Govt gives foreign students free ride while we slog

October 28, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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Hi,

I am an expatriate working in China as of right now and I would like to point out something which I have observed but nobody seems to take note of. This might be a very good point to bring up against PAP in the next election.

The topic I raised can be seen at http://forums.hardwarezone.com/showthread.php?p=16163743&posted=1#post1616374

The Ministry of Education (MOE) sends representatives to China to various colleges in the provinces and invite the so-called top 10% of the student to come to Singapore for study – free with allowance and lodging. The top10%, however, is not really the elite as I don’t see good students from Shanghai or Beijing coming to Singapore (I’ve been working in china for more than two years so I know which tertiary school is good and which is not, and they are definitely in Beijing and Shanghai, not in the provinces. But the Beijing and Shanghai students will not come here as the official route for them is not Singapore, just like the PAP scholarships we have here.

They come in with very poor English even after they graduate from NUS. Compare that with what we have to do to get a place in NUS, it is very unfair. Even then we have to sponsor ourselves, and if you’re not good enough and took the polytechnic-to-NUS route, you have to make sure you are top 10% in poly plus two years of work experience before NUS will accept you.

The PRC students are given guaranteed hostel lodging for the first and second year. For new local NUS student you are only guaranteed hostel for the first year.

They are given $500-plus monthly allowance, and they are bonded for three years to work in Singapore. All of them are given PR. But none of them really wanted to stay in Singapore, some jump to Australian and US. Some even go back to China to work as consultants but continue to draw their salaries in Singapore.

To conclude our Government treat them like kings while it treats us in contempt. Worse, we have to waste two years or more doing NS while the foreign students earn big money immediately after the free education and PR our Government gives them.

I can tolerate the fact that they are supposed to be elite (despite the broken English they speak) and get discounted fees and allowance, but everything for free? And while we have to slog out two-and-a-half years of our lives enduring the pathetic pay and dog’s life and then pay our ass off for the university education, the Government splurges our taxpayers’ money on them. We have to fight for a place while they enjoy priority booking. Just look at how many Government-sponsored China students we have in NUS and NTU and you will vomit blood.

I have personally written two letters to MOE questioning them on this issue and they have chosen to remain silent.

TONY