Total offers scholarship to Bruneians

National 2 minutes, 42 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FRENCH energy giant Total has introduced its first scholarship scheme for Bruneians who wish to pursue undergraduate studies in France.

The Total Education Scholarship Scheme will award four candidates, with at least three grade A's at 'A' level, the chance to study petroleum-related degrees at top French Universities.

The seven-year programme would include a one-year intensive French language course, followed by a four-year undergraduate degree and a two-year postgraduate programme. "The prestigious scholarship will also allow successful candidates to gain international work experience in some of Total's global offices," said Harina Ramlee, Head of Human Resources and Corporate Communications at Total E&P Borneo BV and Total E&P Deep Offshore Borneo BV.

"Some of our Bruneian colleagues who completed their masters at the Institut Francais du Pétrole (French Institute of Petroleum) have worked in offices in Angola and the United States."

The challenging programme will require candidates to become proficient in French in order to undertake the degree course, through a one-intensive French language programme.

However, applicants do not need to have proficiency in the language before applying for the scholarship, Harina told reporters yesterday at a press conference in the capital.

Applicants must be a citizen of Brunei Darussalam, have three grade As at 'A' Level and a credit in Malay and English at 'O' Level. Preferred courses are petroleum studies and related fields such as chemical engineering.

Those interested need to submit their applications before 3pm on April 14 to the Organisation and Human Capability Unit of the Energy Department, at the fifth floor of the Bahirah Building on Jalan Menteri Besar.

Shortlisted candidates will be selected by the end of April and will undergo mathematics and logic tests before a final selection interview in May.

Successful applicants will then attend classes in French language and culture between June and August before departing for their studies.

Harina said that those taking the 'A' Level exams in June are still eligible to apply using their mock exams results but award of the scholarship will be based on their final results.

She added that Total will be selecting candidates in cooperation with the Energy Department. Those awarded the scholarships will sign an agreement for a five-year bond with Total worldwide.

"The scholarship scheme is in line with the government's policy of promoting diversity in education, so students won't just think of studying in the UK or Australia, but they should consider other places such as France and the US."

Total will be holding an open day or interested applicants on Friday, between 3pm and 8pm at The Coffeebean & Tea Leaf, Times Square.

Representatives from SFERE (Société francaise d'exportation des resources éducatives), an international consulting and training firm, will be on hand to give students more information about studying in France.

SFERE has been appointed as facilitator of the scholarship scheme, and will help selected candidates throughout the entire process, including academic placement at top French universities, finding accommodation in France, managing living expenses and any challenges they might face during the programme.

"A competitive allowance will also be provided to students throughout the duration of their programme," said Harina.

The Brunei Times