BAKER HUGHES ANNOUNCES “GREEN ECONOMY” BURSARY SCHEME RECIPIENTS
A group of students will be able to end the year knowing that all their study costs have been paid off. The group of 23 are beneficiaries of a bursary program that will also see some of them gain experience through internship opportunities.
“Our bursary program supports students in the engineering, accounting, sales and marketing fields of study with tuition. Undergraduate and post-graduate students at any of the country’s 26 public universities were invited to apply for this year’s round of bursaries. Furthermore, the program will be focused in assisting South Africa in building the skills required to transition South Africa into a green economy that is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive,” says Simo-Sihle Mvinjelwa, country leader for transformation at Baker Hughes.
The solution to the country’s economic and employment problems is about more than just throwing money at the problem, he adds.
“Some of the students we selected will also receive practical experience by doing internship work with us, to help them become more attractive and better prepared prospective employees. Corporates have a duty to invest in skills development initiatives, as they have the power to help change the alarming unemployment statistics in South Africa.”
This is the fourth year of the Baker Hughes Bursary Program and sees around R1.4m being allocated to 23 students from across the country. Their full study fees will be covered, including accommodation fees. The program is administered by student crowdfunding organisation Feenix.
“South Africa is blessed with an abundance of talented young people who want to build and grow our country. Each day in our work, we see the negative impact a lack of financial stability can have on the success of a student, which is why we are grateful for partners like Baker Hughes, who invest in bursary and internship programmes. Feenix is able to tap into our strong university networks to help find the most suitable student candidates for this bursary program,” says Leana de Beer, CEO of Feenix.
“South Africa’s economic prosperity is directly tied to the education of its youth and their ability to create and partake in a mobilised economy. Unemployment rates, massive socio‐economic divides and economic stagnation indicate that while the South African education system is demographically non‐discriminatory, it is still not equitably accessible. We hope this bursary program helps make education more accessible,” she says.
The program has to date benefited 83 students with funding to the tune of R4.8m.
One of the beneficiaries of the 2021 group, is Zizipho Mntumni.
The 25-year-old mechanical engineering student comes from Idutywa in the Eastern Cape, and is studying at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town. She is currently in her second year.
“As a first-generation student, I had the desire and the determination, but lacked the financial backing needed to achieve my goal of becoming a mechanical engineer,” she explains.
“This bursary meant that I was finally getting the help I’ve always wanted in order to pursue both my academic and career dreams as the first in my family. Knowing that I had no student debt gave me a relief, and I was motivated to fully focus on my studies and pass all my modules.” She has been allocated R92 566 to pay her accommodation and tuition bill.
“I have never won anything either small or big, I’ve never received a call back on a job interview so receiving the news that I was selected and I was going to get funded was not just exciting it was exhilarating and hard to believe. For that feeling in that moment, I am forever grateful,” says Mntumni.
Another beneficiary is Nontathu Mtshawuli (25) who this year finished her final year of electrical engineering studies at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She hails from Mount Frere, in the Eastern Cape.
Mtshawuli says the R64 759 she was allocated will be put towards her tuition fees. “It means i won’t be financially excluded by the institution, at first I felt so special but now am just happy and appreciate that my tuition is paid,” she adds.
Also among the list of beneficiaries announced at the event, is electrical engineering student Xolile Sibiya. The 25-year-old was in her final year at Durban University of Technology this year and hails from Jozini, in northern KwaZulu-Natal. She says the bursary she received will help pay off her academic fees.
The 23 recipients of the Baker Hughes Bursary and Internship Program were announced during a virtual event on Friday 26 November 2021. Applications for the 2022 round will open towards the end of January 2022.