by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) through its Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP) is sponsoring 370 Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 2019 high achievers with a total investment of over RM100 million.
The oil and gas (O&G) company’s group human resources management VP Farehana Hanapiah said despite the challenging environment globally, the company’s priority is still in investing in the nation’s talent.
“We always believe that education is the key to empowering our communities in improving their living standards and competencies, with the aim to enrich lives and propel the nation towards a sustainable future.
“Through PESP, we hope that these students will demonstrate the right values in realising their potential and career aspirations to further develop the energy industry and the country as a whole,” she said in a recent statement.
She added that the company is committed to continue developing and enriching the pool of potential talents by providing education sponsorships to deserving students, an effort it has been driving for the past 45 years.
“This is in line with our Sustainable Development Agenda and the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals 4 and 8 which focus on providing quality education to graduates, as well as promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth respectively.”
In 2020, the O&G company received over 10,000 sponsorship applications nationwide and each candidate went through a rigorous process, focusing on the assessment of leadership and cooperative qualities, apart from having outstanding SPM results and being active in co-curricular activities.
The applicants for the year had been noted to be very resourceful in ensuring that they are able to participate in the online assessment phases despite challenges, especially as the company had to adhere to the movement restrictions to mitigate Covid-19.
Farehana added that the company would like to extend its appreciation to all agencies involved for their assistance in ensuring that the shortlisted candidates are able to undergo the PESP online assessment smoothly, especially for candidates without access to the right computer facilities or stable Internet connection.
“We also have a vast number of development programmes tailored for our sponsored students while they are in university as we believe the learning process should not only be bound by the academic syllabus in the classroom.
“In preparing them to enter the workforce, we expect our students to be agile and adaptable, especially as we now live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.
The PESP also focuses on developing talents, especially in critical thinking for leaders and workforce readiness among students after graduation. Since 45 years ago, Petronas has sponsored approximately 37,000 local students under the programme with over RM3.3 billion worth of education sponsorships.
Through PESP, the company has provided financial support from foundational studies to the students’ first degree in geology or geophysics, mechanical and petroleum engineering, and other industry-related courses in the US, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand and the UK, alongside being enrolled in Universiti Teknologi Petronas and local universities.
Throughout the years, the company has also introduced sponsorship for non-traditional disciplines that include psychology and sociology.