JC grads who don't qualify for local unis overlooked

I applaud the Government for recognising that there are many students who are late bloomers and may mature academically during their polytechnic years (Uni admissions: Poly grads' O-level grades to be dropped from 2020; Nov 9).

As an educator, I would like to highlight a batch of students who are constantly overlooked: junior college graduates who do not qualify for local universities and may not have the finances to study abroad. Every academic year, there must be a few thousands of them.

The Government should do a detailed study on the impact of them going to private universities in Singapore and whether these degrees are recognised in the civil service, the extra financial burden this brings to families, how difficult it is for them to get a job after graduation, whether the pay is equitable and the difficulty of academic debt repayment.

The Government should be upfront in telling the general population that the route to higher education appears to be more likely now with a polytechnic diploma, as the JC route appears to be the road less travelled these days.

I feel that JC graduates rejected by the local universities are also a big potential economic loss to Singapore because they were once the "early bloomers".

Colin Ong Tau Shien

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2018, with the headline 'JC grads who don't qualify for local unis overlooked'. Print Edition | Subscribe