The Tempinis diaries

February 28, 2010

STPM 2010 And Studying in Hong Kong

Filed under: education, malaysia, singapore, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — toru @ 2:58 pm

I seemed to have neglected this blog for quite some time. But I noticed a spike in readership especially on my post on what to do after STPM. Another year has passed and we have a fresh crop of bright young things doing well in STPM. Well done! Remember to apply to Singapore universities besides the local ones. Don’t be caught flat footed if for some strange reason the local universities reject you.

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For students who can afford it, you can consider Hong Kong as an alternative to the usual places where Malaysian students have traditionally gone like Australia, UK and the US. Further information on undergraduate studies can be found here. Information on postgraduate studies can be found here. I don’t know why Malaysian students have traditionally not gone to Hong Kong but there are many good reasons for going to study in Hong Kong. The universities are excellent, the city is vibrant and exciting for a young person and if you speak and write Chinese, job prospects ought to be quite good in Hong Kong and big cities in China after graduation.

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May 23, 2009

New Medical School in Singapore

Filed under: education, singapore — toru @ 3:45 am

A new medical school is expected to be set up in NTU. Again, the groundwork for this project seems to be thought through carefully.

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Third medical school
A proposal for Singapore’s third medical school, which is likely to focus on areas such as the healthcare needs of the elderly, is expected to be submitted within six months to a year. “… The healthcare needs of the future will move in a direction to cope with more elderly people with an increased proportion of chronic diseases,” said Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, director of the Medical School Project at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
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He also sits on an advisory panel that was formed in response to a request by the Education and Health Ministries for NTU to submit a proposal – as the Education Ministry considers the establishment of the third medical school.
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While there is no hurry yet for another medical school, “we need to start planning for our future because we (will) have different demands”, said Education Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday. “If the proposal is good and affordable, the Government can consider.” Dr Ng said he expects the proposal within six months to a year. ALICIA WONG
A proposal for Singapore’s third medical school, which is likely to focus on areas such as the healthcare needs of the elderly, is expected to be submitted within six months to a year. “… The healthcare needs of the future will move in a direction to cope with more elderly people with an increased proportion of chronic diseases,” said Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, director of the Medical School Project at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
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He also sits on an advisory panel that was formed in response to a request by the Education and Health Ministries for NTU to submit a proposal – as the Education Ministry considers the establishment of the third medical school.
.
While there is no hurry yet for another medical school, “we need to start planning for our future because we (will) have different demands”, said Education Minister Ng Eng Hen yesterday. “If the proposal is good and affordable, the Government can consider.” Dr Ng said he expects the proposal within six months to a year. ALICIA WONG

New University in Singapore

Filed under: education, singapore — Tags: , — toru @ 3:41 am

Singapore is set to open a new university. The preliminary ground work seems pretty impressive.

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MIT tie-up to kick-start 4th uni
By Amresh Gunasingham

‘Traditionally in Singapore, we have established universities that start off with undergraduate studies, before moving on to postgraduate studies and then research,’ Dr Tan explained. — ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

A US$100 million (S$146 million) international design centre is in the works to kick-start Singapore’s fourth university.
A tie-up with the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the centre would meld architecture, engineering and information systems to come up with, say, a must-have electronic gadget, or the best transport system for a fast-expanding Singapore.

The idea is to have research efforts firmly rooted before taking in students, said National Research Foundation chairman Tony Tan. Announcing the ambitious new proposal on Friday, he said that if all goes well, the centre could be up and running next year, a year before the university is even ready.

This would turn the current approach to university education on its head.

‘Traditionally in Singapore, we have established universities that start off with undergraduate studies, before moving on to postgraduate studies and then research,’ Dr Tan explained.

‘Under the proposed model, we will establish a research centre with a sound research base first before taking in graduate students and undergraduate students.’

Research universities around the world were no longer just education institutions, but were making their mark as key driving forces of economic growth, he added.

‘They are places where new knowledge is created by faculty members and students which facilitates the transformation of this knowledge into new industries and commercially viable enterprises.’

At MIT, for example, researchers and students have founded enterprises that produce output equivalent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the 17th largest economy in world. ‘This is significantly larger than our GDP…and underscores the importance for universities to be able to produce original research,’ he said.

Dr Tan, speaking during a visit to the Centre for Quantum Technology (CQT) at the National University of Singapore, said the design centre would add to the diversity of the tertiary education landscape here, and expects it to be well received by students and parents.

July 13, 2008

Brain Gain Malaysia: Be Specific on Details, Noraini

Filed under: education, malaysia, singapore — toru @ 1:15 pm

To be fair to the Malaysian government, they have launched a programme called Brain Gain Malaysia. See story below. But as the Deputy Minister, Noraini Ahmad, recently noted the response so far has been tepid. In a typical Malaysian style, the Deputy Minister said in a vague manner that the incentives will be improved. Now the devil is in the details. How will it be improved? The website is equally vague – I can’t seem to find an application form anywhere. It would be helpful if the Deputy Minister could provide more details. Perhaps, the good Minister should read Zweig and Chung’s paper (pages 13 – 15) on the steps China has taken on using its ‘diaspora option’. These steps include setting up joint research centres, bringing back talented diaspora to teach at local universities and conferring joint professorial appointments. All these are sensible moves which Malaysia should seriously consider.

The other interesting thing about the Bernama story below is that it estimates that there are 40,000 – 50,000 Malaysians working in Singapore alone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the figure is actually higher. Imagine that! This is the human costs of the NEP. As usual, Malaysia’s loss is Singapore’s gain.

In order not to end this blog post in a totally negative manner, I am pleased to see a blurb on the website reporting that the first recipient of the Brain Gain Malaysia is Dr. Tan Man Wah of Stanford collaborating with the Malaysian Genome Institute. That is very good news, indeed.

Brain Gain Programme Incentives Will Be Improved

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 (Bernama) — The incentives in the government’s Brain Gain Malaysia (BGM) programme will be improved to attract more Malaysian professionals employed overseas to return and work here.

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Noraini Ahmad said although the programe was on-going not many had responded.

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July 12, 2008

Getting Rejected is not the End of the World

Filed under: education, malaysia, singapore, studying in Singapore — toru @ 3:44 am

Getting rejected for a scholarship is not the end of the world. While the disbursement of scholarships in Malaysia based on race is unfair, parents and students should not fall into the trap of the ‘victim’ mentality. Pick yourself up and do not dwell on the rejection. Go on and do A-Levels or STPM. Work hard and do it well. See story below. You can come back stronger and better! But an important thing is that students must use the two years to improve the standard of their English.

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Saturday July 12, 2008
Foo can always count on patience and perseverance
By VIJENTHI NAIR and AIZAT IRHAS
KUALA LUMPUR: Student Foo Fang Hai, 20, was disappointed when he failed to get a scholarship after his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia but his patience and perseverance paid off after completing his sixth form.

Foo, who was awarded a Singapore Scholarship to study accountancy at Singapore Management University said: “One can always achieve success if one works hard enough.”

“Recognise what you want and work hard at it,” said Foo, a former Victoria Institution student who scored 4As in his Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM).

Foo, who switched from science to arts stream in Form Six, fell in love with accounts after his father sent him for a crash course in accounting.

Well done: Jasudasen (third from left) congratulating (from left)Tan, Wong, Foo and Mithran at the Singapore High Commission yesterday.
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June 17, 2008

Foreign Students: Raising the Bar

Filed under: education, singapore, studying in Singapore — Tags: , , — toru @ 1:59 pm

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (“NTU”) recently won an Asian debating contest. The interesting thing is that the debaters from the winning NTU team were all Indian nationals. While there is the perennial debate raging in Singapore about the necessity of foreign talent in Singapore and how they marginalize the locals, the undeniable fact is that these foreign students in Singaporean universities do, in general, raise the bar and competition for local students.

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They’re Asia’s best debaters

Loh Chee Kong
WITH three teams in the semi-finals this year, there was no better chance for a Singapore university to be crowned Asia’s king of varsity debate after an eight-year hiatus.

And so it proved, with a classic David versus Goliath battle no less: The team from Nanyang Technological University — comprising relatively inexperienced debaters — stunned seven-time regional champions, the Philippines’ Ateneo de Manila University, in the 4th Asian Universities Debating Championship (AUDC) two weeks ago.

Squad captain Madhav Janakiraman, 20, who was part of the three-member team in the finals, said: “We were quite nervous. We knew we were the underdogs. But we prepared very strategically, trying to assess what the other team’s weaknesses were and how to take them on.”

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June 13, 2008

A Recent Restatement of Singapore’s Education Policy

Filed under: education, singapore — Tags: , , , — toru @ 3:18 pm

The new Education Minister, Ng Eng Hen, set out Singapore’s education policy in a speech recently. His full speech can be found here. I have excerpted the parts on Universities below. In a nutshell, it seems that Singapore’s plan is diversification of institutions, research collaboration with reputable foreign universities and developing extensive global exchange programmes for local undergraduate students. All very sound and sensible moves.

The Malaysian Education Ministry and Vice Chancellors of universities in Malaysia should study some of these initiatives carefully with a view to emulating them.

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Universities

27We have three publicly funded local universities: the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Singapore Management University (SMU). NUS and NTU have established themselves as world-class research universities, ranked amongst the top 100 universities in the world by the Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings in 2007. SMU, though young, has quickly established a reputation for producing high-quality graduates who are confident, street-smart and articulate.

28To add value to their students, our universities must maintain high standards of admission and performance. They must also act as strategic engines for Singapore’s long term economic advancement. Thus, our universities have developed programmes to nurture and groom top talents.

29Take for example, NTU’s C N Yang Scholars Programme. This is an undergraduate programme designed for top science and engineering students. C N Yang Scholars are assigned faculty mentors who guide their entire academic programme. The programme provides a strong and broad foundation in the basics of science and mathematics, and empowers students to delve deeper into any discipline in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to develop an interest in forefront research.

30There is also the University Scholars Programme (USP) in NUS. Graduates from this programme participate in interdisciplinary modules on a range of topics, from Human Relations and Ethics, and the Environment. Part of the programme involves student interaction with top universities around the world, such as Waseda University in Japan.

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May 4, 2008

A Lazy Sunday with Mrs. T

Filed under: life, singapore — Tags: , , — toru @ 1:39 pm

Quite an enjoyable low stress and lazy Sunday with Mrs. T. Went shopping with Mrs. T at Vivo City. Had coffee and thick peanut butter toast at Toast Box (yum!). Went to the Mark and Spencer sale but didn’t manage to buy anything. Bought clothes from Topshop and Bossini. And then a late lunch at Food Republic.

Mrs. T and I noticed that it was not crowded as usual at Vivo City. It suits us just fine but I think it’s a sign that the recession is well and truly here. People not shopping with a vengeance (which is rare in Singapore).

Did my usual Turbulence Training and had a seafood hor fun at the Cze Char restaurant.

Happy days.

April 26, 2008

Chua Lee Hoong and her Infinite Wisdom

Filed under: singapore — Tags: , — toru @ 2:08 pm

Chua Lee Hoong wrote today in ST: “But the Mas Selamat escape? What loss has there been, except that of face – mostly?”

Gee – I thought that this was a terrorist who wanted to hijack a plane and crash it into Changi airport. What loss indeed?

April 1, 2008

How Malaysia has failed its gifted children

Filed under: education, malaysia, singapore — Tags: , , , , — toru @ 12:19 pm

This is a follow up post on Sufiah Yusof. It must be really difficult being a child genius. Growing up from your awkward phase is already hard enough – imagine being put in a class where everyone is much older than you. Also, all that expectations heaped on a child can’t be healthy. Besides Sufiah Yusof, the other Malaysian genius, Chiang Ti-Ming, also had an extremely difficult time coping with the pressure. There is also a newspaper story on Ti Ming below.

Perhaps, for these kids the answer is not to put them with older kids or in a university. A more safe and nurturing environment may be to place them with other gifted kids. In the article below written in 1997, Lim Kit Siang talked about how Malaysia has failed its gifted children. I contrast this with the story below on NUS High School written in 2006. What Lim Kit Siang proposed then is now a reality in Singapore in the form of NUS High School. One can’t help but feel gratified and inspired by reading the stories of these talented young children. Hopefully, students like Carmen Cheh from Perak will grow up to be happy and well-adjusted adults. If only Sufiah and Ti-Ming had such schools where they live. Perhaps, they wouldn’t have suffered as much.

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Sunday August 13, 2006
School for aspiring Einsteins and Hawkings

Singapore Straits Times education correspondent SANDRA DAVIE visited NUS High School of Maths and Science to try and keep up with the young Einsteins, and came away impressed.
IT IS a lesson on contraceptive methods for a group of 15-year-olds. At any other secondary school, a topic like this would have brought on blushes and giggles.

Not at the National University of Singapore High School of Mathematics and Science (NUS High). The 14 boys and 10 girls in a class taught by a young biology PhD graduate are more interested in the science of contraception.

After Dr Seah Wee Khee, 27, shows them a condom, the intra-uterine device and diaphragm, they launch into spirited sparring.

Year Four students (from left) Zhai Wei Chao, Zhao Ye, Lei Lei and Tan Li, hanging out at the Astronomy Club’s observatory which sits atop the roof of the 12-storey hostel. – ST/ANN pic

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