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university placements

It’s that time of the year again when public universities announce the placement of students in their various programs. As usual we here the good news of students getting their course of their choice in the university of their choice but at the same time we here stories about those who failed to get their place of choice or worse, those who failed to get a place at all. A couple of years ago the plight of the one hundred plus straight A STPM students who failed to get a place in medicine was brought to our attention.

My reason for writing is that I feel that it is pertinent for our universities to work harder to ensure our students get to the study the course of their choice. While it is understandable that universities try their best to take in the cream of the crop for each program it seems as if too many students are not getting into courses that they would like to pursue. While intelligence and academic excellence is certainly an important determinant in university placement, some emphasis needs to be put on the idea of passion and personal choice as well. Students pick certain courses because they feel that they excel best in that field, because they are passionate about that particular field of study, because they enjoy doing work in the related field. Certainly passion and interest count for something. If our students are not getting into courses that they enjoy pursuing then it is certainly going to affect their levels of productivity when they enter the workforce in the future.
Public universities are packed to the brim with students because they are affordable and to an extent offer quality education, yet more places need to be provided so that people get into courses that they are passionate about and interested in. If that is possible then maybe the government should raise the bar for entrance to Form Six and Matriculation and as an alternative provide more diploma courses in polytechnics and community colleges so that so many aren’t denied courses of their choice when applying to public universities.
While I am big on academic excellence as the main criteria for university entrance and placement, more and more I see that passion and inner desire can compel people to achieve great heights. When people are allowed to play to their strengths, they shine brightest. Let’s try harder to get our students into courses where they feel they can play most to their strengths.

3 mad rant(s):

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  1. kuffar lime said...

    Public universities are pariah. You'll have stupid lecturers to screw your brain. Exams that will insult your intelligence yet questions are leaked to the Malays. Study there only as a last resort. Only few companies recognise you. However, medicine is a different thing altogether because Singapore may recognise you.

    Useless education!  

  2. thwen said...

    "While it is understandable that universities try their best to take in the cream of the crop for each program it seems as if too many students are not getting into courses that they would like to pursue. "

    I'm afraid to say that not all universtities 'try their best' to take in the 'cream of the crop'. Sometimes, in cases like this, I really wonder how can someone who doesn't perform well academically get into such 'prestigious' public universities. To give 'equal chances', my foot!  

  3. Boon Kheng said...

    What explains thwen's observation? Corrupt practice! I've heard real cases of people who didn't meet the requirements of admission yet still get a place in public universities.

    When the admission process is manipulated, it will have adverse effect on our country's future. These graduates end up incompetent and contributes to the pool of unemployed grads. What's the point of raising these bunch of people? If this continue to happen, the standards of public universities won't get anywhere. Then we hear ppl saying public universities don't have standards.

    Another issue is the implementation of the quota system. Let those who qualified get their courses. We should not question anything else other than the person's achievement. They're our people, after all =)  


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