Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sorry tale of local professors in Singapore

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Dear Mr. Tan

For those who are academically inclined, one common dream is to become a university professor. For many countries in the world, this is a position worth aspiring to as professorship carries prestige and comfortable income. For Singaporeans who aspire to become professors in Singapore, it is sad to say that based on the happenings in a local university over the last few years, they found it a nightmare. 

In this university, many Singaporean professors have been fired when they reach the age of around 55 (much lower than the national retirement age). Many of these professors have contributed to the development of the university for more than 20 years. And to add insult to injury, many of the university management who decided to fire them are actually foreigners. 

When the university recruit new professors, many of them are also foreigners and some of them are in their 60s or even late 60s. As the university is heavily subsidised with Singapore money, is it not more logical to hire Singaporeans so that the money is invested back to Singaporeans? Instead, the money is now used by foreigners for their career advancement or retirement outside Singapore. 

This situation is particularly sad as Singaporeans have worked very hard to accumulate this wealth. So why let foreigners enjoy the fruits of Singaporean labour? And to add to the irony, many of the Singaporean ex-professors do not have enough savings for their retirement. They have to make a career switch at the age of 55 – is this not a nightmare?  Even though this situation has been going for quite some time, it is not a lost cause. The Singapore government can reverse the situation to demonstrate that they truly place Singaporeans first.

Local professor


captaincaveman said...

The fact is that Singaporeans are being replaced at every sector of the society by the foreigners.

I find it sad that the professor still hoping that this government will help to turn things around for Singaporeans. The only way to turn things around and ensure that Singaporeans really come first is to get rid of the source of all these problems - vote out the miw.

zhummmeng said...

This is a manipulation to create vacancies for their own academic compatriots.It is not uncommon. I wonder our govt is abetting in this manipulation.

Vincent said...

Professor got no money for retirement??? This is news to me.

Geekonomy said...

@Vincent: Big cars and houses, that what he means. No money, still have assets.

Ponder Stibbons said...

Another issue is that Singaporeans who apply for academic positions are not eligible for housing and moving allowances, even if they own no property in Sg, have no CPF, and are applying from overseas.

Foreigners get housing and moving allowances. This is effectively paying foreigners more than Singaporeans for the same job.

As someone who intends to get an academic job, this is one major reason why I would prefer to not work in Singapore.

veronika said...

It simply means many people here do not meet the requirements of the employers.

Which suggests 3 things:

A) The education pathways do not produce candidates that suit industry

B) Industries are not being honest or clear about what they want from candidates

C) Relevant Skills and knowledge in the world change too fast that education is unable to keep pace.

akikonomu said...

The issue here is in many fields, top professors often publish their best, most creative and revolutionary work when they are in their 60s and beyond.

THIS is what's at stake here when professors in Singapore are fired when they hit 55.

THIS is what's at stake when they're replaced by older foreign profs.

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