IDA scholarship holders given more time to choose who they want to serve bond with

SINGAPORE - From this year, students holding scholarships from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will get to intern at different IDA-approved organisations before being bonded to one in their final year of studies.

Previously, students were bonded to an IDA-approved organisation as soon as they took up a scholarship, and served internships with that company only before going on to work for them.

This change was made because of feedback from current and previous IDA scholars, who said their interests and aspirations might change over time.

"If scholars choose towards the end of their studies, they have time to get more exposure through different internships," said IDA executive deputy chairman Steve Leonard.

"This will help them match up better with organisations they want to work for."

In line with these changes, IDA gave out fewer scholarships this year so it can closely monitor the feedback. It awarded 40 scholarships to students pursuing infocomm-related degrees in local and foreign universities, as opposed to 70 last year.

Other changes rolled out included the introduction of mid-term scholarships for students in university, and scholarships for students pursuing business analytics, is a key field that IDA is looking to develop talent for.

The IDA scholarships were presented at the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) Scholarships Award Ceremony yesterday, along with another 15 scholarships from 4 other organisations.

One of these, DesignSingapore Council (Dsg), is sponsoring studies in new fields like digital design, design management, and service and experience design.

Mohammed Syafiq Hassan Jubri, for example, created a digital manufacturing facility for bespoke bicycles as part of his undergraduate degree.

"Digital design is extremely relevant for Singapore as a tech-savy society," said Mr Syafiq, 25, who will learn more about digital design during his upcoming Masters in Architecture at University College London. "In the future, the links between the physical and digital worlds will be very seamless for us."

Guest of honour at the ceremony, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, agreed that scholars should apply their skills to help Singapore advance in new fields of technology.

"With the expertise you will acquire, you can analyse information collected, derive insights into Singaporeans' behaviour and preferences, and create new products and services to make Singapore a better place for all," said the Minister for Communications and Information.