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.

March 16, 2008

The Problem of Top Students in Malaysia and Low Expectations

Filed under: education, malaysia — Tags: , , , , , , — toru @ 6:42 am

 I always enjoy reading stories like the one below about bright young people doing well in exams.  What I don’t enjoy is the inevitable follow up story about the same bright young people being denied a place in the local varsities or a scholarship by the government due to the unfair NEP.  It breaks my heart but I am sure this year will be no different.

One thing that concerns me is the problem of low expectations among top students in Malaysia.  Often, students with excellent SPM or STPM results will be content with pursuing an engineering degree with UPM or Universiti Tenaga Malaysia or some unknown institution in Malaysia.  This leaves me extremely puzzled.  Why shortchange yourself?  For SPM students, I think some students want a short cut and an assured place in a university.  This to me is myopic and short-sighted.  True you are assured a place in the university but look at it this way:  you are stuck with a lousy degree for the rest of your life.  I have often said that a good degree doesn’t mean you will do well in life but a lousy degree may keep many doors shut at the beginning of your career.  Many international firms simply will not hire you if you come from an unknown institution.  So my advice to SPM students, do your A-Levels or STPM and don’t try to get into a third-rate university.  It is simply not worth it.  A case of the old adage: penny wise, pound foolish.  If your results are good, try the ASEAN scholarship.  In the meantime, try to improve your written and spoken English.

For top STPM students, please do apply to Singapore universities if you can afford it.  Why sell yourself short?  Singapore universities are head and shoulders above Malaysian universities.  Although I believe that any methodology on university rankings may be disputed, the difference in positions between Malaysian and Singapore universities are too stark to be ignored.  Also, if you are considering doing a twinning programme with a third rate overseas institution, do consider applying to Singapore universities.  You will have to fight very hard to get anywhere if you come from let’s say University of Central England.  Again, why sell yourself short just because you want an overseas experience?  You can get an overseas experience by going on exchange with a partner institution while you are studying in Singapore.

And to Nimisha who was mentioned in the article below:  apply to NUS.  Lin Hui – please apply to NUS, NTU or SMU.  I hope you get a scholarship to achieve your dreams.  But if not, I hope not to read about your sob story on how you are denied a university place or scholarship in the months to come.

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18 who did it their way

KONG WAN YEE, the youngest of three girls, was brought up single-handedly by her mother, Yam Kee Tin. Her father had died when she was just seven months old.

On Tuesday, Wan Yee did mum proud by scoring 5As in her Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination.

Wan Yee (left) getting a congratulatory hug from her proud mum.

In addition to that, the former SMK Katholik, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, student emerged as one of the 18 top STPM scorers in the country.

At the results announcement ceremony held on Tuesday by the Malaysian Examinations Council in Kuala Lumpur, Wan Yee said: “I didn’t expect it. After some of my papers, I felt sad because I had made some careless mistakes.”

Wan Yee, who took General Paper, Mathematics T, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, had her own method of studying for each subject.

“For example, in Biology, I’d read a chapter once and then restructure the whole chapter to make it easier to study the next time around.

“For Maths and Physics, it was all about practice. Concepts are also very important in physics.”

(more…)

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