More students are choosing the local study route as Covid-19 fears derail foreign education plans.
In response, some universities like Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have opened new enrollment dates and conducted information sessions for this segment of graduates. They have confirmed that the change will be permanent, which means that subsequent cohorts will also begin their academic year in September.
The other universities also entertained applications from students who have decided against overseas studies, but applicants were required to write directly to the universities and wait for assessment. Additionally, students who are midway through their studies at overseas universities and are unable to continue with them, can sign up for modular courses offered by the local universities or enrol for a semester.
Financial internships such as Citi Singapore and OCBC Bank are continuing to offer internships and jobs to fresh graduates who face a tough hiring climate due to Covid-19. These initiatives go beyond government-led efforts such as the paid traineeships scheme that was announced last month. These offers include the potential for a job offer upon completion of the internship, as well as other incentives.
Some firms will be taking advantage of the $6 million Fintech Solidarity Grant to help pay for their day-to-day expenses, including the salaries of undergraduate interns. It aims to be a shot in the arm for the industry during the ongoing public health crisis, and complements the $125 million support package for the financial services and fintech sectors announced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in April.
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) has partnered with Shopee, well-known internet commerce platform, to launch Shopee-SUTD bond-free scholarships as well as dialogue sessions. In a joint statement, they declared their aim to enable “financially disadvantaged” students to pursue an education in technology and design. Four Singaporean undergraduates from the university will receive full, four-year scholarships starting from the academic year 2020 intake, with no bond period or other requirements.
Shopee, SUTD and New York -listed Sea will also hold dialogues among themselves to combine SUTD’s educational expertise with Shopee’s industry know-how, regional presence and ecosystem. These scholarships and dialogues build on Shopee’s ongoing initiatives with SUTD, which include internship programmes, knowledge-sharing sessions, and project sponsorships.
Students at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have been given the option to take selected massive open online courses (Moocs) as part of their undergraduate studies. They can access the courses on platforms such as Coursera and edX, and can earn credits worth up to 12 academic units - equivalent to three to five courses - that can be counted towards their graduation requirements. Students can take the courses at any time and at their own pace.
The offer is open to students starting at NTU as well, as they can earn credits for the Moocs on the university’s pre-approved list that they successfully complete within three years before their matriculation.
Professor Ling San, NTU deputy president and provost, said: “Ultimately, we hope that this new initiative will inspire our students to become self-directed lifelong learners and enhance their personal development and potential. Applying the knowledge gained from Moocs to real-life problems will also give students a competitive edge in their career.”
Singaporean mixed martial artist Amir Khan has returned to school. Thanks to his partnership with PSB Academy, the ONE Championship fighter will embark on this learning journey with the local educational institute.
PSB Academy will be sponsoring Amir’s education journey until he graduates with a Bachelor in Sports and Exercise Science. In return, he will take on the role of PSB Academy’s student ambassador, where he will engage his classmates and the community about PSB’s sport science programmes.
The mixed martial artist is excited to discover the intricacies of health and fitness: “Studying Sport Science will provide me with insights to improve my performance as a pro MMA athlete. Not only will I use this knowledge to upgrade myself, but I will also use it to educate and help others stay fit and healthy.”