When the term foreign talent is used too loosely

Don’t you feel that the term foreign talent is used too loosely? Everyone that is not Singaporean seems to be called foreign talent, or they consider them as well. However, to say the truth, most of these “foreign talents” can’t defeat our own local talents, neither can they bring Singapore more prosperity and wealth.

I have a problem with having too much foreign talent in the from of students in Singapore. Everywhere, there are people who take advantage of our system and then leave without contributing anything. People come to Singapore, take Permanent Resident status, send their kids to top schools and then leave to go back to their home country.

Else, its that we recruit “foreign talents” to come to Singapore, study at our top schools or university, take the places of our students and paying the same fees as us (or perhaps on a scholarship and hence pay no fees) and then they leave for greener pastures.

Haven’t you heard from people you knew about certain foreign talents? They come to Singapore and have a good education. If you ask them, they will tell you that they are going back to their homeland after they finish their education. Why do we have to allocate spaces on our top schools for these people? Why not use the spaces and the better quality teaching on Singaporeans, who are more likely to stay and contribute to Singapore?

I find it really puzzling when people start to think they are foreign talent. What is more puzzling is that we have been allowing “foreign talents” to enjoy the fruits of our labour, and yet we are not doing anything, but still consider them talents. Should we then worship them?

I do agree that it is important to have foreign talents, provided that they are real. What are real foreign talents then? According to my beliefs, foreign talents cannot exist in a student form. If you are still a student with no experience, what talents do you have? I’m not talking about art or music or excellence in studies. These are no use to Singapore’s economy. What is of use is foreign experts coming to Singapore to work and contribute their expertise.

The foreign talents we have in our schools are different. If they do not contribute, but go home after everything, they are foreign leeches, not talents.

Why consider building another university? Why allow UNSW to set up shop here? If you tell me that we have not enough spaces in our universities to cater to Singaporeans, then why are we paying money (in the form of scholarships) to fund such leeches to study here? It is totally different if they are paying (without the tuition grant). However, we are wasting places, places which could be given to another Singaporean and enrich his life such that he can contribute more to Singapore.

The sad thing is that such talents are, more often than not, losing to our local population. Mind you, they are losing to those who are in Singapore Universities. We in Singapore public universities are those who cannot get a scholarship, which means we are not the “elite”. Yet they are losing to us. And we are funding their education. Bullshit I say.

I just feel that money can be well spent elsewhere. Don’t waste our tax money on people who take advantage of us.

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2 thoughts on “When the term foreign talent is used too loosely

  1. Well, sometimes yea the phrase foreign talent is just thrown out so regularly. Fact is, Singapore is a metropolitan state, and being a foreigner should not automatically imply being a talent!

    Regarding the students part, actually well, I’m as stumped at you. Coz my marketing tutor actually told me that they do prefer to rope in locals because thats where revenue comes in from. How much can foreign students contribute really depends alot. In certain courses, definitely, business for example, might be worthwhile to have some international exposure. Engine? I do not see how.

    Secondly, there is always this gamble on the off chance that some of them will stay on and contribute to Singapore. But to be honest, its quite rare. A fair number from Malaysia perhaps. China, not likely, and it actually tends to be true that those that come over are not the elites. China have their own in Peking, Tsinghua & Fudan. Maybe its just my course, requiring a rather decent level of English proficiency. But these so called foreign students are not pushing my grades. In fact, I’m giving them a run for their money, and to be fair, I haven’t even come close to trying hard to score.

    So putting things into perspective, I really dunno about the use. Funding foreign “talents” usually equate to an outflow of capital assets. And reduced vacancies in local universities push the left behinds to 2nd tiers universities overseas. Again, there is an outflow of monetary assets. But we can’t do anything can we, except thrashing those arrogant foreigners to put them in their place. Of course there are always exceptions, I’m tolerant towards the friendly people, whether or not they eventually stay, its up to chance.

  2. Yes I agree, I just feel that perhaps we should all relook on our current policy towards “foreign talents”, especially when they don’t feel any loyalty to Singapore.

    An important aspect to take note is how easy it is to gain a PR status so that the child can have an education at a cheaper rate. Coming to study is one thing, but when it steps into the boundary of taking advantage of the system, then its time to raise some alarms.

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