KUCHING: PETRONAS has recently awarded sponsorships to 108 outstanding Sarawakians who had scored excellent results in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysian (SPM) 2021 examinations.
They are among 600 successful candidates from over 9,000 applicants across Malaysia, to pursue tertiary education on PETRONAS Education Sponsorship Programme (PESP) at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) as well as in other leading local and overseas universities in Australia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
One of the recipients, Muhammad Arif Mohd Merzan, 18, from Kuching expressed his excitement and gratitude on being selected.
“My ambition is to become a software engineer due to my passion in computer systems, programming, coding and Information Technology (IT).
“I hope through this sponsorship, I will be able to realise my dream and graduate with flying colors because I want to contribute back to my country,” he said in a statement today.
Arif is pursuing his A-level programme at Kolej Yayasan UEM. His target is to pursue his degree at Imperial College London.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Alif Harriz Jeffery from Bintulu was awarded to pursue a degree in Computer Science at Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus.
“I chose PESP because it can cover all my tuition fees and allowances, as my father’s salary is not enough to cover my education expenses. He works at a shipping company while my mother is a housewife. I have a sister who is currently still studying in primary school at SJK Chung Hua, Bintulu.”
“This sponsorship will help ease my parents’ financial burden, and at the same time, further motivate me to focus and do well in my studies,” he said.
This year, PETRONAS is investing more than RM340 million to fund the successful applicants who will pursue tertiary studies in various fields including chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, mechanical engineering, geoscience, economics, law, and other industry-related courses.
PETRONAS has also 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) landscape.
The sponsorships were presented to the recipients by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and witnessed by PETRONAS Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh at a presentation ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on September 20.
Mohd Bakke said PETRONAS remains committed to continuously contribute to nation building and the development of our talent pipeline through various programmes and initiatives for over four decades now.
“We believe that quality education will empower our communities, which will in turn support the nation’s socio-economic development towards a sustainable future,” he added.
PETRONAS also announced an increase in Book and Study Equipment Allowance as well as Onboarding Allowance for all PESP recipients.
In addition to financial assistance, PESP also 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 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which focuses on providing quality education to youths and students.
Under PESP, PETRONAS will support students from their foundation studies up to the first bachelor’s degree. Since 1975, more than 37,000 outstanding Malaysian students – including 1,720 currently in the programme – have benefitted from the sponsorships valued at over RM3.5 billion.