Singapore’s US$200k university salaries are worth every penny. Productivity have raised due to new ideas and novel innovations and citizens’ well-being has improved as well. Today, Singapore’s average productivity exceeds the US, and Singapore leads the world in a range of frontier technologies.
High-impact research transformed universities and the community hand in hand. Meaningful intellectual pursuit raises the economic and social well-being of the nation. As suggested by the economist Paul Krugman in the 1990s, Singapore would be unsustainable for over relying on its workforce to work hard and save from their earnings. The nation hence emphasised on knowledge advancement and technological improvement. Today, Singapore leads in terms of frontier technologies and its productivity even exceeds the US.
For nations where the most important asset is human capital, high-level research allows citizens to be productive and prosperous, and the nation to thrive and remain relevant. Cutting-edge research provides for a lively national conversation and unites diverse stakeholders in challenges that uplift the spirit and improve material circumstances. New ideas and novel innovations raise productivity and improve citizens’ well-being. This has been the story of humanity for centuries; it is the narrative of all great nation states past and present, small and large.