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3/14/2009

3 universities freeze student fees

Is this good news or bad news? Money wise I think most students and parents will breathe a sigh of relief. But quality wise, without increasing the fees, will the quality of education suffer? Every time when there is an increase in fees, they will tell you that you want quality you pay for it. So the quality improves with every fee increases. Now if the fees are frozen, do we see the quality of university education stagnant until the next fee increase? This is the kind of hogwash Singaporeans have been fed all these years, the quality of this kind of reasoning to justify fee increases or pay increases is idiotic at best. Shall Singaporeans continue to believe this kind of bull? Without this pay freeze, the universities have already planned to raise fees from 4% to 10% depending on the faculties. They deem it as their right, a natural thing to do. At an average rate of 7%, in 10 years, the fees will be double, and presumably the fees of the academic and non academic staff will be double as well. Then can we ask the question, will the quality of the professors increase accordingly with each pay increase? Maybe. But will his job spec increases accordingly? Or will he still be teaching the same number of students and the same number of hours and modules? Will the quality of each batch of students graduating improve with the same fee increase? For the past decade or so, we have done away with a salary cap. We forgot that the job spec does not change very much. We forgot that the incumbent does not change very much. We forgot that many jobs are still the same jobs 10 years ago. But with an open ended salary, the salary keeps running away. The higher the salary at the top, the more the increases will be and the joker sitting there will laugh all the way to the bank. And this salary increase policy applies not only to the universities but everywhere, you know where. Just look around and ask, what has that person done to deserve another 10% of increases? Is his job getting bigger, he gets smarter, he does something extra ordinary? The only reason that this incessant increases relies on is market forces. Other people are being paid more, so they must get paid more. How silly. But that is how things are. We have thrown away the old concept that a job is worth so much and need only to be paid so much, regardless of how much other people are being paid.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING started with the leaders. They started early retrenchment which they termed it as early retirement and chased out many of those in their mid 40s to fend for themselves in the open job market. So every company follows.

Then they started to pay themselves sky-high salaries and perks such as 8 to 10 months bonuses plus holidays, etc. So every company follows.

Then they started to gamble, and gamble big and got burnt real good. Now, everyone is following and also got burnt real good.

Anonymous said...

First you wrote about "quality" and then you wrote about "salaries". The freeze on student fee is unrelated to 2 above. The UNI is doing its parts to help out students/parents ie abeit many affected by the recession.

Let us not be confused or wrongly relate "freeze" to "quality". NUS is a TOP university regionally and NUS degree is sought after by many foreign student ie NUS degree gives the gateway to many developed countries.

The mere freeze should not caused you to talked about "quality". They are 2 distinct separate issues.

redbean said...

hi anonymous, i think you did not follow on the reasons given in the last few increases. the main reason for the fee increase is quality. you pay for what you get. you may want to refer to the old press statements on this.

in this country, quality is directly related to money. more money means more quality. look around and you will see why.

but of course, many will fully agree with you that money does not equate to quality. paying a monkey a million will still get a monkey.

the other ridiculous thing, which is a microcosm of the country, is that on the one hand fees keep increasong, and on the other hand help is at hand. we will provide more to help. why not just stop the increases and there will be lesser people asking for help.

remember gst and all the increases? don't worry we will set aside more money to give away. just queue up and ask.