Undergrad By Day

Monday, May 22, 2006

Eh, my school better than your school okay...

SMU has been struggling to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the local arena of universities for the last 6 years. One of the many things that I take as a sign of its success is the reaction of the other two universities when SMU burst onto the scene. I find some of them really quite entertaining.

Take Miss Ng’s New Paper article on 19th May 2006 about her SMU exchange experience for example. After gushing on how she was enjoying the perks of life in a city campus, she went on to say that she found the inter-disciplinary discussions in a 3-hour interactive seminar too confusing to follow. Well, I do agree it is hard to have and understand long thought-provoking discussions with views from multiple disciplines after so many years of one-way learning. One really has to get used to it.

She went on to say how she preferred her one to two hour-long lectures to the interactive seminars in SMU. My personal motto on this is “to each his own”. I’ve tried a lecture-based system during my Junior College days and have never failed to fall asleep in every single one. Each of us has our own preferred way of learning. SMU’s unique pedagogy has allowed me to stay awake and be part of the lesson. I heartily believe I owe my current first class honors GPA to it, compared to my failing grades in JC.

Hype or not, SMU has established itself as a force to be reckoned with. It offers a different form of tertiary education and I believe the nation is better for it. Its success does not in any way make the other two universities any less and it is best if everyone understands that.

Article Link

I honestly couldn't be bothered with a retort but JZ asked me to look through his. I found his quite a friendly and politically-correct reply, which got me started on a more fiery one.

Still, there are very few things that will motivate me to start mud-slinging rebuttals in a tabloid newspaper. Less inhibitions about doing on a blog though.

My school ten times better than your school okay.. no my school an infinity plus one times better than your school okay!


  • At 3:22 PM, Anonymous diarna said…

    yeah, amazing how my friends who couldn't make it into nus, ntu ended up in smu... then now they're the ones who don't end up in nie, having real jobs... and a "branded" degree.

    anyway, i'm kinda reluctant to give my blog add cos i use my blog to keep in touch with my relatives in kl. yeah, even my grand uncle reads it! i'm afraid someone might write in puns or worse, use profanities accidentally. can i trust you? :-) then again, due to the restrictions, it's very boring mundane stuff.

  • At 3:31 PM, Blogger KiWeTO said…

    Such competition is so infantile, we really need to grow up as a society.

    One alternative is to 'rise' above petty nitpicking, and let our results speak for themselves. In 10 years we will know whether our approach produces better quality PMEBs, or theirs. (must remember to compare oranges with oranges, and exclude their engineering & hard sciences schools!)

    I'm not sure wot JZ wrote in his 'retort', but it might be better to not say anything.

    As for the whole issue of pedagogy, the paradox in her article was that she wanted an exchange, then complained that she couldn't understand the different culture. What was she seeking in an exchange then?

    I guess the only thing we can say is maybe NUS needs to train their students to appreciate other perspectives and the value of them, rather than complain that the world is not like them. (or maybe its just symptomatic of the SG education system where there is only 1 way of doing things?! reflects SG's attempts to globalize.)

    oh well.


  • At 6:47 PM, Blogger undergradbyday said…

    hi diarna, no worries. i would say that i'm someone who doesn't betray a trust but i haven't done anything to gain yours yet.

    but i wouldn't say teaching isnt a real job. =p

    and kiweto, i agree. you've just finished up the rest of the points of the entry for me. haha.

  • At 7:19 PM, Anonymous JZ said…

    Mr Ong, i posted it here. www.jzineurope.blogspot.com

    how r u holding up in frankfurt?

  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger Diarna said…

    i guess i unconsciously said teaching isn't a real job cos it's back to the education line where we came from, school (pri, sec). so in effect, it's not really working to me.

    ps: i taught at NASS for half r after the A's, and man, it was tiring. i had to 'be the student' to become a teacher... so it's MORE than a job, and it revolves around the syllabus and the school. that, to me, isn't a job i want. must broaden outlook mah...

    pps: you have the link to my blog now, but don't link me in your site. i don't want ppl to blog-hop and accidentally say something wrong. remember, it is a "family-friendly blog" consisting of readers aged 12-80. hehe...

  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger [F][e][L][i][X] said…

    KW is right, ultimately the retorts and the "war of words" about who's uni is better is just another marketing gimmick for both universities. Notice how our dear university tries to squeeze out maximum coverage on "SMU in the News"???

    I sincerely hope though, that 10-20 yrs down the line we have a cohord of people in top management, all SMU alumni of course. Heh heh~


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