Speaking like the dyed in the wool party steward that he is, Tony Tan defended the education policy by mouthing, " 'Singaporeans first' is different from saying 'Singaporeans only'. Singapore is an international city and it would be a grave mistake to close our doors." Who said anything about closing the doors to fee paying foreigners? The outrage was always about the millions expended on recruiting students from overseas, and wasting our tax money for their tuition, food, accommodation and $400++ allowances. Just for one man's sadistic pleasure of digging the spurs into our hides.
Tan did not reveal the quota that is set aside in our local universities, allocated seats that are depriving our sons and daughters of a tertiary education at home. He should have the numbers by now, as term starts in August.
The poor girl had cried her eyes out after a difficult interview at SMU. NUS simply "ran the grades through a computer", and her 2As and a C may not guarantee her a place at NTU either. SMU was "more enlightened" in that candidates are given a chance to demonstrate in person attributes not reflected in paper examinations. All the hours put in at CCA and the EduSave funds burned up for overseas enhancement trips were all for nought. Fortunately for her, in the last week of the admissions exercise, she secured a precious place in a local U. Apparently some who were offered places arm twisted their parents to study abroad. A friend's son could study law at NUS or NTU, but he told his parents he was tired of the local educational system. Apparently the precocious kid had private plans of his own to quit the country, and he knew his folks won't have to sell the flat to finance the education of their only child.
Tan said the Government should "continue to monitor carefully the proportion of foreign students in our educational institutions to ensure that the proportion matches the present and future needs of the country, and that Singaporeans are the main beneficiaries of our education policy." We don't know if his sentiments shared are that of an aspiring presidential candidate or that of the establishment. We do know that some bright sparks may not be bothered to wait to find out.