PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme empowers 600 scholars this year
DESPITE the many naysayers, Nur Idrina Natasha Ideris stuck to her dream to be an engineer in the traditionally male-dominated oil and gas industry.
The 18-year-old from Terrengganu is among 600 outstanding Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia 2021 students who get to pursue their tertiary education under the PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP).
PETRONAS will be supporting students from foundation studies up to their first bachelor’s degree, besides providing them book and study equipment allowance as well as onboarding allowance.
“If it weren’t for PESP, I wouldn’t have the financial means to further my studies. I have always been keen on the impact of petroleum on our economic growth.
“Having been granted the chance now to be in this dynamic field, I shall endeavour to add value to the industry ... and make my parents proud,” says Nur Idrina Natasha, a Petroleum Engineering student at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP).
Fellow UTP student Dzul Firdaus Asfian Sriadi from Sabah recalls being over the moon when he received a text that he has been selected for PESP.
“I did not expect the sponsorship, with so many applicants,” he says.
This year, the PESP received over 9,000 applications, of which 600 of the candidates were selected for sponsorship.
“With PESP, I can ease my parents’ burden, study at my dream university, and ultimately, support my parents and grandmother when I start work with PETRONAS,” adds the 18-year-old Computer Science student.
For Brandon Wilson anak Dewel, the stringent PESP virtual assessment process was already a rewarding experience, as he got to enhance his soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and communicating.
Apart from meeting the standard prerequisites of excellent SPM results and active co-curriculars, PESP applicants have to undergo a rigorous selection process that focuses on leadership qualities including agility, problem-solving skills and the ability to work in a team.
The 18-year-old Sarawakian who has four siblings says he has always been fascinated with matters pertaining to chemistry, and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of PETRONAS with its stellar reputation and global reach.
“With PESP financing, I can focus on my studies and not worry about living expenses,” says the Applied Chemistry student in UTP.
For Nur Ezhani Zulaikha Abd Aziz, the 18-year-old Johorian is looking forward to pursue mechanical engineering in the UK after her A-levels at a local college.
“PESP has given me hope to achieve my life goals, without burdening my parents,” she says.
The PESP awards were presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and witnessed by PETRONAS chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh during a ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre earlier this week.
Speaking at the event, PETRONAS group human resource management senior vice president Farehana Hanapiah said, the number of sponsorships awarded has doubled compared to last year.
“This year’s sponsorship is the highest number ever given by PETRONAS. Of that, almost 80% come from B40 families of all backgrounds to study at universities in the country and abroad.
“At PETRONAS we believe that developing human capital can improve the standard of living of society as well as the skills level of the workforce, and this can drive the country towards a sustainable future,” she said.
Besides financial assistance, PESP provides tailored development programmes to realise the students’ full potential and nurture them to be future leaders amidst a rapidly changing work environment.
This is in line with PETRONAS’ sustainability agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goal #4 which focuses on providing quality education to youths and students.
Recipients of the sponsorship will pursue tertiary studies in chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, geoscience, economics, law, and other industry-related open courses at UTP and leading local universities as well as overseas in Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
PETRONAS has expanded its sponsorship to include disciplines such as computer science, software engineering, and information technology in preparing talents for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).
Since 1975, more than 37,000 outstanding Malaysian students, including 1,720 who are currently in the programme, have benefitted from sponsorships valued at over RM3.5bil.