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Thread: Is something wrong with our education system?

  1. #81
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by psychobiologist View Post
    are singaporean graduates preferred over foreign students that is?
    Definitely. The problem is that we do not get enough Singaporean job applicants to fill our vacancies.

    in a HR point of view, foreign students less demanding on wages, no need to give cpf, dont have reservist etc, can do the same job for a lower salary etc.
    Foreigners do have to pay CPF if they acquire PR status. If you give up your resident status (i.e. your citizenship), you can claim your CPF contributions back. While I'm not in HR, I do believe that we pay according to qualification, experience, and performance, not nationality. (It's conceivable though that male Singaporeans who have served NS get paid more.)

    I don't see why a foreigner "can do the same job for a lower salary". Foreigners don't get GST offset handouts, HDB housing subsidy, or other perks reserved for citizens. The cost of living is higher for them.

    Reservist training doesn't directly affect hiring decisions in our company. Of course, if too much exposure to the military has lead to lasting brain damage, applicants may be at a disadvantage.

    what do singaporeans have to offer as an advantage to companies when they compare us against the rest?
    They can offer their qualifications, skills, experience, and capability to work in an international environment with tolerance for differing nationalities, ethnicities, religion, cultural backgrounds etc. Foreigners and Singaporeans work together very well in our place.

    and why do people figure out that singapore doesnt live up to the marketing hyperbole? :P
    Why? because they're actually trying to get something done and notice that it takes months instead of days to get spare parts for equipment (partly because the paperwork takes so long to clear the bureaucracy), or because certain science buildings get built with suitability for science only as an afterthought (floor load, vibration specifications, width of doors and corridors so that equipment can pass through), or that they cannot find staff to hire, or they get fed up with the micromanagement from administration, or ...

    are you with IBN?
    No, fortunately not.

    btw is alan coleman still with ESI or shifting his focus back towards research? sir david lane, probably back in the uk already?
    Check the websites yourself? I don't work with them.

    all the life science in singapore, what field do you think one has to specialize in to choose to come to singapore for a post-doc?
    You have to find this out yourself. If they ask you at the job interview, "why did you go into XYZ?" and you answer "You know, I'm really interested in the chemical signals governing stem cell differentiation and could have become a world leader there, but then someone told me I should do translational clinical research to find a job here", maybe the authorities will love you for being so obedient, but you won't leave a very good impression on the researchers in the panel. The same problem will hit the lemmings that blindly follow the biomedical hype rather than their talent and passion.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    [QUOTE=LittleWolf;3793807]
    I don't see why a foreigner "can do the same job for a lower salary". Foreigners don't get GST offset handouts, HDB housing subsidy, or other perks reserved for citizens. The cost of living is higher for them. [quote]

    all the offsets, housing subsidies etc are just a fad. the same old scenario of giving you a hundred and taking back ninety nine.


    They can offer their qualifications, skills, experience, and capability to work in an international environment with tolerance for differing nationalities, ethnicities, religion, cultural backgrounds etc. Foreigners and Singaporeans work together very well in our place.
    that is very cool, so what place is it? :P if all the companies etc in singapore were to be like yours, it would definitely be a wonderful world out there.


    You have to find this out yourself. If they ask you at the job interview, "why did you go into XYZ?" and you answer "You know, I'm really interested in the chemical signals governing stem cell differentiation and could have become a world leader there, but then someone told me I should do translational clinical research to find a job here", maybe the authorities will love you for being so obedient, but you won't leave a very good impression on the researchers in the panel. The same problem will hit the lemmings that blindly follow the biomedical hype rather than their talent and passion.
    well i already know, but i'm just asking for the sake of asking. enough of coffee sessions with peeps from every where, IBN, GIS, IMCB (wonderful place! dont need to write much grants), TLL, GSK etc :X

    and tada!! that is the problem. singapore doesnt offer grounds to groom people's talents and passions. and the education doesnt provide much of an opportunity for people to pursue them, and eventually its the fickle demands that drives most of the lemmings where they are going. life science hype and many people will go wow!! life science!! life as a researcher!!.. new airhub and what not, people are shuttling into aero engine related courses, curriculum gets modified towards that..

    tropical diseases etc and translational medicine's getting popular, if i'm intersted in dengue, malaria i'll pop by novatis over here. but the other fields? do we have what it takes to attract others to the other few fields that singapore's putting emphasis into as well?
    chezburgr i can haz?

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    Would you... take a module knowing full well that it would be near impossible to score better than a B- or take one that is virtually guaranteed of an A+

    If you know that your GPA has some direct influence on your pay.

    I'm asking in the context of civil service where your 1st class honours are on a different pay scale than your run of the mill graduates.
    when i was in the states, doing a microbial ecology module, a class of 12 students. i scored over 90 marks out of a hundred for each of the four separate exams (essay/written), but eventually i didnt get an A for that module.

    apparently the school had to do some moderation towards the gaussian distribution. so did i suck at microbial ecology or what? well spending eons pouring over the concepts in a $200USD textbook and what not, attending a seminar on relevant topics weekly etc.

    so eventually given that scenario, i realized the bigger the class, the more As i got as well. is module choice important? well it might be if one is in to pursue grades and getting so obsessed over alphabets and numerical GPAs. but not that important, for those who are less pragmatic, and choose subjects over interest
    chezburgr i can haz?

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    [QUOTE=psychobiologist;3793906]
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    all the offsets, housing subsidies etc are just a fad. the same old scenario of giving you a hundred and taking back ninety nine.
    Yes, but foreigners pay a hundred, too, and get much less if anything back. And they're the first to lose their jobs if recession hits.

    that is very cool, so what place is it? :P if all the companies etc in singapore were to be like yours, it would definitely be a wonderful world out there.

    well i already know, but i'm just asking for the sake of asking. enough of coffee sessions with peeps from every where, IBN, GIS, IMCB (wonderful place! dont need to write much grants), TLL, GSK etc :X
    Hmmm, so you're a government scholar? Mere mortals don't usually get invited to coffee sessions... You shouldn't have to worry then. Anyway, if you find IMCB wonderful, why are you worried?

    and tada!! that is the problem. singapore doesnt offer grounds to groom people's talents and passions.
    There may not be that much room, but what little there is won't help if people rather follow the flow than pursueing their talents and passions. Advances in science & technology frequently arise when people question the establishment.

    and the education doesnt provide much of an opportunity for people to pursue them, and eventually its the fickle demands that drives most of the lemmings where they are going. life science hype and many people will go wow!! life science!! life as a researcher!!.. new airhub and what not, people are shuttling into aero engine related courses, curriculum gets modified towards that..
    But you say yourself that it's the people who go "wow". Noone forces them to do that. Just because Singapore is investing in biomedical research doesn't mean that everyone should do that and e.g. engineers are not needed anymore. Even the biomedical researchers can't work if there is noone that designs, builds, and maintains advanced research instruments for them, or provides them with the methods to acquire and theories to analyze/interpret data.

    And if your true calling is comparative studies of Sanskrit literature, go for it. Even such people can find their niche.

    do we have what it takes to attract others to the other few fields that singapore's putting emphasis into as well?
    Are you talking about attracting Singaporeans to go into certain fields or about attracting foreign talent?

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    Hmmm, so you're a government scholar? Mere mortals don't usually get invited to coffee sessions... You shouldn't have to worry then. Anyway, if you find IMCB wonderful, why are you worried?
    ah no no.. i'm not from imcb


    There may not be that much room, but what little there is won't help if people rather follow the flow than pursueing their talents and passions. Advances in science & technology frequently arise when people question the establishment.
    a huge % of singaporeans choose to go with the flow anyway..



    But you say yourself that it's the people who go "wow". Noone forces them to do that. Just because Singapore is investing in biomedical research doesn't mean that everyone should do that and e.g. engineers are not needed anymore. Even the biomedical researchers can't work if there is noone that designs, builds, and maintains advanced research instruments for them, or provides them with the methods to acquire and theories to analyze/interpret data.

    And if your true calling is comparative studies of Sanskrit literature, go for it. Even such people can find their niche.
    but you know all day i get questions from people who are still in jc/poly etc, and they would ask.. eh whats the job prospect like? is the pay good? for this field and that field, i mean i wish people could pursue their passion, and i wish the education system could enable people to pursue their passion early than forcing them to be jack of all trades doing diverse subjects.. it seems that everyone's more keen on survival now, than passionate pursuit.


    Are you talking about attracting Singaporeans to go into certain fields or about attracting foreign talent?
    attracting foreign talent that is. are we attracting them because of decent monetary renumeration, or they see that we have the potential to develop the field?
    i mean there are a few people who are paid a few times what they receive back where they come from, and spend only a maximum of a third of a year in singapore and two thirds back there..
    chezburgr i can haz?

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by psychobiologist View Post
    ah no no.. i'm not from imcb
    But I'm sure you could find a job there if you're reasonably good. Admittedly, there may be more competition than on the physical science side because of all the bio-lemmings flooding the job market.

    but you know all day i get questions from people who are still in jc/poly etc, and they would ask.. eh whats the job prospect like? is the pay good?
    Is that attitude something they get taught in school? I suspect that reflects more the upbringing by their parents and society in general, in which case you cannot blame the education system. Unless you advocate MOE should take kids away from their parents before they get spoilt.

    for this field and that field, i mean i wish people could pursue their passion, and i wish the education system could enable people to pursue their passion early than forcing them to be jack of all trades doing diverse subjects.. it seems that everyone's more keen on survival now, than passionate pursuit.
    I don't think there's anything wrong with being a bit of a Jack of all trades. The role of school is to provide people with a basic minimum of knowledge/skills across a broad range of disciplines (= Jack of all trades). I'm reluctant to hire someone who has all As, but has never seen a screwdriver before, or considers it beneath his/her dignity to change a fuse because he/she didn't major in electrical engineering. You need a good foundation before you specialise. Today, different disciplines are converging - the times when physicists would not speak to chemists would not speak to biologists are over.

    attracting foreign talent that is. are we attracting them because of decent monetary renumeration, or they see that we have the potential to develop the field?
    All these people are individuals who come for their very own set of reasons. Pay is a factor. Political reasons may be factor (not everyone likes working for the benefit of a warmongering superpower). Adventure is a factor. The opportunity to build something new from the ground up is a factor. Having a SG hubby/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend is a factor. Low tax rates are a factor. Less corruption is a factor. Food is a factor. Climate is a factor. Research funds are a factor. Not being a lemming is a factor. Wanting to experience a different culture is a factor. Having fallen out with the establishment in their home countries is a factor. Feeling they can make more of a difference here than in a scientifically "mature" country is a factor. Couples/families able to find jobs in the same city are a factor ...

    When your ancestors came to Singapore, was it because they thought they could make a living here, or because they thought Singapore has the potential to develop into something big?

    And you can't really say "'they' come because 'we' develop the field". They join us, and are part of the "we" who are developing the field together. It's a bit of a gamble, but research is a gamble anyway - if we would know the outcome when we start, it wouldn't be research anymore.

    i mean there are a few people who are paid a few times what they receive back where they come from, and spend only a maximum of a third of a year in singapore and two thirds back there..
    Few of those big names will work in a lab themselves anymore. They could as well telecommute to fulfill supervisory/consulting/administrative duties. So why get them here? It's things like the feel-good-factor (Singapore can bask in their glory), inspiring/motivating people to become like them, generating publicity in the science scene, and attracting people who want to work with the big names. The big names are also an "endorsement seal" that attracts industry.

    The vast majority of researchers working for Singapore's science are NOT celebrities, they do NOT get paid millions, and they DO have to work pretty hard (which may explain why so few Singaporeans are applying for jobs). With any luck, some of them will be Singapore's homegrown science celebrities in 10 or 20 years time.

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf View Post
    But I'm sure you could find a job there if you're reasonably good. Admittedly, there may be more competition than on the physical science side because of all the bio-lemmings flooding the job market.



    Is that attitude something they get taught in school? I suspect that reflects more the upbringing by their parents and society in general, in which case you cannot blame the education system. Unless you advocate MOE should take kids away from their parents before they get spoilt.



    I don't think there's anything wrong with being a bit of a Jack of all trades. The role of school is to provide people with a basic minimum of knowledge/skills across a broad range of disciplines (= Jack of all trades). I'm reluctant to hire someone who has all As, but has never seen a screwdriver before, or considers it beneath his/her dignity to change a fuse because he/she didn't major in electrical engineering. You need a good foundation before you specialise. Today, different disciplines are converging - the times when physicists would not speak to chemists would not speak to biologists are over.



    All these people are individuals who come for their very own set of reasons. Pay is a factor. Political reasons may be factor (not everyone likes working for the benefit of a warmongering superpower). Adventure is a factor. The opportunity to build something new from the ground up is a factor. Having a SG hubby/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend is a factor. Low tax rates are a factor. Less corruption is a factor. Food is a factor. Climate is a factor. Research funds are a factor. Not being a lemming is a factor. Wanting to experience a different culture is a factor. Having fallen out with the establishment in their home countries is a factor. Feeling they can make more of a difference here than in a scientifically "mature" country is a factor. Couples/families able to find jobs in the same city are a factor ...

    When your ancestors came to Singapore, was it because they thought they could make a living here, or because they thought Singapore has the potential to develop into something big?

    And you can't really say "'they' come because 'we' develop the field". They join us, and are part of the "we" who are developing the field together. It's a bit of a gamble, but research is a gamble anyway - if we would know the outcome when we start, it wouldn't be research anymore.



    Few of those big names will work in a lab themselves anymore. They could as well telecommute to fulfill supervisory/consulting/administrative duties. So why get them here? It's things like the feel-good-factor (Singapore can bask in their glory), inspiring/motivating people to become like them, generating publicity in the science scene, and attracting people who want to work with the big names. The big names are also an "endorsement seal" that attracts industry.

    The vast majority of researchers working for Singapore's science are NOT celebrities, they do NOT get paid millions, and they DO have to work pretty hard (which may explain why so few Singaporeans are applying for jobs). With any luck, some of them will be Singapore's homegrown science celebrities in 10 or 20 years time.
    i like your replies.

    you're the type of researcher that the local research institute needs
    chezburgr i can haz?

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    How few people follow what goals they set when they are kids.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Is something wrong with our education system?

    Quote Originally Posted by psychobiologist View Post

    you're the type of researcher that the local research institute needs
    Ok, I'll tell you a big secret: I'm not much different from most of my colleagues, except that I tend to shoot my mouth off in online discussion forums.

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