PSC should sponsor courses aligned with public service

Scholarship recipients recite the PSC Scholarship Holder's Pledge at the 2019 PSC Scholarships Award Ceremony.
Scholarship recipients recite the PSC Scholarship Holder's Pledge at the 2019 PSC Scholarships Award Ceremony.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

I have some concerns about the Public Service Commission (PSC) granting a scholarship to a recipient to do a Master in Buddhist Studies at Oxford University (From sleeping in void decks to enrolling at Oxford, July 18).

Considering that PSC scholarships are funded by public money, may I ask on what basis or justification does PSC sponsor courses that would seem to be aligned more with private pursuit than public service?

And why choose to do Buddhist studies at a high-cost, elitist tertiary institution in a high-cost country when there is no lack of Buddhist institutions of learning here?

What is the cost of doing the Master in Buddhist Studies course at Oxford?

How does such a PSC scholarship bring useful or meaningful value to Singapore, compared with scholarships for, say, science, technical, engineering or mathematics courses, or courses on economics, finance or cyber security?

Stanley Ong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'PSC should sponsor courses aligned with public service'. Print Edition | Subscribe