...Since the 1980s, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has mandated industrial internship, or industrial attachment, for certain degree offerings. These schemes require a 22-week industry internship for fourth-year chemistry and biological chemistry students and a 20-week stint for third- or fourth-year chemical engineering students. An internship is required for graduation, but students can opt for a research internship instead.
Compared with the usual two- to three-month summer internships in the U.S. (see page 41), an extended attachment gives students sufficient time to pick up skills and make meaningful contributions to a company’s work, explains NTU founding president Tao Soon Cham....I was interested to see that the students were paid during these internships:
...Each institution, whether a university or a polytechnic, makes its own arrangements with employers for placing students. Industrial placements can be done at firms such as Shell Eastern Petroleum, ExxonMobil, GSK, and Novartis, which pay students about $350 to $950 a month to cover basic living and transportation costs. Students gain practical industry experience, and some return to the same firms as employees after they graduate...As someone who had an industrial postdoctoral fellowship, I had a great experience where I had quite a bit of freedom to explore what I wanted to explore. In other words, it was an academic experience aimed at industrial application.
But in the case of extended stays in industrial placement, I would be interested to know what these multinational companies are doing with these students. Are they acting as regular staff members ("Sport, today you're working on Project X."), or is there actually a systematic curriculum? Are their pay rates comparable with regular staff? If not, cui bono?