Friday, July 03, 2015

No need for so many universities

We used to have Singapore University and Nantah. Now we have University of Singapore, Nanyang Technology University, Singapore Management University, USIM, SUTD, SIT, Yale Singapore Joint Campus and many others in the private sector joining here and there. What is the purpose of so many universities? Is it not the official view telling students there is no need for a university education when such a thought goes against the need for more and more universities?

There is also readily available graduates from the best in the world and the best from the village universities of 3rd World coming here for our choosing, the so called cheap and good. And there are millions of fakes and those genuine degrees from quality degree mills to choose from. There is thus no need to provide universities for our young when we can get them free from the whole world.

There is another reason why there is no need for so many expensive universities. Why spend so much money building universities with the best facilities money can buy to be filled with foreign as lecturers and non academic staff, practically the whole university staff are foreigners except for the clerical jobs and cleaners. Maybe the cleaners are also foreigners. Where are the job opportunities for the citizens? Oops, we our policy is to hire the best from the world, regardless of nationalities. I remember.

And why build universities staffed by foreigners and to be filled by foreign students and paid by tax payers’ money as well in the form of generous scholarship? Is there a need to spend so much public money doing this? Wait a minute, if the foreign students return home, they will have fond memories of Singapore and when and if they are in positions of authority, they will be kinder and look at Singapore more favourably. There are so many whens and ifs to happen to benefit from this huge expense. Just hope they don’t return with a lot of hate for Singapore and Singaporeans.  

If the universities are built as business concerns to generate economic growth, for more revenue for the state, that is a different matter. If the universities are self sufficient financially, making money from the foreign students and providing good jobs for our citizens, that is a good proposition and is most welcomed.

But if the universities are built with tax payers’ money to feed foreigners as lecturers and staff and to finance foreign students to get their education and we pay for it, what is the point? Do we need to spend this type of money, so much money to hope for some good will and kindness?

Are we really doing these kinds of things with our taxpayer’s money? I hope not. If it is, there better be a rethink and use the money more wisely to invest in our very own children. We are not the Santa Clause to the whole world. We are not slaves and servants to the whole world. We don’t owe the world an obligation to provide jobs and university places for them. We are a small little dot with limited resources. We are not a super power with super power ambition and interests.

Anyone got any figures to confirm that this is or not the case? Anyone knows how much we have spent annually on this inexplicable myth?

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