Singapore aims to launch its first pilot for work-study programmes in universities in 2017, announced Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills).

The programme will be “a cooperation between universities and industries, where students spend half or more of their time at the workplace”, he said at an education forum on Saturday. Students will alternate between the university and company on a semestral basis.

The scheme will be led by the Singapore Institute of Technology and SIM University. They will partner with companies like SingTel, Singapore Power, The Ascott, CapitaLand and Standard Chartered. They will also partner with government agencies including the Defence Science and Technology Agency and Cyber Security Agency.

Students could be hired by the companies from the beginning of their course, and earn income throughout their studies.

The programme “requires a far higher level of commitment from companies compared to the internship programmes we have today, to co-develop the programmes with universities”, Minister Ong said.

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