The Interview is just too far

It's been 8 years since I applied for this scholarship. Looking back, I am glad I was adventurous enough to take the chance to "run away from home" at such a young age (not old enough to consume any alcoholic beverages in Singapore). I'm still grateful that I was awarded this scholarship, it opened up my world and it gave me a chance to dream bigger dreams.

While I was looking at the scholarship official website today, I noticed the rule has changed:

The selection test and interview for the scholarships will be held in Singapore. Candidates will not be reimbursed for traveling or other expenses incurred in connection with the selection test and interview.

Back in the days, the IQ test and interview were held in the local Singapore Consulate office. A Ministry of Education (MOE) official and a high school principal flew from Singapore to interview students in the summer. I wonder why the policy has changed. Cost-cutting? Filtering the not-so-serious applicants?

One thing I knew was this, if I had to fly to Singapore for this scholarship interview, I didn't think my parents would pay for my airfares and hotels.(Come on, for a trip to a foreign country for a scholarship that they've never heard of before? It sounds like a nice excuse to go for a short trip with some high school buddies.)

Who knows, some students who came from a humble beginning may just have to give up their dreams of studying abroad just because the "barrier to entry" for the scholarship is too high.

I think it will still be cheaper to fly 2 MOE officials to interview 10 potential candidates locally. Or how about having a web-conference meeting in the Consulate?

To me, it doesn't make business sense neither. From a business recruiting perspective, the company usually pays for all the transportation and hotel for the interviewees if they made it to the final on-site interview.

I know, Singapore is the only country in Asia which offered such a "lucrative" scholarship for high school students. In a way, it's a monopoly and of course they can set their own rules and do whatever they want. :) But still, it doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.


Anonymous said...

i was forced to take the exam for the scholarships. but I knew I didn't want it. So I went to write the exam unprepared. But gosh, even though i bust my ass for this exam, I doubt I would make it.

yync said...

How did that turn out? Did you fly to S'pore for the interview?

terymun said...

well, there are so many things being done in this small tropical island that dont make much sense(whether business or common sense). I would definitely be one of the those who could never pass the barrier of entry. in that case it would be the island's loss cos there would be one less reproductive woman available ;p