SPE Aberdeen Announces Bursaries for 20 Students

The Aberdeen branch of the Society of Petroleum Engineers announced Monday that it will make bursary awards to up to 20 students studying oil and gas-related subjects at Scottish universities as part of its 2013/2014 student bursary program. Meanwhile, Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University also announced Monday the winner of its annual Energy Institute competition.

Last year, three students were awarded the SPE Aberdeen Section top bursary award of GBP 2,500 ($4,100). This year there will be five top awards at GBP 2,500 as well as 15 awards of GBP 500 ($820). The bursaries are available to both undergraduate and postgraduate students taking oil and gas-related courses at Strathclyde, Dundee, Heriot-Watt, Robert Gordon and Aberdeen universities.

"We are dedicated to providing support for our student members and these bursaries are instrumental in supporting the education process. SPE Aberdeen has awarded more than GBP 100,000 ($164,000) in recent years to ease some of the financial pressures on Scottish students and we look forward to helping more students with this year’s funding," SPE Aberdeen Section Chairman Anthony Onukwu said.

Mircea Calarasu, a student studying for a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering at Robert Gordon University who won a bursary last year, commented in a statement:

"I was honored to receive my first bursary at such an early stage in my time at RGU. Since winning the award, I have been thoroughly focused in my second year at university, as this year is a very important stage in my higher education. 
"The award has greatly motivated me to continue keeping my academic standards high, as well as supported me financially in acquiring essential course materials. My future career will undoubtedly benefit from this award, and I am planning to use the rest of my prize money as a resource toward any postgraduate courses."

Bursaries and sponsorships are increasingly being seen as a way to help motivate young people in the UK to take courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematical-related (STEM) fields. This is particularly the case among students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are expected to pay up to GBP 9,000 ($14,750) per year in tuition fees while at university (Scottish students are exempt from tuition fees).

In November 2012, BP launched a new $7.2 million scholarship program for what it described as "talented" undergraduate students studying STEM subjects. In the first year, the program saw 90 scholarships each worth around $7,950 each awarded to students at nine universities around the UK.


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