Each year five of Cambodia’s most promising engineering students are offered the chance to further their education abroad, courtesy of China Southern Power Grid (CSG), who, at a news conference last month, reaffirmed its commitment to the programme.
CSG has run its scholarship programme since 2016 and plans to continue until 2025, but the opportunities are not just limited to Cambodia. CSG operates all along the Mekong river, in Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Thailand, offering five students from each country the chance to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Kunming or a Masters at Guangxi University in electrical engineering at the expense of CSG.
All they ask in return is that these students return to their home countries and work with their respective governments to further the development of power generation and share their knowledge for the betterment of the region.
At present, 15 students from Cambodia are currently studying in China on CSG’s scholarship programme, but the company has claimed it will be exploring new means of promoting cultural exchanges within the region as a way of fostering people-to-people connectivity.
Vice-Chief Officer of the Ministry of Mines and Energy Suon Tola explained that they closely monitor the progress and activities of Cambodian students who are accepted onto CSG’s scholarship programme.
“The scholarship is crucially important for the national development of the power sector,” he said, adding that more foreign companies operating in the Kingdom ought to offer scholarship opportunities to Cambodian students.
While educational opportunities are a priority for CSG, the Chinese power company has been investigating the potential of artificial intelligence to further develop a national smart power grid that the Chinese state-owned enterprise recently set out in a white paper. Previously the company was embroiled in controversial plans regarding the proposed Sambor Dam – a hydroelectric dam stretching across 18 kilometres of the Mekong forming an 82 km-long reservoir behind it.