Thinking About Higher Education

I was chatting with one of the senior officers yesterday morning. I saw his application to transfer one piece of his landholdings. I ask casually why he wanted to sell it. He said he needed it to cover the cost of sending his son studying abroad. That is indeed an expensive education.

When I told the story to my better half, she was saying just how much parents are sacrificing for their children without the children realising how much it is costing their parents. I looked at my 9 year old and wonder whether he too would realise just how expensive education would be in the future and whether or not it will be affordable then.

Up to the late 1980s, scholarships were widely and freely available. I remembered one of my very senior friends whom I met when I first arrived in England and I asked him what year he was in. He told me that he is still in first year and trying to find another place to study. He has been there for more than 4 years and he still has not completed his first degree. The interesting bit was how he managed to continue his scholarships from year to year and how generous our government was.

Education became very expensive when our own university was started. A bit of an oxymoron there. Educating yourself at our local university is free but if you want to go abroad and did not get a scholarship, it is very expensive. Getting into our local university is quite competitive as well and it forced a number of families to finance their children's education either locally or abroad. Many think it is worth the money they put in. But for many too, unless you can finance it by selling property or using up your savings, you will be forced to take up a loan and that can be very expensive especially when you have more than 1 child.

The Paper Chase is something which we can't avoid. I think we have to start seriously think whether or not we can bring in overseas universities locally. In the past, the argument has always been the lack of students. I personally think there is a market out there. I wonder whether there is anyone out there willing to take the risk. Otherwise it may just become too expensive for us. Not having a high education will be costly too. Just a thought.

Comments

where there's a will, there's a way... i know one person who sells veggies and yet sent his son to overseas :)
Nurul said…
I would have to agree with you, getting a scholarship is really hard, I did applied for it twice, the first time, I did not get a call, the second time, I was called for the interviews(twice for Malay and English interviews) but the result really disappoint me.... Now I working, but to apply for LDP was really competitive, I know someone out there are much better than I am, so I have make a drastic saving, but I don't know how long it will last....
Anak Manja said…
Having our own local University was supposed to make it easier for our own citizens to complete their higher educations without burdening parents. But why now do we have to limit the intake each year drastically (at the same time reducing scholarships for overseas). Although it would be tough for the many graduates graduating from our high institutions each year to get a job it is better "to have highly educated unemployed than uneducated ones". So spare some thoughts for those of us who are not "well-to-do" and having no properties to sacrifice for our children's higher education.....

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