The charity arm of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) has set up its first scholarship endowment fund for local university students, to help students keep in touch with the business community.
The Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce Foundation (SCCCF) is donating $1.2 million each to five public universities: the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Singapore Management University (SMU), the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT).
With a grant from the Government, a total of $15 million will be available through the University Scholarship Endowment Fund.
The scholarship, worth $15,000 annually, will cover recipients' university fees for three years, during which they are encouraged to interact with the SCCCI and business leaders through activities such as networking sessions and talks by entrepreneurs.
A total of 10 scholarships will be given out each year from next year.
The award will fund NUS and NTU students in business and Chinese studies courses, and students in any field of study in SMU, SUTD and SIT.
Students will be chosen based on their first-year academic results in university.
This was announced yesterday by Mr Thomas Chua, president of SCCCI, as part of its 110th anniversary celebrations at its building in Hill Street.
The new scheme is a revamp of the business chamber's previous system of handing out one-year scholarships annually, in an effort to provide more continuity and encourage more interaction between business owners and trade associations and young people. It also hopes to work with the universities to support students in the long run.
At the SCCCI's annual Mid-Autumn celebration, Mr Chua said its main concern is "how to effectively link up educational institutions with the needs of businesses".
He added that students will be given more opportunities to visit businesses and see how they work, as well as receive guidance from business leaders and go on internships.
Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills), the guest of honour, lauded the chamber's staunch support of education over the years.
For instance, its Institute of Business offers practical courses for working adults in areas such as management skills, marketing and industry knowledge.
The institute also started an e-learning portal in July to support learning in Chinese language and vocational courses.
More than 400 SCCCI members and guests including senior government officials and business leaders attended the event, where the existing SCCCF scholarships were given to 17 local undergraduates.
Separately, four Malay-Muslim and two Indian undergraduates received the SCCCF-Mendaki Scholarship and SCCCF-Sinda scholarship respectively.