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Making university learning more enjoyable

Published Wed, Aug 13, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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FOR a society that's widely seen as achievement-oriented, better known for its hard-driving pursuit of merit than for merry-making, recent policy changes by two Singapore universities on the easing of grade requirements for students have been surprising, to say the least.

In May, National University of Singapore (NUS) announced that incoming freshmen would be able to purge poor grades in up to five modules in their first semester from their records. NUS has also lowered the entry criteria for its honours courses in four schools, and will rename the degrees, doing away with the first-, second- and third-class classifications in favour of US-style "distinction" or "merit" designations. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also said last week that it will allow its freshmen to drop F grades in up to six courses in the first year so as not to tarnish their grade-point average. The idea is to reduce the pressure on students and shift the focus away from grades, with NUS in fact mulling the possibility of an entirely grade-free first year. And in the …

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