Do more to help Singaporean students

I REFER to yesterday’s reports, ‘PM signals a slower intake of immigrants’ and ‘A tip to students: Be driven about causes’.

I am a student at the National University of Singapore. I agree with what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that bringing in foreigners will help ‘raise our standards and create a stimulating environment’.

I enjoy working with people from various cultures, having been exposed to them since Secondary 3, which is when the Ministry of Education brings in scholars from China and Asean.

However, at university level, there are sometimes too many foreign students competing for Singaporeans’ space to grow.

For instance, in a mathematics lecture I attended, almost three-quarters of the class comprised foreigners. During in- lecture quizzes, it was obvious that the foreigners were better than the Singaporeans, and so ‘stimulated’ the learning environment.

However, it has come to a point where the competition has become stifling and stressful. This is because, in most cases, the foreign students have already learnt lower-level maths and science in their home country. Hence, Singaporeans are at a disadvantage in studying the same subject together with them.

Besides, universities here should give higher priority in offering places to Singaporean students from polytechnics and junior colleges. It is like giving your own children priority in education instead of those of a stranger.

Why should we give priority to foreign students at the expense of Singaporeans? I feel sorry for Singaporeans who have no university place because of this.

Singaporeans should be given more opportunities to learn and grow. Otherwise, many of those who cannot secure a place in a university here will go elsewhere.

[In the Straits Times today]