While I agree that soliciting views from the alumni of the various universities would be useful in deciding which university to attend, it should not play a disproportionate part in a prospective undergraduate's decision ("Seek out alumni when looking at varsity options" by Mr Liu Fook Thim; April 27).
Universities, especially the ones in Singapore, are constantly evolving and adapting to new opportunities and fields, and alumni may have had a vastly different experience during their undergraduate days, especially if they graduated many years ago.
Parents, in particular, should rein in their expectations that their children attend their alma mater and not exert undue influence on their children's choices. The choice of a university should be based on objective measures and on dispassionate and unbiased grounds rather than on sentimental reasons.
My husband and I are alumni of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and we had naturally preferred our daughter to attend our alma mater when she was applying for her undergraduate studies two years ago.
I had envisioned her being immersed in the same milieu that played a huge part in our lives, and entertained rosy notions of her following in our footsteps.
However, she eventually opted for Nanyang Technological University (NTU) as she was selected for a special programme which did not have an equivalent in NUS.
I was disappointed that she would not be carrying on our tradition, but deferred to her decision.
It was fortunate that she joined NTU as she decided to change her major during her first year, which this programme allowed her to do, without having to start from scratch.
If I had managed to convince her to opt for NUS, she might not have had this flexibility.
Current students will give a more accurate and contemporary perspective on the characteristics of a particular university than alumni.
Prospective undergraduates should attend the various universities' Open House and other information sessions, and keep an open mind so as to make an informed decision on their choice of university, as well as that of their course.
Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)