NUS students to get more work stints while studying

Students studying at the National University of Singapore University Town. With NUS expanding its residential college model, where students live and learn with professors, half of the freshmen can spend at least one year living and learning on campus
Students studying at the National University of Singapore University Town. With NUS expanding its residential college model, where students live and learn with professors, half of the freshmen can spend at least one year living and learning on campus next year, up from 38 per cent last year.ST FILE PHOTO

National University of Singapore (NUS) students can expect more work experience while studying.

The university is planning a new programme in the next few years for undergraduates to weave in work stints in their third and fourth year of study.

Unlike the usual one-off internship, a student will be attached to the same company during those two years. When they return to school in between, they could take on research and projects that are related to the firm's work.

NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan said this is its "first foray" into such a co-operative education programme where students alternate between work and study.

Speaking during the annual State of the University address last Friday, he said the scheme will likely start with students taking degrees such as information security, business analytics and data science and analytics - "where industry is hungry for talent". The approach "will provide our students with unique and useful ways to link what they study with real-world problems and issues".

In his speech, Professor Tan shared NUS' plans in areas such as curriculum, residential learning and physical upgrading on campus.

For instance, it is piloting a module called "Asking Questions" in January next year for freshmen to help them be better thinkers.

With the university expanding its residential college model, where students live and learn with professors, half of the freshmen can spend at least one year living and learning on campus next year, up from 38 per cent last year.

By 2019, there will be more research space such as a new engineering research building and a facility for physical simulation studies in offshore and marine technology.

NUS is also investing $16 million over the next five years to set up an institute for modelling and analytical research in fields such as data analytics, statistics and logistics.

The Institute of Operations Research and Analytics is expected to have some 50 researchers and staff at steady state, and will tackle real-world problems in areas like healthcare and smart systems.

Amelia Teng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2016, with the headline 'NUS students to get more work stints while studying'. Print Edition | Subscribe