I wish our government will grow a heart, two ears and two eyes.

By Mia Tan

When I enrolled in the National University of Singapore (NUS), my friends who didn't score at least a B3 for the General Paper (GP) subject had to attempt an English bridging module, and must continue retaking it until they finally pass the damn paper before they are allowed to graduate.

A girl friend scored 2As and 2Bs, however because she flunked her GP she wasn't even allowed to apply for admission to local public universities.

So my question is this, why are we giving away free scholarships plus living allowances to students particularly from china, despite their brilliant results, when they can only speak a smattering of the English language? I welcome competition yes, but hey let's compete on fair ground.

I don't expect the government to grant us special privileges but in this instance they are obviously shortchanging its own people. Other universities accept foreign students not only because of good grades but also possibly due to them paying higher tuition fees. In Singapore, foreigners get to study for free and can simply depart once they have earned their degrees.

I was on a long haul flight home from USA sometime back; whilst stopping over in Hong Kong an auntie from China got on next to me. She couldn't understand the contents of an immigration form issued to her, so I offered to help translate stuff. Along the way, I learnt her daughter was awarded a scholarship to study at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). She subsequently remarked, "Your country is so small, it ain't even anywhere near the size of a Chinese city, what if my daughter is unable to find a job? I wanted her to study in the United States, then again since Singapore is handing out free scholarships, why not? Besides it would be easier for me to fly over and visit her. I will surely advise her to go work in America upon graduating."

I almost tore up the form in front of her.

I wish our government will grow a heart, two ears and two eyes.

What I have narrated above was true. I am not xenophobic; I welcome competition and foreigners, I just don't want to be tossed a mere wooden stick to fight when others are equipped with swords and shields..... only to be later slapped with accusations of mediocrity when I end up not winning!

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