Sunday, March 4, 2012

Excellent in school, mediocre at uni

I would not be able to claim I really have the statistics to back up my claim.

But too many times the past 6 years I had more than just browsed resumes. At times I even scrutinized them. I had to, I had no choice. I can't afford to make too many mistakes in hiring.

Resumes would come from all sort of students from everywhere. Local Unis and abroad. Well known ones, or from non-descript colleges, I have seen many. I am not sure if there are correlations - may be it will be difficult to find statistically-agreed correlation. 

But taking out non-descript local colleges (such as those from Pahang or Terengganu), and taking into consideration only major local unis (such as UM, UTM etc) and excellent uni from abroad (Manchester, Monash etc), I found this disturbing trend.

Too many of our students have 10 As in SPM, and 3.5 CGPA or above at matric level, but 2.5 CGPA or lower at the degree level. (Supposedly) Excellent at school, but mediocre at the university level.

Top students in school, but barely passing their courses at university.

Best students at MRSM, but they left university bruised, beaten and battered.

And we are not even talking about Harvard or Yale or Cambridge.

If there are such thing call peaking up in term of performances, one should want to do it at the higest level. If you are a sport person, you would want your pinnacle of achievement to be at a World's meet or Olympic, and not say at Kuala Lumpur Open.

Peaking up too early is a bane to our education system.

You would see this from all corners of our education system. MRSMers, government boarding schools, and normal schools. It knows no discrimination.

Great results for SPM, but mediocre at uni level. Here at the university, understanding the concept of one's discipline plays a major roles for the next 30 years of your career, so you would want to do well as your life will depend on it.

Yeah yeah, first class uni degree will not necessarily means you would be successful in your career. It very much depends on EQ, attitude and drives. 

I know that but you would hear this typically from the mediocre students. 

They need to justify their existence for sure.

Our students should try to excel at the university level and while achieving excellent results at the uni, know that their university education is not a be all and end all. Education is life-long, eventhough this sounds like cliche at times.

I think as parents we should push our children to excel, but at the right level and not at the expense of learning. Learning is first and foremost (in objectives) for our education system, but our students should strive to improve their level as they progress through each level of their education.


This is very important if we were to succeed as a nation.


About the only excellent results that I have heard from university level would be from masscom or admin students. These are areas our students excel at. If they are taking engineering, medicine, forget it.

Ooops, sorry I was wrong. I have seen excellent university level results in engineering. They were from the Chinese students. Really excellent results.

I would like to call for us to relook at our education philosophy and revamp the system.