Monday, September 05, 2011

Wikileaks : Govt does not want more Singaporeans to have university education...

In the next few postings, I'll go through the wiki-leaks revelations and explain each one in greater detail.

Govt does not want more Singaporeans to have degrees[Link]
¶9. (C) Singapore boasts a highly competitive and
well-regarded primary and secondary education system, but the
number of Singaporeans completing a tertiary education is
relatively low. Only 23 percent of Singaporean students
entering primary school complete a degree at a local
four-year university. In other knowledge-economies such as
Japan's, around 50 percent of students complete a university
degree. However, according to Cheryl Chan, Assistant
Director of the Planning Division at the Ministry of
Education (MOE), the government does not plan to encourage
more students to get a higher education. The university
enrollment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25
percent because the Singaporean labor market does not need
everyone to get a four-year degree, she asserted.

This is an important revelation because the PAP govt has promised openly to develop every Singaporean to his full potential. If what Cheryl Chan said is true that there is some kind of quoto to be maintained, this promise is bogus. This promise was again repeated in the PAP's 2011 election campaign manifesto:

We know that hundreds(( if not thousands?) of Singaporeans have to go overseas for further education because they cannot get a place in our universities. Yet the PAP govt educates the children of foreigners for free by giving out scholarships. Singaporean children from lower income families miss out on a university education because they are too poor to go overseas when local universities reject them in favor of foreigners who are granted scholarships. This makes the PAP promise to go all out to develop Singaporeans to the fullest bogus and if anything, there are fewer opportunities here than in elsewhere because of the tight quotas imposed on the number of Singaporeans getting university degrees.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

And we are moving towards first world, Swiss standard of living? towards a first world parliament? Joker.

Anonymous said...

This is again one of the obscurantist policy (愚民政策) so that both economic and governance issues are solved. Economically, too many graduates cannot find jobs leading to unhappy unemployment and to difficulty in controlling the people and to possible loss of power. Denial of education to individual's full potential to offer free education to foreigners and high secrecy about government and its related organisations are part and parcel of this obscurantist policy strategy to ensure easy governing and perpetuating the ruler's power. Singaporeans ought to understand this great strategy.

Anonymous said...

In attempting to control the numbers of people who have access to higher education at the university level, Singapore's government is inadvertently confirming that higher education has an ability to create more well-informed and critical-minded individuals who can question the regime and its policies, and to stand up against it. So, they have to try limiting the number of spaces to locals by contrast and then give them to foreigners whom they know are only in it to make the money out of us. That policy in itself is sly.

Anonymous said...

Not only are at making bogus promise, they adapt at illusionary tricks. To give NS males serving NS a form of motivation, A level inmates are mostly awarded a provisional place. However, the 2 institutions tailor the first year curriculum to be a knock off round, so that quite a few will not make pass thru to second year. Those with senior friends will be forewarned and start their self study while still serving. However, unfortunate few will be caught off guard by the huge no. of subjects stuffed in the elimination year and will not pick up momtmtum on time due to the 2 year mental lobo doing NS. In effect, they are putting it across that 'chances are given, but too bad you're unable take them'

Anonymous said...

PAP cunningly did NOT lie when they said they will develop every child to their fullest. Becoz to the PAP, only the elites and PAP balls suckers have high potential. The rest are just peasants, recruits and private soldiers to fill the slots in the army needed to operate S'pore Inc. The cheaper the better.

The whole system is PAP-controlled, with obstacles designed to produce results to PAP's requirements. They can change the obstacles, take out old ones and put new ones in, whenever PAP needs some different outcomes. There are no checks & balances. And no strong independent body to tell the govt to stop it and/or to legally stop the govt.

Anonymous said...

The education system is designed to fast pace the top 10% of school's cohort (future leaders). The others are sort of "own time, own target" approach. Forget about the crap that teachers are there to bring out the best, they already have a hard time with curriculum and non teaching duties. This breeds a billion dollar tuition/foreign education industry which every parent will have familiar stories to share. On top of all these is the competition from foreign students who knows the various loopholes to maximises their stint here. School life is an endless struggle for child and parents alike, I understand fully well why some married couples do not want to start a family.

Anonymous said...

pap knows the local uni is lousy so it is better from them to go overseas uni so they can migrate easily when pap fails (which will be someday down the road). there are also many external degrees, anyone can get a degree if they want to in singapore.

Anonymous said...

Basically all that is being leak is not new.

Just because it is being leaked by the media, it becomes news.

Where is our First World Parliament MP.

Quiet as a mouse, or they are 01st Tier Opposition MP.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Do you suppose that by limiting the number of university entrants (within reasonable limits), they may be encouraging young singaporeans to branch out, start a business, go into trade?! Which, if you're a success, could be better than 4 years in University!

I know that going into trade (plumbing, tiling... plastering etc) isn't as well paid in Singapore, compared to other western societies. But it's the entrepreneurship and the potential of owning your own successful business??

I understand how paper qualifications may seem like a golden ticket to a good job, and that's often the case in Singapore. But this is just another point of view from an Aussie who'd lived in Singapore for 12 years. Appreciate comments on this.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 16:50,

Whether the PAP thinks that people are better off as plumbers, electricians etc is besides the point. Most parents aspire to have their children go to university and the PAP publicly tells them that it will develop their children to their fullest abilities when it actually does not want to do so.

The millionaire plumber, electrician and hawker is a myth...out of thousands only a small handful become rich so your odds are not very good.

This whole issue is whether the PAP goes all out to give those who try had enough a chance or they don't. According to the wikileaks, it is a quota so no matter how hard or whether you're good enough..you don't have a chance...and the case is proven because many overseas student do come back with good degrees after rejection by local unis and they go on to get well paying jobs.

Anonymous said...

more higher educated population might also mean EVEN HIGHER MIGRATION.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't credit the PAP with a strategy of channeling peole into the various trades.

This is not believable because of the very HIGH cost of rental and other charges levied on businesses. Look at the HDB heartlands - even the mom and pop's shops find its extremely hard to survive. It is common place to see WHOLE ROWS OF HDB SHOPS CLOSING THEIR DOORS PRACTICALLY IN EVERY ESTATE. I HAVE LOST COUNT.

In fact, I marvelled at the idiocy of totally unrealistic legions of retailers wannabes who queue up to take up collapsing retails/trades shop space and in a matter of MONTHS themselves become the victims of poor business and high rentals.
With the given conditions, the people who go laughing to the bank are the landlords -many govt/GLC linked - and the renovation contractors.

These failures would end up in the red, with the bankers and moneylender foreclosing their businesses. It the money came from their own savings or from loans from relatives, imagine the heartbreaks and unhappiness casued!

Anonymous said...

First of all, why should it be any surprise to hear the Government say one thing in public and another, supposedly, in private? The revelation in Wikileak is at best a confirmation of what is essentially an open secret.

Secondly, the PAP perpetuate the culture of 'meritocracy' where the so-call best is rewarded and those who are not the best don't get it.

Thirdly, the PAP and Singaporean in general really don't see university education as education in the sense of enhancing the nation's skills based. Also in Singapore, many can't judge talent from what a person can do but can only judge one the basis of what degree one holds (hence, you don't too many talented uni dropouts like Mark Zukerburg, Steve Jobs, etc).

Forthly, combined with my previous two points, should it be any surprise that the PAP would see places in University are going to be restructed?

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans first. That's only for talented ones.

Not Singaporeans only. That's because we need "talented" foreigners.

So is there a place for "not so talented" Singaporeans?

Anonymous said...

It is easier to manage a society that has less graduates!!

Anonymous said...

This revelations shows PAP is on the decline. Are there parties outside singapore wanting ot see PAP falls? If so why are they doing this. to reduce PAP votes count? We have aeroplanes F16 fighter jets plus Temasek monies parked outsides Singapore. On can imagine a scenario when PAP falls, there will be a frenzy money grab. Can the E President prevent this from happening when the monies is outside Singapore control by external parties. Why are there so much monies parked outside singapore control by others? Why?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Tan,

The fact of the matter is that the PAP government is an indifference government.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

Do you think the PAP government is a hypocrite?

Your guess is as good as everyone else.

Ajohor said...

The comment was made in 2007 and that was opinion at the time, policy at that time 20%-25% for university whilst all else up to polytechnics up to 50%.

Frankly, do you wish to have the same occurence as US/UK/Australia/Japan than where the only graduands from near to Ivy League/Top 10 universities are basically fully employed whilst the rest of not top ten universities will make do.

Quite easy, than and there will be more cases of graduate taxi drivers.

Regards

Anonymous said...

// Anonymous said...5/9/11 16:50
Do you suppose that by limiting the number of university entrants (within reasonable limits), they may be encouraging young singaporeans to branch out, start a business, go into trade?! Which, if you're a success, could be better than 4 years in University!//

why set @ 20-25% then, why not 5% or 3% and the chances of young singaporeans to branch out in their own business & trade will even be higher going by your reasoning.

does it mean that by setting higher uni quota, the others who are non-graduates & must strive it even harder outside of uni-qualifications cannot fill the void of entrepreneurship.

do you have evidence to show that good entrepreneurship (it good quality that we are talking about) negatively correlates with the direction of university education.

Anonymous said...

Ajohor said...5/9/11 21:26
//Frankly, do you wish to have the same occurence as US/UK/Australia/Japan than where the only graduands from near to Ivy League/Top 10 universities are basically fully employed whilst the rest of not top ten universities will make do.//

Then y offer the places to foreign students who are doing basic degree or master programmes here.

//Quite easy, than and there will be more cases of graduate taxi drivers.//

True. Then why talk about talent if graduates must end up as taxi drivers. At least, we can agree that not all talents can be gainfully employed in some desired job roles.

Sometimes, it is the economic structure. And not everyone who wants to work or hardworking will necessarily find the work he wants. Now coming back, why have so many foreigners in our university then.

//The comment was made in 2007 and that was opinion at the time, policy at that time 20%-25% for university whilst all else up to polytechnics up to 50%.//

What makes you so sure that the intention made barely four years ago does not hold anymore now for them.

And what is so special that the opinion made in 2007 was therefore justifiable just because it was made in the past.

Amused said...

PAP is running Singapore like a corporation. So it is not a surprise that its education policy is designed to match the corporate needs instead of that of the people. The same can be said of housing, transport, defense, welfare, healthcare, communication, etc.

Unfortunate for people who fall outside the university quota, they will probably never lead a live enjoyed by the selected/privileged/fortunate.

You will need a democratic government to change the focus of current policies from corporation to the people, and to improve the well being of the population.

skeptic said...

I think a bigger issue is whether there are enough university level jobs available after graduation.

It is alright to keep some quota if there are not enough jobs. That is why there are too many taxi drivers and cleaners with degrees in Singapore. If everyone has a degree, we would have the issue of massive under-employment which I think already exists in Singapore.

What I don't like is that they impose the quota on Singaporeans while increasing the number of foreigners.

Anonymous said...

"What I don't like is that they impose the quota on Singaporeans while increasing the number of foreigners."
skeptic 6/9/11 00:12

The quota is to exclude those "not talented" Singaporeans. Why give a place to these Singaporeans when there are so many "talented" foreigners willing to fill up the vacancies? Which is also why they are increasing the number of such foreigners.

And despite all these, if they could still get 60% mandate and 93% seats at elections, what's the problem?

Anonymous said...

//And despite all these, if they could still get 60% mandate and 93% seats at elections, what's the problem?//

You should be saying : 60% mandate is before knowing the leak that there is this intention of capping it @ 20% to 25% all along for locals.

//The quota is to exclude those "not talented" Singaporeans. Why give a place to these Singaporeans when there are so many "talented" foreigners willing to fill up the vacancies?//

What makes you think that the foreigners who make up the vacancies are more deserving since the quota (constraint) is already there for singaporeans. There goes your logic.

Amused said...

"It is alright to keep some quota if there are not enough jobs." - skeptic.

This kind of mentality exists only in Singaporean mind. It will never be accepted in other first world countries. After years of brainwashing and social conditioning, it is not surprising that PAP receives 60% vote and 93% seats(!) in the parliament, and many still find it acceptable.

If you were the parent of one of these rejected children, would you accept it? Perhaps you would, but not the many parents who end up using their life savings to send their children abroad to receive an education their children rightfully deserve!

skeptic said...

"This kind of mentality exists only in Singaporean mind. It will never be accepted in other first world countries. After years of brainwashing and social conditioning, it is not surprising that PAP receives 60% vote and 93% seats(!) in the parliament, and many still find it acceptable."
-anon

What brain washing? Have you lived overseas? I have for more than 10 years.

Everywhere, I see unemployed liberal arts grad complaining about not enough white collar jobs when there are engineering jobs but no one to fill them.

There is a skills gap in the us because of too many people studying the wrong subject.

Anyway feeling that your children deserves a university education at all cost is a very Asian/Cheena mentality. There should be a shift to more vocational or apprentice type training like they do in Germany.

There is nothing wrong with it. If your kid is not cut out for university, why bother forcing him.

Anyway, the utility of the degree lies in its scarcity. If everyone gets into uni, standards would go down and there would be a 2 tier system of prestigious degrees and everybody else.

Lucky Tan said...

skeptic,

You have a point about skills mismatch but that is besides the point.

We have a highly competitive education system. Educating more people to tertiary level would put more pressure on the govt to create job opportunities for these people.

The point of the posting is not about whether we should or should not create so many degree holders but the facade the govt has been put on about wanting to educate each Singapore to "the fullest" and creating more opportunities for all to further their studies. This is not true based on the wikileaks report.

The side effect is the children of poor families will lose out because their parents can't afford to send them for an oversea degree.

The knowlegde economy that will absorb people of their highest skills appear elusive. We have an economy with a 3rd world wage structure and dual economy and quotas to the university reflects that.

Anonymous said...

"The knowlegde economy that will absorb people of their highest skills appear elusive. We have an economy with a 3rd world wage structure and dual economy and quotas to the university reflects that."
Lucky Tan 6/9/11 09:31

Elusive in above applies only to those Singaporeans who are deemed not talented by the govt.

As long as they are considered talented, Singaporeans or not, the knowledge economy will absorb these people of their highest skills. And with lots of help from the govt of course.

And because there are much more talented foreigners than Singaporeans, that's why it seems foreigners are treated better by the govt, which is a matter of course.

Amused said...

Skeptic,

I can assure you that I have lived overseas longer than you think. But it has nothing to do with our discussion here.

Every parent wants the best (education) for his children. It is the same in Europe, US, Japan, and China. Show me one first world country that has such an artificial/pathetic policy.

Many rejected Singapore students have been accepted by respectable overseas universities. Mind you, they are not your "2nd-teir" students. The way you classify people is very Singaporean and foreign to the Americans and Europeans.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy the argument of too many unemployed graduates if universities increase their intake. The only thing the universities should be concerned with is to ensure the required standard of entry is met. Students should be free to pursue the course they want provided the meet the entry requirement. As for employment market on graduation, it is anyone's guess what the surpluses and shortages will be? Besides the government have not be very good in forecasting our employment demand judging by the number of skilled labour we need to import. And if employment proves to be difficult in Singapore, these graduates can always expand their horizons overseas. It is not that bad to go out and see the world. The work experience gained will benefit oneself. Don't be so inward looking.

Anonymous said...

"And if employment proves to be difficult in Singapore, these graduates can always expand their horizons overseas."
Anon 6/9/11 10:48

That's why lah, these graduates dare not go overseas and only stay here frustrated and make noise. Luckily they are a minority, 40% or less.

Anonymous said...

"What I don't like is that they impose the quota on Singaporeans while increasing the number of foreigners."
skeptic 6/9/11 00:12

Entice the foreign students with free scholarships at the expense of the locals .. once again our people kenna hammered.. by their very own. Say the daftest people in asia is found where?

skeptic said...

"Many rejected Singapore students have been accepted by respectable overseas universities. Mind you, they are not your "2nd-teir" students. The way you classify people is very Singaporean and foreign to the Americans and Europeans."

Read my post carefully. I did not call the students 2nd tier. I said that letting everyone into uni would create a class system in universities. There is already such an informal hierachy in the UK where employers prefer the more traditional unis to the former polys.

"Every parent wants the best (education) for his children. It is the same in Europe, US, Japan, and China. Show me one first world country that has such an artificial/pathetic policy."

Certainly not in the US, where they cut funding for education due to cuts in state budgets. Education is important in most cultures. What I am refering to is the extent. Asian culture seems to have an unhealthy fetish for it. You might even call them kiasu for lack of a better word. That is why asians in the US are disproportionately over represented in higher education.

It got so bad that some universities are deemed "too asians". A former colleague of mine studied in Irvine, California and often used that term. There is even an unofficial quota system in the Ivy Leagues that discriminate against asian americans because too many asians apply and they want to strike a balance.

In california, there are even non asian parents removing their children from certain "asian" high schools.

http://www.jasonshim.net/2010/11/11/the-too-asian-article-from-macleans/

I am surprised that despite spending so many years overseas, you think other cultures are as unhealthly obsessed with getting into universities as asians. While they encourage getting into college, the african american, hispanic and white cultures are not as overly preoccupied with higher education.

skeptic said...

Lucky,

I do agree with you that the government is 2 faced. say one thing, do another. What else is new? :)

I also agree that poor people lose out since our so-called meritocratic favours the rich.

I nonetheless prefer a quota system- like so and so percent from this socio-economic/income level etc. Another thing is the scholarship system . Why not have at least 50% of the PSC coming from poor families. I once heard from a friend that PSC recipients disproportionately come from landed property.

I think that if we let every Singaporean in by building more unis, there would be a dual education system just like a dual economy where some degrees are deemed better than others, which sort of defeat one of the purpose of higher education (to get a good paying job).

Anonymous said...

"I also agree that poor people lose out since our so-called meritocratic favours the rich."
Skeptic 6/9/11 11:55

If that is so, then why majority (60%) voted PAP? Majority (60%) are rich???

But if the poor also voted PAP, then it means these poor folks don't mind whatever that does not favour them. So for PAP this is good lah.

Anonymous said...

@Skeptic:
Other cultures not obsessed with higher education?

U must have damaged ur brain with too much Dawkins garbage. US students put themselves into massive debts getting a degree. Witness also the rush for uni places this year in Dawkin's homeland.

Dual education system is besides the point. We already have it. The UOL etc. And within each local uni there are 1st, 2nd class honors,etc. Most importantly the locals without degree are losing jobs to foreigners from 3rd rate unis.

Anonymous said...

And Mr Skeptic ... Germany has world class SMEs renowned for their engineering and manufacturing where pay is pretty respectable.

In SG, we have wiki leaks claiming that our TLC and GLC are in direct competition with the local SME. Which is why our entrepreneur of the year is a glorified hawker.

Enough of liberal fantasy/apologists pls.

Wake up Mr Lucky. Stand up and be counted.

PAP is already preparing for GE2016.

Anonymous said...

Ajohor 5/9/11 21:26, the key point is REALLY and UNCONDITIONALLY provision of the opportunity at level playing field for individual to have an education to full potential. University should not just viewed as trained to be employed. This is a problem of nation building where links tightly education to only employment. Indeed, this is a very short-sighted policy. While the education is planned for economic development, it cannot be too rigid. Education is to improve the intellectual capital of the country so that more people can read, write and speak properly, have basic knowledge and have critical thinking. This is where education contributing to innovation and entrepreneurship later. There will be higher chance to have a person like 'steve job' or 'bill gate' if the general population education level is higher.

The graduate who opts to be taxi driver reflects the person has failed in his education for employment. If he enjoyed to be a taxi driver, so be it. What is wrong with that trade? All you can say, he has wasted his education investment or he has actually not been educated but just getting a paper qualification. Can he use his skills obtained from his education to do something that can best use his skill other than being employed in the specific field that he studied in his high education? Certainly, he can if he is truly educated person and not just having the paper qualification.

Will other countries having higher % of graduates do worst than Singapore? There is no evidence on this.

The real reason for controlling the higher education population is likely one of obscurantist policy that ensure easy governance. Just think of this way, if you have a very highly educated population, they are well informed, they will question anything about/from the government, you cannot have an unaccountable and non-transparent government. It will be a nightmare for the ruling elites who want to perpetuate their power. When economy is not managed well, the more educated population is so well informed and intelligent that the government will be changed in no time. You will notice it is a trend that only first world countries would like to have high educated population. The reverse can be found in most dictatorship countries.

Sad to say that since Singapore ruling party insisted to continue its single party dominant political system and its unaccountable/opaque governance, controlling or having low educated population is the correct policy.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XdVODFombco#!

WAtch this.. is very relevant to SG red dot.
People are daft if they still think the govt has the interests of the common good at heart. They only are interested to "keep certain people at their rightful places" and the small elite group can continue "to know best, and overlord above us". Their interest is not in your capital /intellectual well being as some reader has said. They depressed the entrepreneurs in SG with the domination in GLC companies. They do the same for their ruling party/civil servants..you just have to look at how many of the same old faces (including your new president elect TT) they keep recycling - to retain their hegemony. Wake up Singaporeans.

Amused said...

"Certainly not in the US, where they cut funding for education due to cuts in state budgets." - Skeptic

"...despite spending so many years overseas, you think other cultures are as unhealthly obsessed with getting into universities as asians." - Skeptic

I just want to correct some of your "facts." Many states in the US spend 1/3 or so of the state revenue on public education. So when the time is bad, that is one place that will get cut. Singapore, on the other hand, spends very little on public education (although the slacks have been picked up by parents paying for tuitions and sending their kids overseas etc.)

Total dollar amount in student loans in the US is huge. Every child who is capable and wants to pursue college degree can currently do so (even though they have to take on significant personal loans.)

The point is the state does not go out of its way to PREVENT students from getting a college education. If anything, the state tends to over-spend on college education. But that is a separate discussion (just as the racial quotas.)

Anonymous said...

Let us take a look at these 2 statements.

"....giving Singaporeans of diverse abilities and interests the paths to develop themselves to the fullest..."

"...the government does not plan to encourage more students to get a higher education. The university
enrollment rate will continue to be maintained at 20-25 percent..."

I do not find this 2 statements contradictory. Note that in the first statement, the key word is "diverse"

Not every Singaporean's "fullest potential" is a university degree because of "diverse abilities and interests"

So to enroll more Singaporeans beyond the set quota will result in lowering of the university standards.

-Stephanie said...

Firstly, can you verify that Cheryl Chan really said those words?

Anonymous said...

After more than 30 years, now I known why I and many others singaporean was denied local University education and was "forced" to go oversea for my university education.

Instead of educating our local talents and the MIW look toward importing FT.

This is one of the sad day for singapore in history.

Ajohor said...

Anon 6/9/11 15:09

Your claims are a contradiction, if you can recall the outcry when the tale of the PHD taxi driver was made known.

Further, in Asian society, as you are well aware of, any taxi driver graduate is normally being given sympathetic view.

Witness the outcry across the border in Malaysia, when it was found that thousands of social sciences/arts/religious studies of the dominant race were finding difficulties in obtaining govt employment.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that this is one instance where the PAP is not entirely wrong. We shouldn't have increased the number of university places just so that more kids can get a university degree. We should instead try to eliminate the stigma associated with not having such a degree. Look at Donald Tsang or John Major, neither of them went to college, but that didn't stop them from rising to the top political posts in Hong Kong and Britain.

Most of the undergraduates I come across today simply do not have the intellect to benefit from a university education. In fact, high school kids from my days who failed to make it into university were often brighter and more eager to learn than the typical Dean's List students today.

As a result we compromise so that undergraduates nowadays can pass their exams and get their degrees. Exam problems have to be of the bookwork variety, i.e. the memorize-and-regurgitate type that they are accustomed to from secondary schools. Anything that requires even the slightest bit of imagination (e.g. a problem that hasn't appeared in a similar form on their homeworks) would stump them. It's quite clear that most university students today have hardly learnt anything from their years spent in the university, and what little they picked up is quickly forgotten after the exams.

Spending three or four years of one's prime on the pointless and painful exercise of memorize-regurgitate-and-forget is a terrible waste of both time and money, the student's as well as the taxpayers'. He who endured this ordeal would emerge with a university diploma and perhaps a "university experience" but these are hardly worth the sacrifice.

A student who's not cut for a university education would probably have been better off doing what he likes in those three years, be it drawing comics or playing sports or making movies or starting a business or act or cook or sing --- could have been our Stan Lee or James Cameron or David Beckham or Richard Branson or Tom Cruise or Wolfgang Puck or Britney Spears --- all of whom didn't go to college.

Anonymous said...

I doubt any government in their right minds wants to limit the number of their own people getting degrees to such a major extent. Like any country and their local universities, there are quotas for foreigners and locals. Foreigners' quotas are still much much lower than the local quotas. I am in a polytechnic now and I can safely say that even though people do want to go to universities, the sheer majority of people outside of JCs just want to start working and would rather see a flow of cash now than to have a higher paycheck in 3-4 year's time. Children of other foreign countries have the mindset to study all they can and then work but i just dont see that happening in singapore as often. As soon as someone is old enough to work even in place like McDonalds, they start thinking it's their responsibility to earn their own pocket money, shopping money etc, right off the bat. It's not. Your parents provide for you now so that one day you can provide for them. So, why take up meagre jobs part time when you should be focusing on your studies and aiming for universities in the first place. I say this only for people whose parents are capable of providing for them, which is quite a lot frankly. I fully know that there are people who cannot afford education as readily so they have to work part time.
So i guess i can see the government looking at this large number of people who just dont have the mindset to study hard and would rather fund a foreign student who will definitely do better and hopefully stay and work in singapore.
I believe it's much simpler than an elaborate strategy to control the populace.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should give PAP so much credit. Most of them are pretty incompetent, and though they many have paper smarts, they are unable to relate to other Singaporeans and unable to engage as they are there because of "balls carrying" or they are related to someone.

Planning died long time ago, and the goal is to maximize $$$ put into the pockets of the few.

Free State land becomes $$$$ and there are $$$ associated with everything and taxes for everything.

Solution for congestion, too many foreigners, or anything for that matter is $$$.

The money goes to Sovereign funds which are managed by incompetent people, but they get paid more than 99.99% of the country.

Still the daft 60.1% supports out of ignorance or fear. You vote for your government, and it is the fault of the 60.1%

Jafri said...

A deprivation of studying to the highest possible level despite having the qualification to do so is almost similar to an act of crime against humanity.
A shameful and deplorable act by the establishment ....

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't agree that Singapore is deliberately posing obstacles in the path of people aspiring towards a university education. Isn't it just a matter of limited supply of educational staff and facilities? And anyway, on that point, the new university options such as SUTD and the Yale-NUS college are already means by which people are granted more opportunities for further education.

I strongly believe that people are born with different abilities and talents. Many people can succeed much better in life through other means than going through university education.

Granted, our society has made the piece of paper we graduate with so important that many will do their best to achieve those qualifications, and that's not wrong. But we really need to realise that sometimes, we just cannot get what we hope for, and we must just do the best with the lot that life has thrown us.

On the same note, these degrees exist to, as awful as this sounds, help us as a society identify people who can be matched with certain jobs according to their abilities. Some people are just endowed with better abilities to tackle work, and hence they naturally get more opportunities to achieve higher qualifications so that when they start working, they can move to take on greater responsibilities. The higher pay is merely a natural result of the greater amount of work that these people have to do.

It's hard, but we need to bear in mind the fact that everyone is just different, and getting that piece of paper just isn't for everyone. Neither does that piece of paper gurantee success. At the end of the day, what would the significance of a paper qualification be if everyone and anyone had such an easy chance to get it?

Just another Anon said...

I like how most of the anti-govt/pap comments are made by anons. Kinda makes it hard to tell you guys apart ;D

Anonymous said...

The real reason for limiting the number of highly educated Singaporeans , is that there will be less challenge to PAP policies and decisions.