He said the department would be working with the Education Ministry to review and better manage the selection of students to ensure that the awarding of scholarships was done in a just and fair manner.Update: Read also good article in the Sun which asked for the disclosure of selection criteria for PSD scholarships.
“Students applying for PSD scholarships should also realise that there are many professions to choose from and they should not just keep focusing on one or two professions, like medicine, for example. They have to understand our resources are limited and there is intense competition for scholarships,” he said.
... it is hopeful of making the students less unhappy with the ongoing review of its procedures and selection criteria.
When there are set principles based on merit, the selection becomes a routine exercise. But if other factors and unseen hands come into the picture, critics are likely to have a field day.I'd strongly suggest that PSD obtain professional feedback from the public and the community in order to improve and make transparent all the relevant criteria and processes in the application and award of scholarships. In addition, PSD should also review the colleges and universities which they are sending our Malaysian students to - many of which are unfortunately, second and third rate. We should seek to improve our award standards by only awarding scholarships to candidates who have successfully applied to the world's top universities.
As much as we do not particularly enjoy "copying" from our neighbours, Singapore has done will in attracting and awarding the top students of the country (and region) to pursue their higher education in the top-top universities in the world. When I was at Oxford, I could count the number of Malaysians who pursued their education there with just about one hand every year. However, I would know of at least 20-30 candidates entering Oxford University from Singapore on a yearly basis - achieved pretty much with the support of the Singapore Public Service Commission (PSC) as well as it's government linked companies scholarship schemes. I am certain that Malaysian students do not fare worse than our counterparts across the causeway.
For more scholarship stories - read my posts here, here, here and here. :)