DR GOH PHUAY YEE: 'Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education Sim Ann told Parliament that some 45 per cent of foreign scholarship holders complete their undergraduate studies with a second-upper class honours or better while only 32 per cent of Singaporeans do as well ('Foreign scholars closely tracked'; Saturday).
The difference in academic achievement between the creme de la creme of foreign students carefully picked for their scholastic aptitude and their Singaporean peers does not seem significant. Should the Education Ministry be more stringent in the selection process? Why are foreign scholarship holders with second-lower or lower honours degrees allowed to continue receiving scholarships when their performance in their early undergrad years would give an indication of whether they can score at least a second-upper? It seems unfair for the average Singaporean student to fail in obtaining a scholarship while foreign scholarship holders who turn out average work keep theirs. The 'average' foreign scholarship holder will graduate and may compete with an advantage against our average Singaporean graduate for jobs because of his scholarship.'