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None of this year's President's Scholars doing Engineering

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 24-08-2008, 11:52 PM
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Default None of this year's President's Scholars doing Engineering

Just as we were debating whether engineering is a dead-end career in Singapore, I noticed a common trait among the 2008 batch of President's Scholarship recipients.

None of them is going to be an engineer.

From what President Nathan said in his speech, these scholars will all be heading to foreign universities for their studies. (Hey, btw, didn't Professor Kishore Mahbubani, who's himself a President's Scholar and now heads the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, wondered aloud why parents are sending their children overseas when our NUS is good enough? Well, he's comparing with Australian uni's, but you get my point.)

Two of this year's P-scholars will head to Cambridge, one to read Law and the other to study Medicine. Another, a Stanford-bound future police honcho, will be taking Economics. The remaining two will respectively read Economics, Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, and Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale University.

You may argue that Medicine and Econs are science-related courses, but I contend that these graduates are not going to build things or write software in their careers. No matter how technical their minds are, they will never be true engineers.

I declare engineering officially dead in Singapore.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 26-08-2008, 03:50 PM
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Default 2499

Besides not doing engineering, none of the 5 presidents scholars stay in HDB currently. This is reported in yesterday's Today newspaper (morning edition):

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2008, 10:20 AM
All rich kids--
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Default 2512

Even the recipients of second most prestigious scholarship, SAFOS, all stay in private housing.
Quoted from the abovementioned Today article:
"Even if housing type is far from the most accurate indicator of household earning power, it is interesting that of this year's five President's Scholars, two used to live HDB flats; <b>none, currently, live in public housing.</b>
Of the latest four Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Scholars, one grew up in an HDB flat but <b>all now live in private homes</b>."
(boldface mine)

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 27-08-2008, 10:43 AM
A digression but nee--
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Default 2513


A digression from the thread's topic.

"Well, he's comparing with Australian uni's, but you get my point.)"

Are you hinting that you agree with Kishore's view that Aussies Uni's are not "up to standard"?

Pls bear in mind that Singapore is the only place on earth that suck up to the US universities, or whoever is in power at the moment (MAybe we should suck up to Dubai uni or what too).

If you have worked or studied overseas long enough, you realise that people judge you by what you do and not what quals your have (ok la, Singapore is the only startling "exceptional place" that judges by quals, an approach that is startlingly stupid.)

Unis are made up of profs, and profs are the one who determine whether a uni is good or not.

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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 29-08-2008, 11:37 AM
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Default 2529

50% of the P-scholars are reading politics. Are they our future politicians?

Engineering may be dead. But SOCIAL ENGINEERING is alive and kicking.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2008, 01:10 AM
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Default 2554

None of our president scholar are going be engineers in the first place. The nature of their job doesn't require them to do so. P scholar are chosen from PSC OMS tied or open or specialised SAFOS or SPFOS, and their career is more on policy setting and not technical engineering work. Study economics or PPE may help them more in their work
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2008, 08:41 PM
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Default 3224

Mr/Ms "A digression but needed" is sorely deluded if he thinks that Aussie universities are anywhere close to the standards of Ivy League universities.

And no, you're wrong too that Singapore is the only place in the world that places a premium on qualifications or/and prestige. This is an international phenomenon. In the US, a degree from a top school shoos one into an investment banking position in bulge brackets instantly. And just check out the millions of American students waxing lyrical about which prestigious they're dying to get into and the Ivy League students proclaiming supremacy over the "Lower Ivy" students.

Don't be so deluded lah and if you can't cut it, try migrating to Antarctica. It may be the last place left for a deluded fag like you.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 29-11-2008, 12:15 PM
Daniel Ong--
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Default 3474

Haha I'm Daniel Ong (the one headed to Stanford to do economics). Engineering definitely isn't dead- I'm planning to do at least a Computer Science minor here. I think all disciplines stand to contribute a lot to the Civil service- like a CS major can find out how to optimize computing frameworks. We need a wide range- economists, engineers, humanities people etc. for more perspectives I guess.

Anyway, to the comments above, I live in a hudc flat. Is that hdb or private?
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 29-11-2008, 05:26 PM
to Daniel Ong--
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Default 3476

Hi Daniel, my belated congrats on getting the President's Scholarship!
As a PS, you will most likely be an AO when you embark on your career. While you earn your millions (over years), I hope you do not forget what you said in your blog at :
"I've been sensitive to the vast inequality that arises in societies and in humanity as a whole- and how we intend to solve this." and
"the relative need of ordinary Singaporeans, and the relative affluence of us 18 year old students stands in stark contrast; what we 18 year olds deem as 'normal spending' could easily be a fortune to a 40-something man. What does that tell us about ourselves?"
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 29-11-2008, 06:38 PM
Daniel Ong--
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Default 3478

I'm guessing you're the webmaster- because my spelling error got corrected. Anyway thanks alot for maintaining this site, I use it to keep track of the going-ons in Singapore

Thanks for the advice, and BTW I never thought of myself as making millions over the years. In Stanford it almost seems a god-given right to many of my classmates to get huge paypackets at prestigious firms when they graduate, and the people here are all so comfortable and happy, so much that you assume everyone else is living a comfortable life. Oh well.

Also wrt to your post on the salary calculator- I think you need to insert an important note that a fair number of Singaporeans don't pay taxes, and thus are not part of the percentage. It may mislead people into thinking the bottom 10% of taxpayers are also the bottom 10% of all citizens, making them seem better off than they are...
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