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Feature

What makes an educated person?

What does it mean to be a learned person in today’s age? Here’s what NTU faculty and students say

AN EDUCATED PERSON…

  • … is able to continuously learn, adapt, change and transform with rapid societal and technological changes. In this era of the fourth industrial revolution, this includes the ability to seamlessly connect technology with human behaviour, irrespective of whether he or she is an engineer, an artist, a musician, a linguist or a computer scientist.
    - Prof Subra Suresh, NTU President

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  • … is one who is willing to think deeper about issues than most people. While some others may take things at face value, the educated person has the capacity or willingness to think about issues beyond what he already knows.
    - Adithya VH, Nanyang Business School and School of Computer Science & Engineering

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  • … is knowledgeable and self-aware, and contributes to society. He is driven by a genuine thirst for knowledge and is a logical thinker in problem-solving. He uses these strengths to bring value to the larger community.
    - Au Yong Yu Lin, Nanyang Business School

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  • … is socially attuned. It’s easy enough to acquire skills through online courses but getting soft skills, such as how to interact in the 21st century, is harder. Having both sets of skills makes an educated person. In this global economy we are in, you can’t work in isolation.
    - Dewi Asyura, School of Social Sciences

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  • … is aware of what’s going on in the world and is able to form critical opinions about issues. That shows sound thinking and the ability to stand up for one’s beliefs, which is what an educated person is to me.
    - Nurin Nazurah Saifudin, School of Social Sciences

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  • … can suffer setbacks and recover from them. In my case, as a CN Yang Scholar, I need to take many different subjects and I may not do so well in some of them. Ultimately, I need to know what I want to achieve and push through. An educated person is also someone who not only excels academically but one who can tap on personal experiences to learn better.
    - Weers Natasha Audrey, School of Biological Sciences

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  • … does not use education as a means to an end but as an experience. After secondary school, I pursued quantum physics on my own, starting with zero knowledge of the subject, just because I thought it was interesting. Let yourself be open to your passions and interests. If you have that open space, then it’s easier to become an educated person.
    - Rangaswamy Deepikashri, Nanyang Business School

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  • … is knowledgeable, curious about the world he lives in, and empathetic. In the era of big data, he should be able to process vast amounts of data and communicate ideas simply and coherently. An educated person keeps his heart close to the ground, recognising and empathising with the needs of the community.
    - Gregory Tan, School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

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  • … is able to think on his feet. Personally, knowing how to think creatively and critically has helped me in my course as I’ve to think of different ways around challenges.
    - Odelia Cheong, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences

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  • … is focused, and able to set targets and goals and to work towards them. An educated person is disciplined and never gives up, no matter what happens.
    - Brjan Kaiji Betzler, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

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  • … is knowledgeable enough to discern right from wrong (both in morals and areas of expertise), courageous enough to do what is right, humble enough to continually self-reflect and improve, and smart enough to create and invent.
    - Dr Ho Shen Yong, College of Science

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  • … is genuinely curious, widely read and critically questioning. This means being ethical, insightful and compassionate – the result of deep reading and close listening. This person keeps a curious mind by continually going on adventures that refresh body and soul, and challenging the limits of what is possible within and around her/him.
    - Asst Prof Charlene Rajendran, National Institute of Education

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  • … is someone who can see from multiple perspectives, and is not limited by one version of ‘truth’ or reality. I see education as being distinct from training. It’s possible to be highly trained in some areas, but not be well-educated.
    - Assoc Prof Patrick Williams, College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

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