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7/20/2011

Battlestar Galactica Singapore

I was reading the discussion on how the three universities have been colonized by foreigners. Oops, maybe colonized is not an appropriate term. There seems to be a pre occupation and adoration of foreigners from academic staff to students. Some said it got to do with the rankings. The more foreign or alien elements there are, the higher will be the rankings for the universities. I say, to hell with it. If our university’s high rankings are due to the presence of foreigners and not the quality of local staff and local students, forget it. Want Liverpool to represent Singapore in the World Cup?

Then again, many will disagree with me. A brand, a good brand, is important. Who cares if the handbags are made in China or Thailand. They care if it is meant to be made in Italy but then found to be from China. Other than this little aberration, a top brand is a top brand. Made in China or Thailand or Indonesia, also can. Actually some of the products out sourced to these countries are still working just as well. My Nikon is made in China.

How could this relate to a degree Made in Singapore but with academics from Europe and America and students from third world countries? Yes, on paper the ranking is high and nice, maybe close to Harvard, MIT or Cambridge huh? Can stand side by side with such premier academia must be good. But would employers buy the degree and say good degree? Would the graduates be sought after as quality graduates? Or would employers go after graduates from third world countries for cheapos or graduates from second or third tier universities in western universities as quality? The job market never lies. The truth is out there.

What about Battlestar Galactica? Are our universities turning into Battlestar Galactica? Those of you who have watched this Hollywood creation will know who are the masters and the majority in Battlestar Galactica. They ruled the universe. Is this the bigger game plan, to turn Singapore into a Battlestar Galactica where the locals will play second fiddles, as supporting casts? Yes Captain, what’s his name? Not Spock, something more western. Oh yes, Commander William Adama, I think.

No lah, this cannot be lah. It is Singaporeans first. Just look at some of the big local institutions headed by foreigners for a little contradictions. But can’t blame these institutions as the local employees are just not good enough. It is the low quality of locals to be blamed. Would UOB be headed by a foreign talent soon? What about SIA, GIC, Temasek?

Battlestar Galactica cannot be the big game plan. It would only become a reality out of necessity and circumstances, when the locals are not good enough, that our world best and highly ranked universities are unable to produce the world best local talents to put the mantra ‘Singaporeans first’ into a national practice, where Singaporeans will be highly sought after to head our big institutions.

For the time being, Battlestar Galactica Singapore will sail on to bring glory to Singapore.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good or bad, hard to say. Then in the case of academia, one would suppose it is right to have the right people helming and teaching in our institutions, be they local or foreign. There may not be a sufficient pool of locals wanting to or have the appropriate credentials to become lecturers and professors, esp in areas where other developed countries have long standing expertise and from whom the foreign recruits come from. Nevertheless, it is hoped that we will see more Singaporeans teaching staff and holding leadership roles in our universities.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Someone suggesting visiting professorship. I think this is a good idea, get the best in on contract basis and pay them well. They can be used to show the difference and for the local staff to emulate.

With education, esp overseas that is so expensive, the govt owes it to the people, the citizens, to provide as many places as available to our able students. Depriving our good students a place for a poorer quality foreign students is not right. I can agree with the cursing by parents for having to pay a ransom to send their children overseas when they are good enough to study locally.

This, the govt has failed the people. Give a few scholarships to foreign students as our contribution to the world. But to bring them in en mass for higher rankings or to increase our population and talent pool, I don't agree.