The only way to survive as an economy with a high cost of labor is to provide expertise/knowledge that others don't have. This is the reason why the government is investing into research - and a frequent criticism of international advisors is that research still isn't at a basic enough level. The reason is simple: the know-how and intellectual property for high-tech products is usually created/patented many years before any commercial application is in sight.
To give just one example, the basis of semiconductor research was laid largely in Europe, but research was killed off when "modern" business practices replaced the scientists and engineers in the corporate boards with myopic managers who killed off long-term strategic research to boost short-term profits. The commercial breakthroughs came from US outlets like Bell Labs where researchers were paid to work for what they thought was interesting. Europe largely missed the semiconductor revolution and could never catch up.
At the same time, the local research scene is suffering from a lack of young Singaporean scientists. Research institutions are desperate to hire qualified Singaporeans to balance the foreign talent; but there are very few local applicants, and even fewer appear to have the suitable skills and mindset.
You may have noticed recent advertisements for careers in science & engineering commissioned by government agencies. If even Singapore's $$$-oriented government is getting worried, so should you.
If kids WERE to consider economics, more of them would end up in science & research. And hopefully in a more diverse mix of disciplines than what's popular now. You can't do interdisciplinary research with a monoculture of tunnel-visioned bio-nano-medical-first-world-polis-hub lemmings.
There is no turning back.
Do you know that you could buy a bowl of mee at 20cents? You travelled on bus paying only 5 cents and 25 cents round the island. A second hand car VW costed only $2000. A semi detached at Bt Timah valued at $20,000 and when you eat satay you dip the sauce from a common pot .....
Sgd has become so strong that it eats into the export and import become actually cheaper but cost of living goes up!... Ask me why? Profit .. who do not to have more!
Doing well in a branded school and no one remembers you that well, the impact would be more significant when you're from a simple school and kicking some butts
We r the one make the school branded
get into ivy league uni.
get first class honours.
get back serve bond.
get 6 figure pay.
get big car.
get big house.
get 7 figure pay.
get children to best primary schools.
get children best tutors.
get children to best secondary schools.
get children to best tertiary institutes.
get children to best universities.
get children to best jobs.
get enjoyment from past savings to do things you like.
but of course, this path is taken by the ultimate "elite" people.
Hahaha, why DSTA? A* and PSC I can imagine why, they are after all very hyped up and prestigious.
Aiya, who cares what brand or no brand, so long as you succeed in one way or another, by orthodox means in the end.
In all likelihood, this is not due to "development", but simple inflation. In my childhood, similar prices were common, even in a then-already-"first-world" country. A brand new VW beetle cost less than S$10000 (assuming today's conversion rate) ca. 1980 in western Europe, and a used one could go for a few hundred. Of course, the exchange rate back then may have been rather different, but the prices for some basic commodities have certainly multiplied by huge factors since when I was a kid.Do you know that you could buy a bowl of mee at 20cents? You travelled on bus paying only 5 cents and 25 cents round the island. A second hand car VW costed only $2000.
To go back to the topic of the thread, "branded" or "elite" schools may mean kids get more possibilities shoved up their rear ends. But kids from "normal" neighborhood schools may have a plus in their resume, since if anything they made it to a given level on their own, with less help, and likely driven by higher motivation. Otherwise, noone, at least in my work environment, seems to care about what primary/secondary school or JC one attended. And if there are more kids who "made it" in the "elite" schools, one has to wonder if this is due to the school, or simply the fact that the better kids, who would have made it at any school, tend to end up there.
Actually, a job applicant who went through the polytechnic route before attending university has quite an advantage - he/she has practical, hands-on knowledge and experience, whereas many "prestigious" JC kids who went to university are excellent at scoring grades and regurgitating memorized facts, but not necessarily at working on real problems. (Some even seem to be shocked that they have to do "mundane" manual tasks instead of making Nobel-prize winning discoveries straight away.) At least in the company I work for, we look at skills and personality, not paper qualifications when we hire. And since diversity in the staff profile makes it much more likely that there is someone who knows how to solve a problem that pops up, we tend to hire people with nonstandard CVs, rather than having 100 clones of the "standard Singapore scholar, model 2007" who are all excellent at the same thing, but all equally helpless when they encounter something that they haven't seen before in their books (which, in the real world, is the rule rather than the exception).
This entire "elite school" thing is very Singaporean to me - a lot of stress and hype about nothing. What becomes of oneself is maybe 5% the school, but 95% yourself. And maybe instead of going to all those tuition classes and spend the rest of the time on computer games, kids should get out more so that they see a bit of reality. It was quite sad to see a local young dad struggle to tell his kid that a bird was an ostrich or a peacock at a pet farm near Seletar when in fact, it was a casuar [edit: the name cassowary appears to be more commonly used], a very distinctive local (!) species. One will gain a much better understanding of science from observing and _experiencing_ nature than merely memorizing formulas.
Last edited by LittleWolf; 25th July 2007 at 09:23 PM.
One also has to realize that many universities are commercial enterprises, effectively selling courses that end in basic degrees. This caters to the mass market of those who "invest" into a university course (or "upgrade themselves") based on projected income levels, the "brand name", etc. and are not driven by genuine interest for the subject. (Look at recent advertisements by NUS and NTU, and ask yourself who they are targeted at.) In this case, it doesn't matter whether it's branded mediocrity or non-branded mediocrity. Those who are serious about getting an education don't stop after a "basic degree". For doctoral or postdoctoral research, it matters even less where you did it, but what you did (i.e. earning your own laurels).