Buying a house is the biggest investment for most people. The second biggest “investment” for most people in their lifetime will be paying for their children’s education. Those of you who have no child to feed, you are lucky and get to enjoy your hard earn money on yourself 🙂
If you have been a follower of mine, you will know that I have been bragging about my children being accepted into world’s top 50 universities ranked for Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy and Accounting. Yes, all I get from “investing” in my children’s education are bragging rights as I won’t get any monetary returns from them but it actually makes me poorer by the day!
In Malaysia we have so many universities nowadays and with PTPTN Education Loan, almost everyone can enter university. With PTPTN, parents do not need to “suffer” so much because they can past on part of their child’s education cost to the child where the child will need to repay the education loan.
UNIVERSITIES YOU SHOULD ONLY BURN YOUR MONEY ON YOUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION
Now, if your child is considering going to UK for a Law Degree, one would think that Singapore, a Commowealth nation, would recognized any Law Degree from UK. Well, Singapore only recognized Law Degree from 11 UK universities!!! See the list below:
So what’s above got to do with your child who does not intend to be admitted into Singapore Bar? Nothing as far as your child is concerned but it may affect you, This is what will happen – you are bragging to someone that your child graduated with a 1st Class Honours Law Degree from a UK university (not listed above) and then the other person tells you that you wasted lots of money on your child because your son’s degree is deemed useless by the Singapore government!!! You will lose face big time, hahaha.
Seriously, if you are going to burn lots of money on your child’s overseas education, especially Professional Degrees, make sure that the degree he/she is pursuing is recognized worldwide. Did you know that Australia Professional Bodies do not even recognize a single degree conferred by our local universities (maybe with the exception of a few degrees conferred by Monash University Malaysia). So if you are sending your child overseas, the safest bet is that your child enters a university ranked in the World’s Top 100 by subject so that he/she can work anywhere on earth. If your child degree is not recognized worldwide, then what’s the point of sending him/her overseas and burning your hard earn money in the first place? Might as while do it locally and save tons of money.
And if you want to know what universities are good, very easy, check out what universities are approved by the kiasu Singapore Professional Boards/Councils, hahahaha.
For the full list of universities where their Law Degrees are approved by the Ministry of Law Singapore – click here. I am surprised that Law Degrees from 4 USA universities are recognized.
For the full list of universities where their Engineering Degrees are approved by the Ministry of National Development Singapore – click here. Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Degrees from University of Malaya (UM) are recognized, that shows that at least UM Engineering Degrees are on par with other top universities worldwide.
For the full list of universities where their Medicine Degrees are approved by Singapore Medical Council – click here. It fantastic to know that two universities in Malaysia are approved, i.e. University of Malaya (UM) and University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).
For the full list of universities where their Pharmacy Degrees are approved by Singapore Pharmacy Council – click here. Only Pharmacy Degree from University Sains Malaysia (USM) is approved! Why UM Pharmacy Degree not recognized?
Now, from the above links, you can see for yourself that not a single Malaysia private university Engineering or Law or Medicine or Pharmacy degrees are approved by the Singapore Professional Boards/Councils! I was really surprised to learn this. Like I mentioned, some degrees from Monash Malaysia, may be recognized by Australia Professional Boards but Singapore don’t recognized them (or is it because the Degree is conferred by Monash University Australia where students do attend their convocation in Melbourne?). What even surprised me is that University Sains Malaysia Pharmacy degree is recognized by Singapore Pharmacy Council but not the one from University Malaya!!!
For other degrees recognized by Singapore government, just google it 🙂
A NOTE TO THOSE WHO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
Now, for those of you who are sending your children to International Schools – if your child intends to pursue a Professional Degree from anywhere on earth, he/she may not be able to register with the relevant Professional Boards in Malaysia when he/she returns because he will need SPM BM!!! So, unless you own a business/company for him/her to take over and be the boss, most probably he/she will have to work overseas and earn big bucks (compared to Ringgit), which in turn means that you will be lonely when you are old.
ARE OVERSEAS DEGREES WORTH IT?
In respect of this subject, I can only tell you from my own experience.
While in USA pursuing my undergraduate and post graduate Engineering Degree, and because of the education system in USA, I had to take some humanities courses in addition to the science/engineering courses; and this has benefited me tremendously. I applied what I learned from my Psychology 101 and Logic 101 to my daily life and also in my children’s upbringing. I found that the time I had spent in USA have made me more knowledgeable, independent and self-reliant.
When my eldest son finished SPM/high school at the age of 16 (I enrolled him into Standard 1 at the age of 6, at that time it was still allowed in private schools until the current PM was made Education Minister more than 2 decades ago), I immediately sent him to a Top 10 USA Engineering University because he had no clear ambition at that time (I asked him to pursue a MBBS but he refused), hahaha. FYI, my son took SAT exams prior to his SPM exams and was offered places in USA Universities even before his SPM results were out. He has since then subsequently obtained a Masters of Engineering from an Ivy League University (among the best Unis in the world). And because he graduated from amongst the best universities in the world, he had no problems being accepted into a World’s Top 50 Medical School in Australia. Today, he is in his 3rd Year of a 4 Year post graduate Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) in Australia and I get to tell him “I Told You So” (for not listening to me earlier when I advised him to pursue a MBBS degree after high school) whenever I want to indicate to him that I am smarter than him, hahaha.
Every person that I know who graduated from a USA university is doing pretty well. All my uni-mates’ children have either graduated from unis or are pursuing their undergraduate degrees and many are from overseas universities (a couple of them even doctors in UK).
Here is another example, last year my cousin who graduated from University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Accountancy, had no problems getting a job with the Big 4s (the 4 Largest Accounting Firms on earth); and not just any job but a specific job that she had wanted, i.e. investments/consultancy/projects. She only searched for a job a month or two after graduating because she went holidaying in Europe. Actually, most of her friends who graduated with B.Comm from University of Melbourne were offered jobs by the Big 4s even prior to them graduating!!! Did you know that many of our major leading Public Listed companies go to Melbourne to attract/interview our Malaysian students before they graduate and they participate in job fairs there too.
Like we Hokkien people say – “kia beh tak chair tau kak tia, kia a tak chair pun tau kak tia”. Translated it means, we get a headache when our child cannot study but we also get a headache when our child can study, hahaha.
Well, the only thing I have gained so far, “monetary” wise, from paying my children’s tuition fees, is that I get to fly Business Class for “FREE”. You see, for every RM0.954 I spent on their tuition fee using my Maybank 2 Cards Premier Visa Infinite, I can earn myself 1 Enrich Mile or 1 KrisFlyer Mile. I have managed to redeem more than 10 return Business Class KL/London for my family members and myself (in 2014, 2015 and 2016). In mid 2016, I took my wife and 3 children to Europe on 5 Free Business Class tickets KL/London complimentary of Maybank 2 Cards Premier worth more RM70K!!!
So, if you have children studying overseas where you can pay their tuition fees with credit cards (note: Australia Universities do not impose any surcharge for credit card payments unlike most unis in USA), then you should get the RHB Premier Banking Visa Infinite which is currently the best credit card to accumulate Enrich Miles for FREE. To read my review of the RHB Premier Visa Infinite, click here.