University..Too many places

The latest hype in The Straits Times Forum is about university entry. University entry is in the 1st week of August (for NUS..yeah), it is no wonder that many parents are naturally anxious when their lovable children did not get into the course of their choice. Parents are asking why. People are saying, that it is the government’s responsibility to provide good and quality education to all Singaporeans. Or is it?

There is always a demand and supply of everything. Prices go up and down based on demand and supply. Naturally, cut off points for schools, no matter of which level, would differ year on year based on the demand, since supply is largely consistent and does not differ much. This year being the dragon year, the universities in Singapore have tried to cater to the demand by increasing the supply for the courses.

However does anyone notice that it is quite impossible to cater university education for every Singaporean? If everyone who wishes to study Medicine goes into the Medicine Faculty, then may I know what will happen when they graduate? Will we have a overwhelming supply of practicing doctors such that some doctors have to become toilet cleaners? When everyone is a graduate, who will do blue-coller worker’s jobs?

Very soon, we would be doing foreign talent’s jobs, by which I do not mean in those MNCs, but in the coffee shops clearing dishes. Not that I am demeaning the nature of this jobs.

I saw a letter in the forum today. I will copy and paste it for you.

Convert UNSW campus into 4th varsity
THERE is an overwhelming demand for university places and many parents cannot or do not want to send their children overseas.

Now that the campus of the University of New South Wales Asia is available, the authorities should think about setting up a fourth university there.

This should be open to students who, despite having good grades, did not qualify for any of the local universities.

This will also help Singapore in its move to be an education hub.

In the years ahead one can expect a greater number of students vying for a place in the local universities should Singapore have a population of 6.5 million.

The fourth university will not become a white elephant.

I would like to say that the point is not people cannot get into local universities, but that they cannot get into the course they like. People are complaining that their child cannot go into Law or Medicine, not qualifying for an interview etc, not that they are unable to go into NUS. Their complaint is that they have stellar grades of 4As etc and yet they are not granted an interview. What would we do if we want to convert the UNSW campus into another university? Open another Law Faculty? Another Medicine Faculty? Bring on the onslaught of degree holders who are not doing their jobs.

Some argue that if we let children of Singapore go overseas to study, they will not return. We should be retaining local talents than foreign talents. What is my take on that? My take is that if they feel that Singapore owes them and so they do not return to Singapore, I say f*** them. I would not consider them to be local talent since they abandon Singapore. An elitist (not me) would tell you straight in the face that anyone who needs to go overseas to study (because he or she is ineligible for local universities) is not talent.

If we open more universities to cater for the demand, then what is to say that degree holders who can’t find a job based on what they study will not go overseas to pursue their dreams? Certainly, if you study architecture in Singapore, there is a limit. We do not have need of so many architects especially when our land space is quite filled. So architects may feel the need to go overseas where they are highly demanded and they will get a better pay?

The whole point of all this is that its the dragon year. There are too many babies in the dragon year, making demand for places in the universities increase exponentially (that is only a metaphor). In our educational system, would we have been going on a culmulative freq curve? The top x% gets an A, and so on and so forth. If this is true, then in a year where there are more babies, x% is larger than that in the year where there are lesser babies. This results in more people getting As, and making it more competitive, driving the grades up. Seeing this, it is no doubt that children who score As or 4As with distinction in GP will not get an interview in the Medicine faculty.

Who is to blame? Parents, 18/19 years ago, you should not be a bloody kiasu person to aim for a dragon child. Your own kiasu-ness results in your child needing to compete with every person, and it makes life harder for her.

2 years later, when the dragon boys enter university, they probably take up so many spaces that the girls need to compete, even when their year is not a year where the growth rate is that high. Its not fair right? So people, stop being an idiot and procreate for a dragon baby. It doesn’t give your child good fortune. Bloody fools.

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