View Full Version : Higher education for our children

13-05-2004, 09:27 AM
Many of us have teenage children and planning for their education after Form Five is deemed necessary. With the wide scope of choices in the career field and the colleges around the Klang Valley, one has really to sit down/scratch the head a little, check your bank account, and settle for the right one.

Local institutions and colleges are not cheap for a 4-year degree course. But again, what is that if you were to compare to sending him/her overseas. Peanuts!!

I would love to hear some of your contributions and experiences that you have gone through with your children. TQ

13-05-2004, 09:35 AM
Hi Jane:) - Yes that is a very interesting topic. Orchi could need the experience of others in this matter. Although Orchi n wifey is saving up a bit for the 'opportunity' to come sooner or later, Orchi has the feeling that we might not be able to save up enough, for 'good' further education for the kids. So how much is enough, for say, a 3-4 years degree course in Singapore, or Australia, or Taiwan?

13-05-2004, 09:45 AM
studying is very expensive these days. i really wonder how some parents can afford sending their kids overseas.. not for a year or two.. but YEARS!

there has always been a controversy on whether u shld send ur kids overseas or not. well, in my humble opinion, it really depends on wat ur kid wants to study. if the course is available here, then y not do it here?

these days, employers dun really look at ur qualifications to see if u have studied overseas or not. its all about ur attitude at work.

nevertheless, the best way is to check around all the colleges, epsc if there is an edu fair.. before u make any decisions. :D

13-05-2004, 11:22 AM
Hi Angelic:) - Long time no see the 'tiger', how is the water doing at your neighborhood? Depending on what fields of works one wanna apply for, or what is expected of the particular 'employer''s expectations, 'qualified' overseas academic achievement is vitally important. That is what Orchi is made to believe, or maybe Orchi's thinking is wrong?

Orchi only able to manage the alphabets from A-Z n the numerics from 0 to 9, so Orchi is not all sure about 'higher' learning experiences or its effects on career opportunities.

Orchi starts off from poor family. Few friends on the otherhand started off born being fed with silver spoons. 'Goodness' has been kind to Orchi in many ways, although Orchi has 'not' managed to get 'higher' academic experiences. The few friends were sent to all over this world 'happily' by their parents for much longer time. Some did well(academic wise), some didn't do as well even after spening tonnes of their parents monies. When asked about it, they still say they never regret having the chance to see the world, which Orchi hadn't had that kind of chance to begin with.

Orchi could do just fine by the time little Orchis finishes with the schools' qualifications here. Orchi wishes to let them have that chance to see the world. What they make out of that opportunity given, is entirely of their own choice.:)

13-05-2004, 11:56 AM
hi orchi. :)

ya. i gues the usual comment is "to gain experience when overseas" ... but, for me, i gained experience while staying in my college hostel for 4 yrs. (i studied locally BTW). its not necessary to go overseas to gain exp.

13-05-2004, 03:23 PM
Many youngsters tell their parents that studying overseas is to gain experience - what experience are they gaining?
Personally, gaining experience starts from the time you sit behind your working desk..that i call gaining experience.
Youngsters nowadays will come up with a lot of fanciful ideas to convince their parents to send them abroad..just because their peers and going and they dont want to be left behind..!

13-05-2004, 04:25 PM
Maybe these youngsters want to go overseas to get as far away as possible from their nagging parents whose only concern is money?

On a more serious note, I disagree with janelim, experience starts when you are BORN and is gained by thinking and by noticing the world around you, not by sitting behind a desk and working.

13-05-2004, 04:36 PM
Yes Timo, agree with you on that point.
That is if the person has the kind of perspective towards life and having the right attitude, and once he is at his working place..all things fall into place easily.

13-05-2004, 07:03 PM
Jane Lim,

One option is to figure out how much it costs to send a child overseas or to a local U for that matter, and save and scrimp to meet the target.

Another solution is to ask ourselves "How can we afford to send our kids overseas?" so that when the time comes and our kids come up to us with some creative reasons why they need to go overseas, our response can be "When do you want to go and which U do you want to go to?" The limitation should be the intellectual capability of our kid, not our financial capability.

There are many financial vehicles available in life for us. This is described very thoroughly in Robert Kiyosaki's book - CashFlow Quadrant. Find the one that suits you. It's there and you will find it if you look hard enough. Best of luck. :)

14-05-2004, 12:25 PM
We are all in this UNIVERSITY of LIFE, learning and doing one course after another some even doing multiple degrees or even PhDs at the same time. But then no graduation ceremony in sight :(

The day of graduation will be the day they lay us 6' under :(

Empty as we come, empty as we go.

14-05-2004, 01:08 PM
Good one. spot on.

That's the real thing!

Cool Hand Luke
14-05-2004, 01:27 PM
More than one here have talked about experiences of life and universities of life. I do not disagree with this as a general rule. But how many of us have really listen and not only hear? How many of us have really understood and not only see? How many of us have really share wisdom and not only speak? How many of us have really feel and not only touch? As thus, and as a general rule, most of us have not even gone past kindergarten let along the universities of life.


14-05-2004, 02:42 PM
True... but be it kindergarden or universities, all still go out empty. The only thing we may leave behind a legacy.

14-05-2004, 03:19 PM
My parents never had to worry about education costs.

They simply told my brother and I that if we don't make it to a local U, we'll just have to go out and work. It's not that they don't love us, but they just could not afford it then.

I managed to park myself into one. And my brother got scholarships after scholarships to study overseas from A-levels to Postgrad.

Parents always want the best for their kids but children should also be responsible for their own future and not have the "you owe it to me" mentality.

Otherwise, you'd get a generation of weak people who go through university but leave empty.

14-05-2004, 03:32 PM
That's when they learn (at the university of Life) the hard reality of life... like what Uncle Luke says....how many of us have really listen and not only hear....

14-05-2004, 04:09 PM
Hi:) - Aaaaahhh....the wise kahuna(s) have shared. Guess Orchi still hasn't gone pass that teething stage suckling away like nobaby's business.....:)

Kindergarden? Seriously...at that age Orchi was helping mum with selling nasi lemak on bare feets with little brother in the morning, n stealing some times in between to go by the fence of a local kampung chinese primary school listening to 'san chi jing' being read out loud by kids in one of the nearest classroom from the fence...

'ren tze choo, sing ben san....:)

14-05-2004, 05:49 PM
Be careful of many degree mills out there!
some quote from other web posting:

Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004 1:24 am
slave trade route in 16th,17th century: capture african natives on africa continent coast,sail to north america and west indies,sell slaves to cotton plantations,buy cotton.sail back to europe and britain,sell cotton. then sail back to africa coastlines...

opium trade route in 19th century.buy opium from india ports.sail to china's ports,sell opium and buy tea. sail back to britain and sell tea.then sail back to india to buy opium.

education trade route in 20th and 21st century. give master and phd qualifcations from uk,australia,US unis to msians and then have them return to teach in msia or other south east nations in their own private universities like monash,nottingham,curtin,swinburne etc..or private colleges with twinning collaboration with foreign unis. example taylor, inti, sunway, kdu, binary, informatics, cosmopoint, help, olympia, tar college,nilai international college etc... their targets: international students must be lured from india,pakistan,china,bangladesh,vietnam and other asian nations. for example: a msian lecturer with master degree from UK university teaches and supports US degree program in Msia's private education industry.the lecturer has to support his political patron because he is under their sponsorship/scholarship.

Britain was a nation addicted to tea,grown in china.the silver they spent on it began to drain the treasury,until british merchants discovered one thing for which the chinese would also be willing to spend silver: opium .they made the fateful decision to begin supplying the chinese with the drug,contributing to a growing addiction problem among china's population.

britain was a nation in needs of Malaysia's electronic and semiconductor goods.the british,americans,australians discovered one thing for which the msians would also be willing to spend their money/ringgit on :education and knowledge. they sell to the malaysians with ICT, business, management, marketing, computer studies,finance, engineering, etc..degree and diploma courses. contributing to a growing addiction problem among msian non-bumiputra citizens to private education.

the high commisioner,lin zexu sent by chinese emperor to solve the opium's problem. lin zexu confiscated all the opium in canton and had them burned.

mahathir appointed new education minister,tan sri musa formely from usm. to solve msia's weak education system especially to check and rein in private education industry that bleeds money out from msia. .LAN is conceived.operasi heboh dan gempur crackdown on errant private colleges implemented.

It was rumored that the viceroy of canton was involved in the opium trade himself, and that members of the imperial court profited from the trade in the form of bribes or as smugglers themselves.the opium trade had thoroughly corrupted the chinese government as much as it had devastated its citizens' health.

even BN's politicians/political warlords(members of cabinets) like liong sik,sammy vellu,etc ..and education warlords with close association with ruling BN political parties like tan sri dato dr. jeffrey cheah,dato peter ng,tan sri lim kok wing,dato dr.yahaya,encik abu bakar, prof dato mohd shukri,tan sri dato mohd khir johari,dr.ismail md salleh,the pereira family,tengku shamsul bahrin and many more CEOs of private colleges were involved in education trade themselves.they profited from the trade in the form of bribes or as smugglers(selling foreign unis degrees on msia's soil) themselves. one(msians) wants power,another (foreigners) want profits. the education trade had thoroughly corrupted the msian government as much as it had devastated its citizens' mind. unemployed graduates on the rise.millions of ringgit for graduate retraining schemes.msian with foreign degrees : a smuggler??

the treaty of nanking .it secures us a few round millions of dollar and no end of very refreshing tea.the british would gain access to and the right of permanent residence at the ports of canton,amoy,fuzhou,ningbo and shanghai.

memorandum of understanding and smart partnership between education and industries.they secures us a few round millions of ringgit and no end of malaysia's manufactured goods.the british,americans,europeans,etc would gain access to and right of permanent residence at MSC, sarawak,penang,etc....and other msia locations where private colleges/unis have their campuses.

the first few salvos already fired by msian government in early 2004.

the first salvo: higher form 6 intake in 2004.minimum 5 SPM credits requirement. decrease of students' intake in private education industry.

private education warlords like liong sik and microsoft's managing director butt wai choon countered by saying " No longer can education stay in the hands of government and educators alone. The public and private sectors must form strategic partnerships, if education is going to keep pace with, or serve as a driving force of,socioeconomic change".

2nd salvo, many msian government owned teacher's colleges upgraded to universities status to cater for more form 6 leavers.

private education from informatics countered by offering IT courses to msian students after PMR. a new IT certificate courses.

other moves: temasek holding ,a Singapore government investment company moves to acquire telekom(MMU) shares. kolej disted-stamford "ditelan" or teamed up with MMU.

the latest education/knowledge product they (msians conspiring/colluding/conniving with foreign unis and foreign investors/industries) are going to sell is biotechnology...

Mahathir said "we give MSC to the world". Is MSC a foreign colony on Msia 's soil??
burning,looting and sacking of China's Summer Palaces is analogy to "sacking of Putrajaya??"the future scenario??hope not....

14-05-2004, 06:38 PM
Hi QS:) - Is it true? So now they got them 'fakes' degrees floating around from everywhere? Harvard's also? MIT? As an employer..ahem....how the heck Orchi is going to tell which is good....n which one is no good? On fakes notes...with a device or something, we can determine if it was fakes or not, also by closer examination of em.

The next time Orchi interviews these 'viable' n 'hopeful' candidates...how to tell whether the certs are ORI or not? Call the Deans? or what? Please advice..TQ:)

Come to think of this...better Orchi keeps Orchi's LCE cert hung on the wall for a while longer...so now thinking some 'highly educated n qualified professionals' out there, couldn't be any better than Orchi.:D Academically speaking that is...

Cool Hand Luke
14-05-2004, 09:56 PM
You do not need to call up the universities or institutions to check on the aunthenticity of degrees and diplomas. Just ask the prospective candidates the right questions and you will get the right (in this case, the wrong) answers.

15-05-2004, 09:45 AM
Hi Master Luke:) - Been missing your contributions, hopes all is well for you. Yes in this instance, Orchi would understand your advice.

However, for a person like Orchi who has no prior 'higher' academic achievement from even locally here, how do you suppose Orchi is going to know which would be the right questions to ask of these 'hopeful' candidates?

As oppose to you, surely you would know whether certain Harvard for an example would have hired a certain nos. of 'new' recruits during the candidates' tenure with Harvard for instance. Or you might know which particular 'programme' has been administered during that period of time for certain scientific research or trials. Or whether to ask for the sports coaches or atheletes' name of the particular institutions.

You could also be asking the candidates for the names to the Deans or professors of certain faculties such as for English Literatures, Applied Science, Chemistry or Bio Genetics.

For the Harvard example, If Orchi was the graduate from this institution, or as an active alumni(?Spelling), Orchi would certainly be asking the 'hopeful' candidates who hails from Harvard, whether which were the years did Professor Laurence Buell n Professor John P. Marquad first joined Harvard, n in which particular fields of interests have both of these men serve in Harvard currently. Orchi could be asking also whether Professor Peter Ellison in anthropology(?Spelling) is still teaching in Harvard.

Or in the case of Yale, Orchi would be asking of the same, about Professor Meg Urry, Professor Robert Grober, or about Professor Michel Devoret.:)

For those of you who might wonder how Orchi knows all these minor details? Well like what Master Luke says 'you ought to understand things, n not just see things', or something like that.:)

Orchi just begins to understand from what Orchi sees, as a bottle suckling toddler.:D

Cool Hand Luke
15-05-2004, 11:16 PM
You have not even asked the right questions. How can you differentiate between right and wrong answers if your questions are wrong to begin with? You are supposed to ask intelligent questions to potential employees (from Harvard and Yale? wow) and not testing their memories from a list of academic staff you have read from the Internet.

17-05-2004, 12:05 AM
Education cost is way too high so if your children want to pursue higher education overseas, they better come up with a damn good reason. If I were a parent, I would send my children overseas for post graduate degree but not for undergraduate. I have been living in US for 8 years and I can tell you that it's pretty hard to form a strong network in undergraduate. Why?? Because many of us were busy working part time jobs. Financial difficulty put me under tremendous stress. Most of us were transfered students from INTI or KDU etc. We just spent two years together and that was too short to develop friendship. My friends who stayed in local U had much better chance to form strong friendships that helped them in their careers later on.

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 08:58 AM
Mandy - You have a very strong point there on networking. I have never thought of that. Thanks.

17-05-2004, 09:30 AM
So in simpler words, it's either a full overseas course or do all locally? A 2+1 or 3+1 may not be benificial? :confused:

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 09:48 AM
It has nothing to do with sour grapes because I cannot afford to send my daughters overseas. The fact is that I have known and it has been my privilege to know many good people who have benefited from local university education. We all tend to stereo-type graduates. It is not where they graduate from that is important but the graduates themselves. I have been involved in human resource management (including recruitment and development) for many years and if everything is equal (in terms of academic excellence, work attitude and personality etc), I would take the local graduate any time. Any time.


17-05-2004, 10:05 AM
Wait wait Uncle CHL, please don't get me wrong here. I did not say that local university are not good. It's just that it very difficult to get into the local Universities. Look at the recent report that thousands cannot even find a place in Form 6!! what more of the local universities.

What I am asking is that if the kids do not make the local uni cut, what is the next best. A full overseas term of 3 years or a local 2+1??

17-05-2004, 10:27 AM
Just a comparison from 2 young relatives of mine:-
(1) did a 3+0 degree course at Sunway College/Guildhall Uni, UK.
total amount spent: RM40K (graduated 2000)
(2) did a 4+0 degree course at TAR college/Campbell Uni, USA
total amount spent: RM20K (graduated 2004)

Both of them graduated with fantastic results and not even a paper called for a repeat. Today, they are drawing high salary and found favor with their employers. Therefore, i personally think that if the local colleges can produce the same or equally the same products for the market force, then i would rather choose to put them locally.

Give a consideration to this statement:: "the blessing is in the man and not in the land"

and this has nothing to do with sour grapes!

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 10:51 AM
Firefly - You misunderstood my posting. I was just stating the fact and it has nothing to do with your comments. However, in my view, if one cannot gain admission into local universities, then a good and reputable local college or institution would be just as good. As Jane as rightly said, the blessing is in the man, and not in the land. Like I have said, I put my money where my mouth is. I preferred local graduates to overseas ones (when all things being equal). The simple rationale being that although I am all in for differences in ideas (expressed vocally, stubbornly or violently) and new ways of doing things, a business does not exist to cater for people to spend six hours debating at every meeting but to make money so that their salaries can be paid (including those who spend six hours arguing!) and give reasonable returns to the shareholders and carving a better future for stakeholders. Before people starts to nail me upside down on the cross, please allow me to say that there are also very good overseas graduates and very poor local graduates. Now there.


17-05-2004, 11:31 AM
:( Question still not answered. Is it better to send for a full overseas course or a partial one?? For the exposure side of it.

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 12:03 PM
I believe both Jane and I have answered that question. Why do you think I have been advocating that I would employ local graduates? Earlier, Jane, Timo, ForknSpoon and others have also talked about the so-called 'overseas experience' and exposure. I will say it again - what exposure?

17-05-2004, 12:18 PM
I think definitely overseas better. Go to Oxford, by 28 become so clever that can be considered to run Khazanah!

17-05-2004, 12:49 PM
my posting here has nothing to do with politics and i will refrain from the issue. So cskok, thanks for your thoughts.

But, i dont understand why there are certain people who have chips on their shoulders and are such angry people that they must run down other people with their critical remarks about local colleges and institutions.....

17-05-2004, 01:13 PM
Hang on... not talking of politics here... call me blurr or what..:D

What I am asking is not a comparison of Local Us with overseas Us. I am only asking on the mandy "...spent two years together and that is too short to develop friendship..."

Would it be better then to send them for a full overseas as compared to a short "2+1"?

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 01:16 PM
Then perhaps Mandy should answer you.


17-05-2004, 01:25 PM
What are your views... would sending the kids to a 3 ~ 4 years benefit them? (in the process driving me to the poor house)

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 02:13 PM
Firefly - My personal view is still what Jane has said in that the blessing is in the man, not in the land. Timo and ForknSpoon have articulated that in the same thread. Sending our children overseas for 'experience or exposure' actually means very little when you really analyse it. What do they gain overseas? If they are any good - they would be spending most of their times in lecture halls and libraries and coming back in the evening to cook and do their laundry. If my daughter talks about 'exposure', I would tell her she can get all the exposure right here right now; that instead of getting treated like a five-star hotel guest where there is breakfast and dinner on the table, mother to do the laundry and maid to clean her room so that she can spend her evening watching television shows. If my daugther wants to learn about independence and exposure, I can give all that at home right now. She sheepishly told me 'No Thanks'. We can go on and on in this and come back one full circle. But the last thing I would do is to send them overseas because my neighbours are doing so.


Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 02:27 PM
No overseas exposure, independence or experience can substitute for the wisdom in ForknSpoon's words: 'Parents always want the best for their kids but children should also be responsible for their own future and not have the "you owe it to me" mentality. Otherwise, you'd get a generation of weak people who go through university but leave empty'.

17-05-2004, 02:33 PM
very well said indeed cool hand luke. :D

17-05-2004, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the summary.

17-05-2004, 04:24 PM
I my opinion, it's better to spend money on an overseas post-graduate degree (Master, Ph.D, post-doctoral, etc.) than an undergrad bachelor's degree. Only there can you get access to proper laboratory equipment, but more importantly, mingle with people who are renowned experts in their field(s) of research. If you want to talk about affordability then the choices aren't many, probably just here and Singapore (and Indonesia?). I'm doing a engineering M.Sc now at NUS, Singapore and fees are actually cheaper to what my old local private uni charges for an equivalent programme.

But knowing where specifically to go and plan (and save!) for this purpose implies a certain maturity and commitment towards post-graduate studies (possibly spurred by experiences in the industry). But, I also note (by personal survey) that, locally, Masters holders don't really earn much compared to their Bachelors-holding colleagues. At most, a couple of hundred bucks more. At worse, no difference in pay. PhD holders are even rarer -most would have been ex-uni lecturers and have gone into some consultancy business. The bulk of the local industry is still mostly manufacturing-based and their needs are much more modest than all the 'tech-success stories' that the local newspapers like to herald.

Some may argue that one of the benefits of an overseas study is the inculcation of an 'academic' culture as opposed to the 'straight-As, grade-chasing culture' supposedly prevalent here but I believe that is irrelevant if one is committed to studying for the sake of knowledge and not (just) the qualification.

Having said all these, I have noticed the government starting to pump-in money to the local u's to buy better equipment. Frankly my ex-employer was saved from the red line by that yet-another-have-to-be-done-ASAP government plan. The last time I visited my old private U and a nearby public U (I was on assignment -both were my company's customers at that time) and I can see that the public U was actually better-equipped in comparison.

Cool Hand Luke
17-05-2004, 09:39 PM
Cjtune - You made valid points. Speaking for myself, I have never considered a masters or a doctorate as a passport to higher salaries. Unless you are in education field where salary scales are pegged to qualification and years of services, a doctorate means little. I study for the insane joy of acquiring more - I use the word 'more' deliberately because I am not studying or doing research to gain knowledge as knowledge is very single dimensional. I subscribe to your view that mingling with people who are experts in our areas of studies do help in terms of inspiration and motivation. With the Internet, I can talk to my professors online through chats and emails. I draw inspiration and motivation from within myself and admittedly, it is not easy at times. But then if the inspiration and motivation comes from external sources, then I am in trouble when those external sources cease to be inspiring or motivational. To put it simply - you are on your own!

18-05-2004, 01:37 AM
Hi Master Luke:) - Harvard or Yale? Was just taken as examples. As QS pointed out, if there are fakes ones floating around. So how to tell which is not? Asking the right questions? IF Orchi knows how to do that, Orchi wouldn't have to resort to 'searching' the internet for clues.:D

Back to overseas educations, in the old days parents wouldn't have much of a choice, but to send their 'hopes' to overseas. These days though with quite plenty of 'alternatives' are available at cheaper costs locally, parents would be re-considering harder to put their 'hopes' to overseas, especially when they have more than one kid to send. But for those who could ultimately afford the high costs of oversea's 'exposure' for all their kids, they would almost all want to send them abroad.

IF ever Orchi is capable of that it would be more or less like Orchi has 'achieve' something(personal), for the little Orchis. Like Orchi said it before here, in this possibility, what the little Orchis would do there, or wanna achieve for themselves, make or break, should be of their own choices. Having the early chance to save up the necessary funds for their intended further educations, really doesn't hurt anyone for making such plans from the beginning. IF they are 'qualified' to go, let them go. IF they are not 'qualified', the then old aged Orchipalar themselves could take up a 'crash' course in sailing for a long trip abroad for a long deserving vacation in a dinghy. :D

18-05-2004, 01:58 AM

It depends on how you spend your life overseas. No offense people. But I had noticed that many Malaysian students stuck with their own gangs and didn't really get to know the other culture that well. I get to say this: many of them backstapped each other, gossiped, spread rumors and yada yada yada..... So from what I experienced, overseas life did not guarantee 'positive exposure'. It did open your eyes to certain extent. No doubt about it.

My undergraduate life was hell. I can tell you that. I did not feel that I was in University. I didn't care about university or whatsoever. All I cared was if I made enough money to pay rent. My job was much more important than school.

Having said that, I STRONGLY encourage you to send your children overseas for postgraduate studies. In America, graduate school is not about grade or GPA; it is about research and be able to think critically and independently.

18-05-2004, 06:33 AM
Mandy, i truly agree with what you said about sending our children overseas for postgraduate studies. Without a doubt, advantages are aplenty...if only we could, we would not wait.

18-05-2004, 05:27 PM
Hi all,

Its all about hardwork in any land!

I completed all my studies locally eventhough had my chances to go abroad but refused. In local universities, u can do alot besides just completing your degree.

You can even opt to go abroad to present your technical paper and believe me every university is the same its the people that matters, from my experience.

I have met alot of then from Havard, MIT and the list goes on as I actively participate in conferences to exchange ideas. I believe I am no lesser in anyway than them and its because of the effort that I put to increase my knowledge of understanding and not the university.

Parting words: University is an environment to discover your abilities, so choose tropical!!

18-05-2004, 05:37 PM
Rgarding academic publications (if you are a researcher) - get them published in well known journals. This is the best form of peer rating. If your paper gets published in a recognised journal, you have achieved some status and recognition. It don't matter if you have qualified from Timbuktu.