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I am Singaporean XXVIII – Postscript May 25, 2007

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.

Look at what’s on the States Times today. Minister Lim Hng Kiang says that we should accept UNSW’s choice to pull out. I mean, that’s not the point of this postscript. Of course we have to accept it somehow. If not then how…

What’s interesting, though, is this part of the article:

Mr Lim, whose ministry oversees Singapore’s development into an education hub, was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Global Trader Summit at the Shangri-La Hotel.

When asked why the university’s offer to scale down its enrolment to 2,000 students was not acceptable to the Economic Development Board (EDB) – which spearheads the growth of the education hub – Mr Lim said that, with a scaled-back enrolment, the EDB would also have to reduce its level of support.

Hmm. So EDB is ‘spearheading the growth of the education hub,’ huh? Economic Development Board, take note. As you can see now, maybe the wrong people are in charge of developing the education hub, because now you see education in terms of money – from there, it probably is relevant to have quality education, but when it comes to economics, i think quantity comes first. To say that EDB made a bad choice and that it painted an overly positive picture of the Singaporean educational hub when it doesn’t exist yet (it’s only a plan) would be being too extreme – it takes 2 hands to clap, and the UNSW administration is in some pretty hot water too – obviously the groundwork was not done well on both sides.

The EDB has not disclosed the amount of funding it was to give UNSW Asia, but the Financial Times reported online yesterday that the university got $80 million in subsidies from the Singapore Government.

Despite this setback, Mr Lim expressed confidence that Singapore will reach its target of attracting 150,000 foreign students to study here by 2015.

$80 million lei…that’s about how much we pay our Mini$ters in 2 years (i.e. A LOT) and it makes you wonder what kind of economic planning EDB is doing, it makes you wonder if they are just selling Singapore based on trust and a brandname which is starting to lose its punch. So this money is considered lost – and the Minister comes out and not only does he not apologise, he tells the displaced to ‘just accept it.’ I bet he’s got a bigger problem dealing with the lost $80 million. Is there going to be any help for the displaced? Nope. UNSW offers help and a shift to Sydney, but any help from EDB? Of course not la…you’re not going to breed a crutch mentality!

As for the last sentence, i would just like to ask: how confident are you really, Mr. Minister? 150,000 foreign students in Singapore…with such a reputation of Singaporean education as being very quantity-based (and note that quantity is NOT equal to quality,) and not so much focussing on other areas, if the system does not change, then we’ll see 150,000 second-class foreign talents. You want the top right? But our system is not the top!



1. Jason - May 25, 2007

you are a big fat poonani u know that? haha.

when are you coming to UKland. you’ll realise how fucking screwed the world is when u come here. trust me. haha

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