Since 1992 Singapore's Ministry of Education has operated a scholarship programme for regional students to study in Singapore universities. Like the scholarship programmes to send Singaporean students overseas Scholars in Singapore the scheme is really a manpower recruitment programme, since the students are required to work in Singapore for 6 years after graduation. (Officially, the students sign a contract with a consortium of government owned companies rather than with the government itself, but this distinction is pretty nominal.)
Initially, the scheme operated by arrangement with a number of top universities in China, with students already admitted to these participating insititutions being selected based on the results of an aptitude test and math/english tests shortly after they start their freshman year. The awarded students then withdraw from the host universities and move to Singapore to undergo a 8-month matriculation programme before being admitted as freshmen to NUS or NTU. Later the scheme was extended to other countries such as India, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc, and also to high school students in selected localities by arrangement with the local governments, with the students undergoing a longer matriculation programme before college admission.
For some time, Singaporean students have been trending away from technological studies towards business, life sciences and arts (they seem to be imitating USA, which has been relying on Asian hightech manpower for several decades), and the regional students have conveniently filled this gap. However, students from China and India have lately also been turning away from technology too, and the gap has been filled for the moment by students from later participating countries like Vietnam. North Korea could very well be a new participant. While these countries may have a social and economic system very different from modern Singapore, their schools can still be doing an adequate job in teaching the fundamental knowledge preparatory for university education, and the main remedial instruction the students require is in English language. The situation has allowed the scholarship programme to fulfil its intended purpose.