Singapore Budget 2020: 70 per cent of local students from higher learning institutions to gain overseas exposure

Currently about half of all students from local universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education undertake overseas stints.
Currently about half of all students from local universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education undertake overseas stints.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More Singaporean students from institutes of higher learning will have the chance to go abroad, as Singapore sets a target for 70 per cent of them to gain overseas exposure.

Currently, about half of all students from local universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education undertake overseas stints, including internships, exchange programmes and service learning or study trips.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 18) that this will go up to 70 per cent so that young Singaporeans can be equipped with cross-cultural skills and understand the region better.

The aim is also for 70 per cent of the students who go abroad to have exposure to Asean, China or India, he added.

A new initiative, called the Asia-Ready Exposure Programme, will support young Singaporeans' visits to cities in Asean, China or India, said Mr Heng.

"Our local students are well-prepared to thrive in other countries and cultures, including in Asia," he said.

"In my pre-Budget dialogue with youth leaders, I was struck by their understanding of the importance of learning new skills and exploring new opportunities. They look forward to overseas exposure and postings in the region."

Mr Heng also said that more support will be given to internships under the previously announced Global Ready Talent Programme. He did not elaborate. Announced in last year's Budget, the programme helps students at institutes of higher learning to secure internships with Singapore companies overseas.

 

Companies can receive up to 70 per cent funding for the allowances or salaries of participants, as part of the scheme run by Enterprise Singapore.