JC/poly divide revisited; Asians dominate UC campuses’ admissions

April 24, 2006 at 1:43 pm 3 comments

It’s no secret who’s better
By Adeline Koh

I HATE to be blunt, but JC students are better than polytechnic students, period.

Politically incorrect I may sound, but here are the facts.

Entry requirements at JCs are far more stringent than those at polys.

As a result, large numbers of students who do not make the cut for JCs are ‘forced’ to opt for a poly education.
Those who enter polys of their own choice remain the exception, rather than the rule.

Also, when the Public Service Commission awards scholarships to Singapore’s best and brightest, they look to JCs, not polytechnics.

Yes, polys have improved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go before the average poly student matches up to the average JC student.

Sad to say, but this is an open secret.

The writer is doing English honours at the National University of Singapore

Taken from Xue. Sad to see this debate continuing – Sense of self-worth being dependent on where one attended school. There’s also the ‘top’ vs ‘bottom’ JC divide.

—————————————————————————-

Now it’s not just at the graduate (engr and sciences) level. I guess the stereotyping will continue, on an even bigger scale. Asian (Americans) are now the only minority group not given/considered for any kind of affirmative action on US campuses, compared to the Hispanics or blacks.

Posted on Thu, Apr. 20, 2006
Asians surpass mark at UC
WHITE ADMISSIONS FALL TO SECOND PLACE FOR THE FIRST TIME
By Lisa M. Krieger and Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News

Californians of Asian descent won more spots in this fall’s freshman class at the University of California than any other ethnic group, edging out white students for the first time.

The milestone follows a steady climb among Asians in the state’s leading public university system. Asians account for 36 percent of California residents admitted to study at UC schools, though they make up only 14 percent of seniors projected to graduate from the state’s public high schools.

By comparison, white students comprised 35.6 percent of those accepted; Latinos, 17.6 percent; African-Americans, 3.4 percent; and American Indians, 0.6 percent.

The increase in students of Asian descent shows up on campus in what some students proudly call “an Asian feeling” — but some say it also can translate into tension among students competing for desired spots in UC’s highly regarded schools, not to mention grades in classes. And it reflects a mix of factors, including strong performance in high school and the university system’s outreach to poorer students, including many new immigrants from Asia.

College counselors say Asian parents tend to focus on UC because it’s affordable, prestigious and offers high value for the cost. Asian students also applied to UC schools at higher rates than other students and are more likely to enroll if admitted, officials said.

“Culturally, there is a huge emphasis on education in the Asian community. The kids work very hard, academically,” said Purvi Mody, co-owner of Insight Education college counseling in Cupertino. “And the UCs offer brand-name recognition.

“Generally speaking, kids from other ethnic cultures tend to be more willing to move away from home and be open-minded about schools that may be very far away,” she added.

Asian students are also more likely than those from other ethnic groups, including whites, to have a parent with a college education, said economist Deborah Reed of the Public Policy Institute of California.

“It correlates with books and computers in the home — and a certain expectation about going to college, as well as how to prepare and apply to college,” Reed said.

Students say they feel the growing Asian presence. “If you look around the room and count the people, a lot are Asian,” said Insiyah Nomanbhoy, 19, of Cupertino, who is a freshman at UCLA.

Nomanbhoy, whose father is from Pakistan and mother is from Sri Lanka, graduated from Castilleja High School, a private all-girls school in Palo Alto. She applied to five UC schools as well as some private ones, including Stanford University, which she didn’t get into.

The clincher for choosing a UC school for Nomanbhoy was the price.

“UC is a great deal,” she said. Her tuition and housing come to about $20,000 a year — about half the price of Stanford, she said.

Nomanbhoy said she feels more comfortable with so many Asians on campus, but she sometimes perceives some discomfort from non-Asians.

“I’ve heard some Caucasian people say, `I’m in that class with Asians, so how can I expect to do really well?’ I think that’s just an excuse.”

UC staff, faculty and administration remain largely white, despite the changing student body, said L. Ling-chi Wang, chairman of UC-Berkeley’s ethnic studies department.

He also said campus services, such as counseling and cultural activities, have not shifted to reflect the growth in numbers of Asian students.

While proud of Asian students — “they should be rewarded for working hard,” he said — Wang worries about the loss of diversity on campus. “I personally enjoy teaching classes that have a good mix of races. It is more enriching and challenging to have a diversity of backgrounds,” he said.

He also worries about an anti-Asian backlash from youth who feel excluded from the UCs. The solution is to open more campuses, Wang believes, and reach out to under-served groups.

“Since the mid-1980s, all the campuses have been inching in that direction” of increased Asians, he said.

“It is a very important challenge to the future of race relations in California,” he said. “In some ways, the UCs are 15 to 20 years ahead of the rest of the state. In this way, we are seeing further down the road.”

For more information about UC’s admitted students, see: http://www.ucop.edu/news/factsheets/fall2006adm.html
Contact Lisa M Krieger at (650) 688-7565 or lkrieger@mercurynews.com

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

On Social Protocols, Duties and Opportunities Ego Boosting/ Sian Char Boh sites; JC Principal’s Opening Address

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. serendipity  |  April 24, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    of course JC people are generally smarter than poly students. But it’s the jc-transferred poly students who actually know what they want to pursue in life at an early age and therefore they opt to go to polytechnic to receive a more specialised education.

    I think the government should not be so narrow-minded and turn a blind eye to all outstanding poly students. Mind you, the tougher courses like biomedical science actually requires much more discipline and research in order to achieve good grades! That’s why my fried got the Lee Kuan Yew award and went on the papers.

    Even after admitting in one of the top JC i decided to transfer to poly and I have never regretted my choice because like I’ve said, I have become more disciplined and better adept to research and have no problems adapting to university since most of the modules have already been taught in polytechnic.

    I think if outstanding polytechnic students are given a choice to be given scholarships, they will do much better than some JC students.

    Reply
  • 2. L'oiseau rebelle  |  April 25, 2006 at 12:18 am

    Ok, here goes:

    I HATE to be blunt, but JC students are better than polytechnic students, period.
    Ah, the thesis statement. English major, right?

    Politically incorrect I may sound, but here are the facts.
    You’ve warned us, you’re politically incorrect and blunt.

    Entry requirements at JCs are far more stringent than those at polys.
    JC entry requirements are entirely based on a set of arbitrary numbers. So JC students study better than poly students.

    As a result, large numbers of students who do not make the cut for JCs are ‘forced’ to opt for a poly education.
    Those who enter polys of their own choice remain the exception, rather than the rule.

    So the majority of poly students have worse study skills than JC students.

    Also, when the Public Service Commission awards scholarships to Singapore’s best and brightest, they look to JCs, not polytechnics.
    That’s their loss. And is PSC really that infallable?

    Yes, polys have improved in recent years, but there is still a long way to go before the average poly student matches up to the average JC student.
    It’s a long way before poly students study as well as JC students.

    Sad to say, but this is an open secret.
    It’s also an open secret that there are many cases that poly grads get paid more than uni grads.

    And how does your argument support your thesis statement? Isn’t the appropriate thesis statement “JC students are better at studying that poly students”?

    Reply

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