Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Eligibility for University Education

MY DAUGHTER'S recent applications for entry to the three local universities - Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University - were all rejected. The reasons given were an overwhelming response, limited places in the universities and stiff competition.

My daughter is an above-average student who had excelled in sports. She has met all the criteria for entry to a local university. Is being eligible not enough? Must one now get extraordinary grades to be granted a place in university?
Are my daughter's grades of an A, B, C (General Paper) and an E not good enough?
My son, who is 27 years old and had A-level grades of A, B and C, graduated with a Second Upper Class Honours degree in the Arts and Social Sciences at NUS.
See Chee Wee

The Straits Times, 29 May 2007

All sorts of letters are making it into The Straits Times forums these days without regard for whether the letters are truly of merit or not. This is just a letter by an overly eager parent who does not realise that having the A-level subject grades of A, B and E and an AO-level subject of C is nothing when today's students are turning in straight As for 4 A-level subjects AND AO-level subjects.

Parents and students these days need to realise that people are getting increasingly exam smart in their preparations for the GCE A-Levels examinations and good grades will definitely be needed if there is any intention to have a good option of University courses to choose from.

When you do not perform well enough to be eligible for University, look inwards and see what you have done wrong instead of blaming everyone else. Why should Universities lower their standards and accommodate students who have not performed up to par? As institutes of higher learning, it is little wonder that they will seek to admit the best students possible since these students are more likely to perform and contribute to improving the generation of knowledge.

To this perhaps ill-informed parent, grades of an A, B, C (General Paper) and an E are just not good enough for entry to University this year. Try applying again and hope that the next cohort is not as competitive or get your daughter to work harder and retake her exams for a better grade.

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