Singapore Kopitiam Watch

Lionelg
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#1321
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#1321
hello,

I would suggest you apply next year for the reason that even if you receive an offer you can only defer for a year. (You can confirm this with the university or British Council people)

What you can do is attend any UK education exhibitions (check the British Council website) that is coming up for the next few months (I think they just cancelled one due to H1N1)
Anyway, there's also a special event for Imperial, LSE, Oxbridge that is around the beginning of the year. You should go for that too.

There's also prospectus of all (not sure if its all , but almost all) of the Universities in the UK at their building, you can walk in and check it out. They also organise a monthly group session on studying in the UK. I personally never went for one of those but I think its no harm trying

Good luck
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gi.
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#1322
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#1322
(Original post by Lionelg)
I would suggest you apply next year for the reason that even if you receive an offer you can only defer for a year. (You can confirm this with the university or British Council people)

i got quite a number of friends who managed to defer 2 years. of course on the UCAS option theres only deferment for 1 year. but you can click on that, then email the university after you got an offer and firmed them to ask for a 2 year gap year.

all of my friends who have done it, got their extra 1 year leeway.

but if you dont want to take the risk then as lionelg said, apply in the next cycle.
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melsonchun
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#1323
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#1323
(Original post by tanglewire)
yup. enlisting in 09/09/09.

i'm gonna give a shot on applying this coming september though there's 2 gap years. will email and try securing seat.
Hmm, this seems tricky to me. Most unis do not allow 2 years deferment. It is easier to apply for one year deferment as it is possible to indicate your preference in the UCAS form.
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Lionelg
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#1324
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#1324
hello gi,

thanks for highlighting that out, I was not aware about that
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gi.
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#1325
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#1325
(Original post by Lionelg)
hello gi,

thanks for highlighting that out, I was not aware about that
no problem. i wasnt aware or more like wasnt sure of it, thats why i didnt apply 2 years ago in the 2008 cycle. instead i applied in 2009 to play it safe.

but i guess UK universities do see a great influx of students from singapore, so maybe they are quite sympathetic to our NS predicament.
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tanglewire
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#1326
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#1326
alright. this has been keeping curious for quite awhile.

how do you people find the quality of teaching as compared to singapore? is there any hard to cope with ?

how about CCA ? are u guys active in those ?
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melsonchun
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#1327
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(Original post by tanglewire)
alright. this has been keeping curious for quite awhile.

how do you people find the quality of teaching as compared to singapore? is there any hard to cope with ?

how about CCA ? are u guys active in those ?
Well, I guess this brings us to the traditional local vs overseas education debate that has been done to death. Firstly, there can be no one definitive set of measurements that can accurately compare the quality of teaching. Hence to facilite comparision, we usually break them up, namely usually into research quality, student satisfaction, staff-to-student ratio et cetera, with the ones mentioned being of higher priority.

Let's look into them. As we all know, our local universities have been pathetic at research, with little or negligible breakthroughs. Since independence till today, our local universities have collectively produced a grand total of zero Nobel Laureats (I do not count the one that won a Nobel Peace Prize as that was done as part of a contingent). Understandably, our nation needed more workers during the nation-building years and more emphasis is currently placed on research and development as Singapore heads towards the goal of becoming a world-leading technological hub. After so much information, we may ask ourselves, "what has research quality got to do with the quality of teaching we'll be receiving?" Well, put it this way, if you're taught by leading academics in their respective fields, their share of experience and passion can eventually help to shape a very different view of the concepts taught to you. Hence, answering the question, the quality of research has much improvements to do before they can match their counterparts in the West. Local unis are coming up fast.

Student satisfaction takes into account the intagible aspects of the education provided. Broadly speaking, the more satisfied you are with the course at a particular university, the more you're likely to take away from it. University is about the diversity, at least for me; the mutual cultural exchange of views with other folks with diametrically different views from you. The local students I meet, on first impression, seems particularly satisfied with their course, and the enthusiasm at which they go on a diatribe on the goodness they have experienced is comparable to those who came back from overseas-uni.
Disclaimer(Purely my opinion on the local education; I am not here to diss, just offering my own perspectives): Not always politically right, but I feel that the reason why most local students enjoy their varsity life so much is because they engage in excessive hedonistic pleasures, and self-indulgent activities. Sadly speaking, between a local grad and an average citizen, I can see little difference in the way they express themselves, they way of thinking (if any), and they way they conduct themselves. Rarely am I impressed or blown away by their exhibition of intellectual flair.

This brings us to to the last point: staff-to-student ratio. Our local faulties fare badly in this area, which I suspect is partly due to the government's effort in widening access to higher education, resulting in an overwhelming student population and insufficient teaching staff. The lower the ratio, the more attention you get, and logically speaking, the better your learning experience. This, however, does not seem to get any better as time goes by.

Therefore, as seen, I am pretty much skewed towards favouring an overseas education more than a local tertiary education. Hope the above information may help you form a better, more informed decision, Higher education is something not to be taken lightly, so do your homework carefully. As for the others, I'll leave it to others to answer.

Sorry for my uncontrollable verbosity. Hope I am still answer the question.
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ychangling
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#1328
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#1328
(Original post by tanglewire)
alright. this has been keeping curious for quite awhile.

how do you people find the quality of teaching as compared to singapore? is there any hard to cope with ?

how about CCA ? are u guys active in those ?
Okay, I'm not a current overseas student yet. Just wanna share my thoughts:

I think choosing between local and overseas university depends on what you want out from your university life. Going to a foreign country for 3-4 years to study, on top of having to look after yourself, will be a challenge (esp if u're the kind who doesnt have to lift a finger at home). Being able to travel overseas would widen your horizons blah blah blah..you get my drift. We hear these all the time but it certainly does make a difference. You meet people from different nationalities, learn their culture, hear their different perspective regarding certain world affairs and/or coursework. You get so much more out from the programme you went to study for, isn't it?

Studies-wise, in my opinion, is manageable. Singaporean students are deemed more hardworking than their western counterparts. If you are competing with the goal-driven ones, then that's a different story I suppose.

Oh, i supposed it'd be a struggle initially - their accents, their way of conducting lessons, tutorials etc. would be rather different from the Singapore way. I'm not so sure how local unis conduct their lessons, but they do have foreign lecturers as well, so I guess this doesn't make much of a difference.

You might want to consider about life after graduation and career prospects. If you intend to work overseas, a degree from that country would prolly be better, i suppose?

CCA, from what I understand, is not compulsory. If you can cope with your studies, why not? Plus, overseas uni don't have the 'hall activities' which local Us have. I heard from my friends (who are going local Unis) that hall activities are hectic, and takes up a lot of time, which inevitably results into them not applying for accomodation but would rather travel all the way to U each day. :/

Okay, I ran out of things to say. I hope this helps? And this is purely my opinion.
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gi.
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#1329
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#1329
(Original post by melsonchun)
Well, I guess this brings us to the traditional local vs overseas education debate that has been done to death. Firstly, there can be no one definitive set of measurements that can accurately compare the quality of teaching. Hence to facilite comparision, we usually break them up, namely usually into research quality, student satisfaction, staff-to-student ratio et cetera, with the ones mentioned being of higher priority.

Let's look into them. As we all know, our local universities have been pathetic at research, with little or negligible breakthroughs. Since independence till today, our local universities have collectively produced a grand total of zero Nobel Laureats (I do not count the one that won a Nobel Peace Prize as that was done as part of a contingent). Understandably, our nation needed more workers during the nation-building years and more emphasis is currently placed on research and development as Singapore heads towards the goal of becoming a world-leading technological hub. After so much information, we may ask ourselves, "what has research quality got to do with the quality of teaching we'll be receiving?" Well, put it this way, if you're taught by leading academics in their respective fields, their share of experience and passion can eventually help to shape a very different view of the concepts taught to you. Hence, answering the question, the quality of research has much improvements to do before they can match their counterparts in the West. Local unis are coming up fast.

Student satisfaction takes into account the intagible aspects of the education provided. Broadly speaking, the more satisfied you are with the course at a particular university, the more you're likely to take away from it. University is about the diversity, at least for me; the mutual cultural exchange of views with other folks with diametrically different views from you. The local students I meet, on first impression, seems particularly satisfied with their course, and the enthusiasm at which they go on a diatribe on the goodness they have experienced is comparable to those who came back from overseas-uni.
Disclaimer(Purely my opinion on the local education; I am not here to diss, just offering my own perspectives): Not always politically right, but I feel that the reason why most local students enjoy their varsity life so much is because they engage in excessive hedonistic pleasures, and self-indulgent activities. Sadly speaking, between a local grad and an average citizen, I can see little difference in the way they express themselves, they way of thinking (if any), and they way they conduct themselves. Rarely am I impressed or blown away by their exhibition of intellectual flair.

This brings us to to the last point: staff-to-student ratio. Our local faulties fare badly in this area, which I suspect is partly due to the government's effort in widening access to higher education, resulting in an overwhelming student population and insufficient teaching staff. The lower the ratio, the more attention you get, and logically speaking, the better your learning experience. This, however, does not seem to get any better as time goes by.

Therefore, as seen, I am pretty much skewed towards favouring an overseas education more than a local tertiary education. Hope the above information may help you form a better, more informed decision, Higher education is something not to be taken lightly, so do your homework carefully. As for the others, I'll leave it to others to answer.

Sorry for my uncontrollable verbosity. Hope I am still answer the question.
hear hear.
verbose it might be but my sentiments exactly.

i think it's a matter of whether you want to take the risk to study overseas in both independent-living and financial sense. cause i dont doubt NUS or the other two local uni's quality. just that if you are not sated with the quality in front of you, then you seek your further studies elsewhere.

no matter how brilliant you are, no matter how much you are not. if you are absolutely satisfied and comfortable with studying in Singapore, and are convinced that it is the right path then so be it.
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Lionelg
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#1330
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#1330
Just wanted to contribute my part to the mix..

I guess one of the reasons for studying overseas (well at least for me) is that some of the courses/majors aren't that famous/popular in Singapore. Hence going overseas allows you to go to a place which is 'famous' for that kind of subject and allow you to get a better experience and 'see the world' in a sense.

My personal opinion is that if you are planning on studying degrees which are pretty general (business and management related degrees, maybe general engineering degrees) and are able to get into a local uni, you should go for it, unless you are looking for the overseas uni experience. One of the main reasons why I say that would be cost. Well, if you(or your parents) are very rich, then of course you can go for whatever you want.

Just want to highlight something raised by ychangling.. she mentioned foreign lecturers in local universities. Well, I have a couple of friends studying in local unis and they say there are plenty of foreign lecturers (I heard from china and india) around, so you would also have to adapt to it. (I recall going to one seminar where a female china researcher presented her research and her english was well.. required more effort to understand fully) I suppose no matter where you study, there's different challenges.

I guess my advice to you would be to keep your options open, apply for both local and overseas and see which one comes back. For local, you can apply now (since you have your poly results) and they will only ask you to decide towards the end of your NS.

With regards to CCAs, I personally can say I 'suck' at CCAs.So I can't comment much.. hehe
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Narev
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#1331
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#1331
There aren't necessarily any problems in listening to foreign lecturers, but rather, what accent and language you are used to.

I had a Russian Prof teach me once and I couldn't make out half his words. Conversely, I had a Chinese Professor and I could understand her quite well when she was lecturing, though the majority of Brits in her lecture group complained about her.
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Lionelg
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#1332
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#1332
I suppose wherever you go there are foreign lecturers, and its a matter of getting used to it sooner or later :P
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ychangling
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#1333
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#1333
(Original post by Lionelg)
I suppose wherever you go there are foreign lecturers, and its a matter of getting used to it sooner or later :P
agree:yep:

oh! I want to add that staying in Singapore to study doesn't mean all options to an overseas education are closed. There's overseas exchanges for one semester (or sthg of that sort) in all 3 local Us. It might still be a different experience compared to studying overseas for years, but still an experience nonetheless. Yup.

I myself wanted to go overseas to study for long so it wasn't much of a dilemma. It affects your future so you must decide what you really want!

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melsonchun
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#1334
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#1334
(Original post by ychangling)
agree:yep:

oh! I want to add that staying in Singapore to study doesn't mean all options to an overseas education are closed. There's overseas exchanges for one semester (or sthg of that sort) in all 3 local Us. It might still be a different experience compared to studying overseas for years, but still an experience nonetheless. Yup.

I myself wanted to go overseas to study for long so it wasn't much of a dilemma. It affects your future so you must decide what you really want!

Hi haven't got the chance to read through the entire board, but what course are you applying to? and to which uni?
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ychangling
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#1335
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#1335
(Original post by melsonchun)
Hi haven't got the chance to read through the entire board, but what course are you applying to? and to which uni?
I'm accepted into UCL this September to read Law.
And you?
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jialat
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#1336
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#1336
Hi!

I'm new here! Anyone going to University of Bath?
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Lionelg
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#1337
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#1337
wow bath.. heard it was a nice place (i applied for it but turned down the offer)

What are you gonna major in?
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kenbellston
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#1338
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#1338
hello there! im going to imperial to do maths. anyone on the same boat? im really fed up with the accommodation, so expensive......almost 2k SGD a month.... you can rent a big flat with that in singapore....
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kenbellston
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#1339
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#1339
hello there! im going to imperial to do maths. anyone on the same boat? im really fed up with the accommodation, so expensive......almost 2k SGD a month.... you can rent a big flat with that in singapore....
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jialat
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#1340
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#1340
(Original post by Lionelg)
wow bath.. heard it was a nice place (i applied for it but turned down the offer)

What are you gonna major in?
I'll be reading Aerospace Engineering. So what University and course are you going to?
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