Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Where will I be?

Based on reality
Away I must go
Based on dreams
You would want me to stay

I can keep on dreaming I guess :P

I'm keeping myself amused with loads of application forms for postgraduate studies. I'm not even sure why I'm doing this. Perhaps I'm running away.

The Fullbright Program is apparently "a respected program of academic exchange for the promotion of global understanding and peace". Has anyone applied for this before? I would like to get some information from your first hand experience at this.

But I'm not exactly keen on American programmes at the moment. Would prefer the Old World. Yes, I'm a sucker for rich long history, culture and architecture. And I haven't been out of Australasia!

Anyway, beggars can't be choosers :P

Speaking of scholarships, I found out that someone with the same results as I did in SPM (O levels equivalent) but less outstanding in extracurricular activities obtained a full Petronas scholarship to do medicine in Melbourne recently. I wasn't even called up for the shortlist of 50 people for the same scholarship during my time (I had a keen interest in genetic science then). I was also not shortlisted for the JPA scholarship, and again I found out that people with weaker scores were shortlisted.

We have a shortage of medical officers and are forced to employ doctors from Myanmar and a host of other countries. Yet, we can't give the straight As students that want to do medicine places and scholarships.
Instead they were given loans to study medicine in private colleges. As for JPA scholars, some were sent to Ukraine and Russia, while some got to study in UK and Australia. Now, I'm not saying tertiary education in
Ukraine/Russia is bad, I'm no expert in this area. But what I see is discrepancies in the handling of the scholars. Obviously, education in UK would be more expensive. So the amount of money spent seems to have no correlation with the merit of the scholar.

And JPA scholarship application forms left a big hurtful impression on me, for medicine in UK, if was written "Only Bumiputras need apply". Naive me, coming from a typical Catholic Mission school never had to come face to face with this social reality. It was never an issue, till I stepped out of school. All the idealism I had crumbled. Yes, I had an inkling beforehand, but to deal with it was harder. This was made worse by my 4
years in a public Malaysian university, but that's another long story altogether.

And speaking of public universities entry, shouldn't there be a common standard of evaluation for applicants? Instead, we have 2 streams, STPM (A levels equivalent) and matriculation in public universities. Like it or
not, the reality is STPM is more difficult. If matriculation results can be accepted, why can't A Levels or SAM or CPU or Senior Middle 3 (is that correct, the private Chinese schools exams?) be accepted? You can't really
contend that these widely recognised pre-university qualifications aren't good enough.

You can't wonder why there is a brain drain in our country if this sort of selection process happens. I can understand the reasons why some friends and family members prefer not to come home.


At July 22, 2004 6:43 pm, Blogger Carneyz said...

Talking 'bout scholarship, I was rejected by Shell once and I really thought it's unfair that they judged me even b4 they knew me. Luckily I obtained another scholarshp that din give as much but nevertheles... I studied hard, applied to undergo practical at Shell, worked equally hard at Shell, then they asked me whether I'd tried to apply Shell Sch b4. I had the pleasure to point out that they had made a mistake and I hope I won't have to beg for job from them.


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