispers. The topic for today was about orbital and this topic pressured me to finally put my ideas about the computing intake into concrete words through writing.

There should be greater moderation in accepting computing students.

I also believe that there have been clear signals that have indicated that universities should be expanding the size of the computing cohort at a more gradual pace.

  1. There is no clear signal that the demand for computing students will be sustained. Instead, there is clear indication that the rate of increase of demand for computing professionals is tapering given that most industries have achieved some technological adoption. Note that I am not saying that the demand won’t be sustained, which I believe no one can tell with certainty, but it is clear that the rate of increase of demand is tapering and it might be a sign of darker times for wannabe computing professionals.

  2. There is a clear consensus among students and the lecturers and professors alike that the increase in student intake is putting a strain on available resources. Aside from Orbital, I have heard from CS3243, CS3244, CS1101S, that the large increase in students have depressed the teaching quality, regardless of how good the teacher actually is.

With a larger cohort, less attention is given to each individual student and there is a greater need for lecturers to differentiate the larger group of students for purposes of grading. This detracts from actual learning.

  1. The fact of the matter is that there is no distinct barrier to entry to computing anyway. There are clearly individuals from other disciplines entering job roles typically for computer science students, such as computer engineers, information systems majors. The demand can be filled up easily if the supply falls short.

The question really is whether can NUS train proper computing professionals.