OCBC launches scholarship for NUS and NTU postgraduates to pursue further studies in AI

After graduation, the scholars will serve at OCBC’s AI Lab for 12 to 18 months under the mentorship of senior executives.

University graduates interested to pursue further studies in the realms of artificial intelligence (AI) will be glad to know that there is now a scholarship available to give them that extra leg-up.

In a statement released on Monday (June 3), OCBC Bank announced the launch of its postgraduate OCBC AI scholarship in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The scholarship, which OCBC said is the first of its kind to be offered by a Singapore company and bank in Asia, will be open to applicants of NUS’ Master of Computing AI and NTU’s Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence programmes.

The scholarship is worth S$100,000 (US$72,900) each and covers all of the scholars’ educational and living expenses.

After graduation, the scholars will serve at OCBC’s AI Lab for 12 to 18 months where they would have a hand in test-bedding, deploying and scaling-up bank-wide AI solutions. They will also undergo mentorship by senior executives and receive internship opportunities.

It won’t be easy to score that scholarship, however.

The bank said that only three students will be given the scholarship this year. Successful applicants are required to demonstrate keen interest in AI, have shown excellent academic performance and possess leadership qualities.

Applicants will also be subject to various forms of assessment which includes a coding test comprising a problem that must be solved within 24 hours.

According to OCBC, the scholarship is part of its digital strategic framework drawn up to “harness the potential of AI to deliver greater customer value and business scalability”.

Over the past three years, it has increased its pool of data scientists and data analysts by two-fold to around 200, said the bank.

OCBC also offers over 2,800 programmes for employees interested to learn AI-related skills, with more than 1,800 of them having already attended the programmes so far.

Ken Wong, the head of OCBC’s AI Lab, said the bank has been accelerating efforts in the AI space over the past five years, having recognised the potential of the technology.

“Our intent is to harness the technology as a strategic capability to bring even greater value to our customers and staff,” said Wong.

He added: “As we delve deeper into our AI journey, we are looking to attract and develop top talents to create new roads for us. Individuals who are passionately aligned with us in taking AI to the next level will be able to contribute meaningfully to help create new frontiers of banking.”

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