"The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) is the first global centre for knowledge and leadership addressing the issues of radicalisation and political violence. It will produce world-class research and organise regular high-level meetings and outcome-driven dialogues on security issues" (¶1, 2015.03.28).
The United States is a country made up of many cultures—and we often celebrate that diversity. But just as often, we rely on the predominance of English as the language of global business and higher education when looking toward the world.
We must improve language learning and international education at all levels if our nation is to continue to lead in the global economy; to help bring security and stability to the world; and to build stronger and more productive ties with our neighbors.
Adopting the international language of business, diplomacy, and science and technology was about the only way this resource-less tiny island could guarantee its survival after losing its economic hinterland in Malaysia. Unemployment was at 14 per cent and rising.
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Just as importantly, picking this race-neutral language demonstrated his government’s anti-communalistic stance, helping to keep the peace in a newborn nation made up of a polyglot-settler populace who had struggled for years with racial and religious strife.
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For the sake of building “a community that feels together”, Lee pushed through the bilingualism policy in 1966. All students had to learn their “mother tongue”, Mandarin, Malay or Tamil, depending on their race, as a second language, and this became a compulsory and critical examination subject in 1969.
But the various initiatives Lee rolled out in subsequent years to put proficiency in mother tongue on par with that in English were to divide opinions, especially among the Chinese, even up to the present. Indeed, he described bilingualism in 2004 as the “most difficult” policy he had had to implement.
"Double the trouble: Universities last year won a special exemption from a law ostensibly aimed at boosting the ranks of the permanently employed. The law means companies are obliged to employ temporary workers as permanent employees after five years of continuous work on fixed-term contracts, if those workers request it. However, under the exemption, university teachers and researchers will have to toil an extra five years as temps before they can benefit from the law, starting from 2024. | ISTOCK