If you can’t get into SG Uni, you are not worthy enough

That’s not my opinion. That is what I thought is the message that is being sent to all Singaporean students who get rejected by Singapore Universities. It is a message that has been around for quite some time, but nobody at the upper deck believes that change is necessary.

I recently read the post by DK about the NTU Triple Sharing Hostel plan, which eventually got scrapped. The solution DK suggested is a simple one, which is to reduce the number of foreign students in NTU. It is very logical because the reason why there is a huge demand for halls is largely because of more foreign students entering our universities today. Local students do not create such a huge demand because we are fine with not getting halls. We still have a home to go to isn’t it?

The problem with all these is that here in Singapore, we have double standards. If you have been a student long enough, you should know by now that we take an active stance in recruiting students from places in Asia, including China, and we give them an education here in Singapore, sponsored by the Singapore Government. They will probably need to serve a few years of bond, and can go anywhere after that.

What does this mean? We feel that such foreigners are talents and classify them as foreign talents. They will eventually power our science and technology sectors and bring forth recognition and wealth to Singapore. However, this begs the question: Can’t we find suitable talents in Singapore?

After all, Singaporeans who have lived in Singapore all these year should be our first class citizens isn’t it? We are more loyal to our country, and we will probably live and die here. Foreigners, on the other hand, do not feel the same loyalty to our nation. They see Singapore as a stepping stone to greater heights. After all, who will say no to a free education + expenses in Singapore, touted as a good place for education, especially in South East Asia?

Let’s talk about cost in algebraic sums. Let the cost of the university education be $U. For local students, we pay $S, a subsidised rate. Thus, the government pays $(U-S) in subsidies for Singapore students. For foreign student without government support, they pay $U in full. For foreign students supported by a government scholarship, the government pays $U in subsidies.

Surely $U > $(U-S). This means that it is better to invest more on foreign talents, than invest money in nurturing local peasants for higher education. So if you can’t get into a university, it means that you are not worthy enough to qualify for even $(U-S) in subsidy, and they would rather pay someone else with no loyalty to Singapore $U (excluding expenses!!!) to study here.

Now I think that is sad. Is our country going to be a country with Singapore citizens or foreign ones? In fact, are some talents, talents? Or are they people with a mask on them, showing their good side whilst their hidden intentions show that they are going to leave after getting all the benefits?

Let’s not forget my current University-mate in the same course as me, a PRC student who recently got convicted for hacking into RJC’s servers. Well, he is still in school, and is probably on a scholarship. What does this mean to me? It mean that there are double standards. You can get expelled for copying a lab report, but you will not be expelled for hacking, which, in my opinion, is a worse offence.

And we talk about building a fourth varsity. A liberal arts college. Look, this new college is not to cater to Singapore students. It is going to be filled partially (how partially I do not know. 70% is also partial) with foreign students. That I am willing to bet on.

Now since we have a problem with getting enough Singaporeans into university, why not we take the better and cost effective approach? We can jolly well lessen the number of foreign talents we take in, and give them to our peasants! We pay less in subsidies, and we can get more peasants into university! A good deal I would say.

Let’s not forget that Singaporean students who go to other universities pay the full fare. They do not have the chance of getting sponsored by the host government. Singaporean students are also ending up in Australian universities anyway. Why not let them benefit from staying in Singapore? Why force them to go overseas for an education that may be seen as substandard compared to our local universities?

I don’t understand, and I probably never will. All I know is that there is talk about brain drains due to top brains leaving Singapore, but nobody looks at the reasons. The reason is simple: A Singaporean citizenship means nothing. You are but less worthy than foreigners who have the right to leave Singapore after leeching the benefits. You know what’s the irony? All these years of brain washing in our education system, it’s supposed to be forging a national identity, but I guess the actual thing that is happening is that we are showing that our identity is to be foreign.

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8 thoughts on “If you can’t get into SG Uni, you are not worthy enough

  1. I guess one consideration is the quality of the graduates produced in Singapore. They will rather let foreigners take the space than to produce local grads that can’t make the cut. Although I must say the JC and poly education in Singapore is quite up to standard, but the risk of producing lousy grads is still very real.

    If we look at a very similar place aka Hong Kong, they have like 7 government funded universities and i dare say our grads are better than theirs.

    But I don’t mind if local uni here can reduce the prof-to-student ratio.

    chillycraps’s last blog post..helping a blind man (and feeling slightly stupid)

  2. Hmm that is true. That’s why I say they are viewed as less worthy than other graduates. However, this begs another question: If we are all concerned about quality of graduates from Singapore Universities, and that we have come to a conclusion that it is better to invest in foreign students rather than the local onces, then why consider the 4th university? Might as well save the money instead of wasting them.

  3. Why a 4th Uni?

    Perhaps the reason is to make money? just like how hosting the F1 will…

    Tertiary education is a big business. Not every foreigner you see is sponsored by the Singapore government. A sizable majority of them are paying money to study in Singapore. The country north of Singapore is rather notorious in forcing certain groups of citizens to find tertiary education elsewhere and Singapore is one of the more attractive destinations.

  4. Well I agree that not every foreigner is sponsored by the Singapore Government, at least not entirely. Many though, have succeeded in getting at least the MOE Tuition Grant, a sum of money of magnitude to the $15000. All they have to do is to work here for a few years. Now, I don’t mind giving this grant to those who have been in Singapore on their own all these while.

    Singapore have been known to source for talents from other countries, bringing the children over from a young age. Are they talents? How do we know that they are talents at young age. Money is being wasted here!

  5. I wonder what is education today? For the fame that the students can bring when they are out in the society or to equip them to be a better person? Or just a number game to others?

  6. I don’t see it as equipping students to be better. A worrying issue is that most of us are clueless to what courses we want to take. We have no ambition and no passion in anything. That’s dangerous and we won’t go far in producing outstanding graduates.

    Education is a number game. We want to have 4th uni so we can cater to 30% of the cohort. Not cater to outstanding students, but to a specific percentage, a number. Even A levels and o levels, everything is numbers..how many 4As blabla. No escaping.

  7. 1: Singapore government is running the country like running the business, so do not worry they will lose money in hiring or educating foreigners.

    2: From the government perspective, most money is from their business: Government link company, oversea market bring in a lot of profit, every a foreign maid, they earn only 300+ each, and government levy is S$265, (In hongkong, government levy is almost 0, so the maid make S$600+).

    If a maid can give government so many profit, do you think these minister are so silly to grant foreign talents for nothing?!

    3: Bear in mind, you are a labor in their eyes, if they do not invest in you, maybe you are not so productive in a open, free market.

  8. Hi air, nice points. I do agree that we are all labour in their eyes, and in a way, that’s the sad truth. Some people are simply not worth the money to send to universities, that’s the correct message.

    As for foreign talents, well yes, sometimes we grant them stuffs for nothing. If you see a 6 year bond as a something, then so be it. But I feel that its just a 6 year bond. The talent end up getting paid and valued. Are we going to ill treat them? Not quite. So they have a good life here, and not all are here to stay.

    Anyway, I have my own views on “foreign talent”, and it may be ugly if I start commenting more. There are certain students who keep thinking that they are foreign talents, and that they are smart in taking advantage of the Singapore system. These people, I don’t think they deserve the money. Seriously.

    But it’s my own opinion..ah well.

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