Uncertainty over Academic Grades
NTU students do not know what our exact grades are. It is not enough to know that
we received a B or C for our projects and assignments, as within a grade there
is still a wide variation of marks. If knowing our exact grades is not possible,
then we should at least have a more graduated system, ie. B+, B, B-, as NUS has,
in order for us to better understand where our strengths and weaknesses are. Such
a system would also have the effect of making us strive harder in our studies,
to not be content with a simple B, but to go for a B+ or even an A- instead.
For Final Year Projects, it would be useful if we were informed of our supervisor's
and moderators' marks, and whether any moderation was subsequently done by the
school to determine whether a FYP gets a certain grade. Considering the immense
work of work that goes into the completion of each FYP, such moderations are of
great interest to us, lest our final grade become a complete mystery to us.
The distribution of marks over the years should be revealed as we have heard persistent
rumours about just how they are distributed. The most common being that first
year grades constitute only 10% of the final marks, second year for 20%, third
year for 30%, and fourth year for 40%, or that it is equal distribution throughout
all the years. It would be good to end this speculation, and to find out why there
is such a distribution in the first place.
A Grade Point Average system as is practiced in the US could be implemented to
help us be better aware of our honours classification, and to gauge where we stand
in relation to the rest of the cohort. A 4.0 GPA would mean getting straight As,
while a 3.0 GPA would mean getting straight Bs.
Insufficient General Electives
Currently, some degree courses such as Accounting allow for only 4.0 AUs worth
of GEs throughout their course of study. This is insufficient and does not allow
for the opportunity to explore other areas of academic interest which would enable
us to experience a more all-rounded education. 4.0Aus is mere tokenism. We therefore
recommend that the number of academic units for core and prescribed subjects be
reduced in order for more opportunities to offer for GEs, so that a more balanced
education can be received.
Student exchange for all
The requirement that a student has to be in the top 50% of the cohort or have
a B average in order to qualify for overseas exchange should be dropped. For the
benefit of the student, all who are keen should be allowed to go for exchange.
The availability of vacancies and ability of students to source for vacancies
and subject considerations should be the sole determinants. In order to facilitate
more student exchanges, we hope that NTU will be more aggressive in its search
for other universities who want exchanges with NTU.
Less Weightage on Examinations
There should be less weightage placed on examinations. In the pressure cooker
environment of the examination hall, mistakes are inevitable. And considering
that examinations can constitute up to 70% of our final grade, minor mistakes
have a significant impact. Weightage of examination marks should not be more than
50% for courses which are practical rather than theory based.
It may not be a practice yet at the tertiary level, but students should be allowed
to go through their examination scripts with their lecturers if they opt to. Alternatively,
a written review of the script would highlight and correct any mistakes or misconceptions
a student might have and reduce the occurrence of such in the future. It would
also be useful if comments and corrections about the work are made available as
they would be useful in helping us to identify mistakes, and possibly improve
Professional Internships / Industrial Attachments
Having to pay school fees makes no sense, especially since we do not make use
of the schools' facilities such as laboratories and studios during this time.
The argument that our schools and the Office of Professional Attachments makes
the arrangements for our internships and therefore deserve to be paid does not
hold water. We therefore request that payment of school fees be reduced to a reasonable
amount during the period of our internships / attachments.
If students are offered administrative jobs that are unrelated to their field
of study, OPA should reject such positions and source for other companies. We
understand that this is not always possible in light of the current economic situation,
but every effort should be made to ensure that students have a meaningful internship
It is our experience that fortnightly reports that are submitted to our internship
supervisors are considered as mere formalities. In some cases, these are not read
at all, and some tutors have dispensed altogether with the practice after 2 reports.
Students too treat these reports as formalities, and end up repeating previous
reports as the nature of their jobs is repetitive. We therefore recommend that
students be required to submit just a mid term and end term report.
Most graduating students do not feel a strong connection to NTU, even those who
active in school and Hall activities. We therefore applaud the moves
that President Su Guaning is making, by instilling the Nantah spirit in the freshmen.
However, we hope that as the latest batch of students to join the NTU Alumni,
that we are not forgotten. The simple act of acting on the alumni's feedback and
informing them of the progress of implementation will go a long way in making
them feel appreciated, and may lead to more students being pro-active and contribute
to NTU in whatever way they can.