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Friday, October 06, 2006

My Eldest Daughter Should be Pleased

Her university NUS is ranked the highest in the World Universities Ranking in my family’s education record.

Actually she wanted to study overseas like Australia but at that time we had decided that sending four children overseas for tertiary education would be too expensive and so when she was offered a place in the Arts Faculty we persuaded her to study in Singapore after her Junior College.

My second daughter studied under the Gifted Education Program in secondary school but was not certain what she wanted to study. My wife persuaded her to do accounting and so she attended NTU in Singapore.

I encouraged both of them to study in Singapore and promised them I would sponsor a Masters program overseas if any one obtained a First Class degree.

My third daughter wanted to do medicine from early secondary school with law as a second choice. She was offered law at NUS but decided to take up medicine at IMU with the option to do twinning with an overseas university. I remember at the orientation/open day for parents, the dean told us that if you wanted to do medicine for the money, you might as well forget about it.

My son discovered an interest for Law within one year when he took up the subject for A levels. He has just started his course in King’s College, London.

I studied in Portsmouth University but during my time it was a designated as a CAT (College of Advanced Technology) and was called Portsmouth Polytechnic.

Looking at the listing I guess my children have gone one up on me.

NUS Rank 146
NTU Rank 508
Dalhousie Rank 292
King’s College Rank 346
Portsmouth University Rank 545

But what is a degree anyway? Having it just means you have a chance of an interview and you still need to convince that person to hire you.

Once you start working you need to show what you can do and also work well with others.

So we should not be too discouraged if Malaysian universities may not have done too well in the recent listing. What is more important is what measures are being taken to raise standards.

I think Singapore has a head start on this and so perhaps we should aim to be about 100 places behind them and that would be a good target to start with.

Photo: http://www.archibus.com/success/graphics/portsmouth.jpg

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