Power companies award bursaries to UP engineering students

Posted on December 05, 2022

In collaboration with the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Korea Plant Service and Engineering (KPS) and Eskom Rotek Industries, the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) recently hosted a scholarship award ceremony for 17 UP engineering students.

KEPCO KPS and Eskom Rotek Industries enjoy a prolific, growing relationship as they partner to find power solutions for South Africa. As part of their corporate social responsibility, the two companies have come together to provide scholarships for students.

“The generous donation by KPS in collaboration with Eskom Rotek Industries has made more than R850 000 available for bursaries in the EBIT Faculty,” said Professor Jan Eloff, the faculty’s Acting Dean. “This will have an impact on the lives of many of our students, especially those who find it difficult to pay for study fees.”

In his opening remarks, His Excellency Chull-joo Park, South Korean Ambassador to South Africa spoke of the relationship between South Africa and South Korea, which he said is strengthened through initiatives of this nature.

Representatives from KEPCO KPS, Eskom Rotek Industries and UP with engineering students at the scholarship award ceremony.

Representatives from KEPCO KPS, Eskom Rotek Industries and UP with engineering students at the scholarship award ceremony.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary since South Africa and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1992,” he said to the students. “Over the past 30 years, our two countries have built a good friendship and expanded their cooperation in various sectors. All of you will become leaders who will make a difference to South Africa’s future and the future relationship between our two countries.”

The issue of funding is one that weighs heavily on students as they go through their studies. Many are great academic achievers but do not have the financial means to ensure that they graduate once they have completed their studies. Corporate companies play an enormous role in the lives of students and that of their families by alleviating the stress of raising tuition fees.

The total bursary award amounts to R1 035 000, which will cover outstanding debts for engineering students for 2022 as well as debt for 2021 for students who were financially excluded.

“We selected the students based on their academic performance,” said Andile Hlatshwayo, senior advisor at Eskom Rotek Industries. “We also considered final-year students – imagine a final-year student who has done well and studied hard, yet is not going to be able to graduate, or have their results withheld because of fees. We wanted to prioritise these students so that they could enjoy the festive season knowing that they are going to be able to graduate next year.”

“I encourage the students among us to remain committed to implementing hard work to their education,” said Jungnam Lee, Managing Director at KEPCO KPS. “We wish you all the best for the future of your studies.”

Students who were awarded the bursaries expressed their gratitude.

“I was starting to stress about my finances for next year as I am in my final year,” said Metallurgical Engineering student Tshepo Sithole. “Knowing that I am going to pass the year in record time but I might not graduate or have my results really worried me. This bursary gives me the assurance that I will be able to graduate and possibly study towards an honours degree.”

Final-years Nhlamulo Nzimande and Nothando Simelane were also thankful. “More than anything, I am grateful for this privilege,” Simelane said. “You will be seeing us at the autumn graduations next year,” Nzimande added.

- Author Prudance Minyuku
Published by Hlengiwe Mnguni

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