Letter of the week: NTU should not be faulted for exclusive job fair

Mr Ethan Chong's letter has brought some pragmatism into the emotive elitism debate (GPA represents undergrads' hard work over long period of time; Oct 13).

Why must Nanyang Technological University (NTU) succumb to populist pressure and apologise for holding a job fair exclusively for students with top grades?

Was it the one and only job fair organised by NTU and were there no other fairs that were open to all? Why can't NTU organise both general and targeted job fairs?

Who is to tell employers whom they should and should not target and what weight they should give to grades?

Employers live with the consequences of their decisions and know their needs best.

If they tell NTU that there are certain vacancies for which they would like to consider only students with top grades, should NTU be barred from providing such a service to employers?

If all job openings must be open to all students, then shouldn't headhunters be banned and all openings mandated to be openly advertised?

Employers all over the world regularly target certain students for certain jobs.

Some have even established relationships with professors so that they can be tipped off on graduating bright students, whom they then approach well before these students graduate.

Should professors be banned from recommending students based on criteria spelt out by employers?

We had better grow up, or we will be left behind in the global quest for talent.

Yes, NTU could be faulted for organising a job fair for top students in a manner not sufficiently sensitive to the feelings of the general student body.

But it does not follow that universities should either organise fairs open to all, or not at all.

In recent years, the legitimate call for inclusiveness has many a time slipped dangerously into anti-talent political correctness.

This spells disastrous consequences for a country like Singapore, which has nothing to rely on except people and talent.

Cheng Shoong Tat

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