I REFER to the article headlined “New 120,000-foreign student target for varsities” (The Star, April 18) and that a target of 80,000 foreign students was achieved in March.
I reacted to the news with both delight and anxiety. The large number of foreign students seeking higher education in our country is indeed a positive sign that we are moving towards truly globalising our tertiary education.
Besides increasing the revenue from foreign exchange and strengthening the use of the English language as the medium of instruction in local universities, the large presence of foreign students will provide a platform for local students to mingle with them.
On the negative side, it is worrying to see an increasing number of seats in universities, especially public universities, being lost to foreign students. I hope our children will still be able to get a place when they qualify. I also hope that universities will be more transparent in announcing the total number of places available in any intake and the number reserved for foreign students. It is truly worrying to hear that the Higher Education Ministry has set a figure of 120,000 as the next target.
Won’t this deprive locals even more opportunities to study in a local university?