Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Scholarship Without Bonds

We have seen increase in tuition fees for Universities. We have also seen talented Singaporeans forced to study overseas because there weren’t enough slots allocated for them. How about the middle class who can’t afford to send their children overseas for studies? We have seen an increase in debts for undergraduates over tuition and course fees. It seems that being non-Singaporeans have better privileges.

I was talking to an Indian undergraduate who was studying for his Masters at NUS. We started chatting and what I found out was very disturbing. He had come from Chennai to study in Singapore. He was offered scholarship to study in NUS so I asked him who pays for his scholarship. Was it the Government of India? No, he said. But you have to serve out some of bond right? I asked. No, I can go back to India after my studies with no obligation. I was dumbfounded. I will not be surprise if the other scholarships given out to the students from China, Philippines offer that as well. No wonder our scholarships are running out like hotcakes.

Just how do you grade the intellectual capability of an individual? Having excelled in studying only means that the individual is good at memorizing perfect answers. It does not necessary mean that the person in question has the ability to be successful, make important decisions or the passion to use his knowledge to good use. Very soon, we will be training many intelligent scholars only to find out that we are doing our neighbours a favour.


Edmund Ng,
CEO, President
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