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Thursday, June 17, 2004


New Uni Entrance Procedure for Top Scorers

Our new Higher Education MINIster appears to want to make it more difficult for students to gain entry into "critical courses" in the future. These critical courses are said to be medicine, chemical engineering, electronic engineering, dentistry and accountancy. What are the criteria for considering them as critical courses? Really we are in the dark but can presume that they are there because the nation is facing shortages in their numbers and also that they are the popular choices of tthe top scorers coming out of pre-uni classes. So why is he going in the reverse direction by intending to introduce more problems in uni entrance. Does he forsee no future shortages in these sectors? The obvious solution would be for him and his MINIstry to create more places for the future top scoring students as the shortages are unlikely to go away in the near future. 1st world student-uni-entrants, 3rd world thinking Higher MINIstry & MINIster.

A three-tier admission procedure is likely to be introduced for top scorers intending to further their studies in critical courses in public universities. The Higher Education MINIster gave one example :: those seeking a medical seat, the qualified students might be taken on hospital visits and made to undergo interviews to gauge their aptness for the profession. Those students who passed the visit-and-interview phase would be required to sit for and pass phase 3, a proposed Medical School Admission Test. We can presume that students who apply for dental studies would be taken round dental clinics, peep into those smelly malodorous mouths of patients with tartar stains all over, may be given an attempt or two at plucking out a tooth or two. Those who didn't faint or complain will then be subjected to interviews and finally sit for a proposed Dental School Admission Test. The Higher Education MINIstry will similarly cook up some visits for the accountancy students to visit some of the busy accounting firms and etc etc for the engineering ones. What we would like to ask, is there sufficient time for the Unit Pusat to handle all this in the short period of time from the application to the start of the uni year? What would happen to that unique top scorer who decides to list among his/het 8 choices, each and everyone of all the "critical courses" available? Would the poor dear be dragged all over the various hospitals, dental clinics, accounting and engineering firms?

As an aside, i would llike to touch on the offer made by the government of convertible loans for those 99 doctor wannabes who have been placed in IPTSs. To have their loans converted to scholarships, the doctor wannabe would have to be a 1st Class honours medical graduate or equivalent. Can the Higher education MINIster enllighten us which are the medical colleges or faculties which award a 1st Class MBBS or MD? Do we really really have 1st Class Honours doctors, 2nd Class Upper Honours doctors and so on and so forth? Or is the MINIster of Higher Education talking through his nares?


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