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29 November 2018

Six scholars of the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) received their diploma in Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) in Perak, Malaysia during its 18th Convocation held on 18 November 2018. 

Dr. Josette Biyo, SEI Director, together with Dr. Josefina Abilay, DOST IV-B Regional Director, and some officials of the Palawan State University (PSU) graced the event. 

The scholar-graduates are faculty members from PSU and Batangas State University (BSU)—two among a few universities in the country that offer undergraduate degree in Petroleum Engineering. The six have been teaching for the program in the said universities but could not secure tenure since they are not Master's degree holders. At present, there is no university in the country that offers graduate degree in the said program hence those who intend to take advance degree in Petroleum Engineering had to pursue it abroad. 

DOST-SEI has been implementing the project "Science and Technology Regional Alliance of Universities for Inclusive National Development" (STRAND) to reach out and support the higher education institutions in the provinces that need to be strengthened in terms of developing human resource capabilities. This way, they will be able to offer quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs in advance degrees.  One of the components of the project STRAND is developing the faculty profile of universities through granting graduate scholarships in identified fields.

“The goal is for the university to develop a niche in terms of science and technology programs so that eventually they will be considered as delivering institutions of the DOST-SEI’s Graduate Scholarship Program,” said the SEI Director. 

The PSU and BSU are among the first universities identified under the project, allowing six of its members to become MS scholars in UTP last May 2017. Aside from them, two faculty members of the PSU were likewise sent in UTP to pursue Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Energy Systems. These PhD scholars are expected to graduate in 2019. They will join the six MS scholar-graduates in the development of graduate degree program in Petroleum Engineering in their respective universities. If ever, this will be the country's first graduate degree program in the said field.

“As the global demand for oil and gas continue to increase, there is a need to invest in the country’s human capital who shall conduct researches on how to ensure sustainability of energy in the future,” Biyo added. 

On the other hand, DOST-SEI also supports other scholars pursuing their graduate degree in specialized priority S&T programs in other reputable universities abroad such as the United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Belgium, France, among others. Scholars are entitled to full tuition and other school fees, book allowance, health and accident insurance, and monthly living expenses based on the cost of living in the country where they are studying. 

Biyo is optimistic that with the sustained support of the government in its S&T human resources, the country will be able to produce more globally competitive S&T experts who will work on cutting-edge technologies that address the pressing problem of the country. 

Interested applicants for local and foreign graduate scholarships may visit SEI's website at www.sei.dost.gov.ph.