China-Brunei joint venture contributes to local employment with latest education cooperation

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 14 (Xinhua): Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd, a petrochemical joint venture between Brunei and China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Saturday (March 13) with a local vocational institute here, which is another key step in bilateral education cooperation and human resources development.

Hengyi Industries is a joint venture between China's Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Damai Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary under the Brunei government's Strategic Development Capital Fund, owning 70 percent and 30 percent of the shares, respectively.

The signing of MoU with Politeknik Brunei (PB), a local vocational education institute, was witnessed by Yu Hong, Chinese ambassador to Brunei and three ministers from the Brunei government, namely Haji Mohd Amin Liew, minister at the Prime Minister's Office and second minister of finance and economy; Haji Mat Suny, minister of energy and Haji Hamzah, minister of education.

Under the MoU, the collaboration between PB and Hengyi has commenced two Level 5 Diploma programmes, namely Level 5 Diploma in Laboratory Technology, which started in July 2020; and Level 5 Diploma in Chemical Engineering, which began in January 2021.

Hengyi will be collaborating with PB and China's Lanzhou Petrochemical Polytechnic (LPP) to run five new joint academic programmes for PB students. The programmes, which consist of Thermal Power Plant Technology, Water Treatment Technology, Chemical Equipment Technology, Power Plant and Power System Technology, and Storage and Transportation Technology, will begin in July 2021.

All five programmes are Level 5 Diploma Programme in which the students will undergo two years of academic education with PB and LPP and one year of industrial placement with Hengyi. The Level 5 Diploma qualification is equivalent to a Higher National Diploma and accredited by Brunei Darussalam National Accreditation Council, Ministry of Education.

According to Hengyi and PB, the programmes are tailored to provide technical competency for Hengy's petrochemical and refinery operation where the students will be equipped with theoretical and practical knowledge that is required in the workforce. The joint programmes are also in line with Brunei Vision 2035 to create more educated, highly skilled, and accomplished people.

As part of the MoU, Hengyi Industries provided a conditional offer to the first batch of all 86 students who will be given employment opportunities with Hengyi upon their graduation. Hengyi will also provide students undertaking any of the new joint programmes with a conditional offer once they graduate.

"With today's signing ceremony, I reiterate Hengyi Industries' commitment towards the country's Bruneianization drive and to endeavor to comply with every regulatory as well as technical requirement to ensure that our plant and facilities construction and eventual operation comply with local and international standards," Chen Liancai, CEO of Hengyi Industries, told Xinhua.

Until last August, Hengyi has awarded scholarships to a total of 48 students from the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE), another local vocational institute, under the Joint Refinery Operator Scholarship Programme established by Hengyi with IBTE and LPP.

The Joint Chemical and Process Engineering Scholarship Programme established by Hengyi with Universiti Brunei Darussalam and China's Zhejiang University has also brought 103 local students with a scholarship to further their study in China and eventually be employed by Hengyi. - Xinhua
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