I am puzzled by why agencies offering scholarships, especially the Public Service Division, seem to prefer sending the best talent overseas, when we have at least two highly ranked local universities that provide a world-class education as well as ample opportunities for exchange programmes in overseas partner universities.
Perhaps it is a legacy from the time when our universities were not as highly regarded as overseas ones.
Or perhaps students are seduced by the greater prestige that comes with an overseas education.
The rosy view of studying overseas should be tempered by the reality of having to serve a longer bond, especially if one no longer has the enthusiasm or inclination for it.
For students who are uncertain as to whether they can countenance being bonded to an organisation, perhaps they can consider the bond-free scholarships given by our local universities, which also come with many other perks.
Even if there is a bond attached to a local scholarship, the terms are usually less onerous than those of an overseas one.
Perhaps the agencies, students and parents bent on an overseas scholarship should change their mindset and consider a local scholarship to be on a par with an overseas one.
Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)
This article was first published on december 6, 2014.
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