Engen Bursaries

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Engen offers comprehensive bursaries to students wishing to pursue studies in fields relating to science, technology, and commerce.

Engen is one of South Africa’s largest producers of oil, natural gas, and other petroleum-based products, with a market presence in more than twenty countries and exports to over thirty more throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. The company (under different names) has played a significant role in the development of the South African fuel industry as well as the development of the country’s infrastructure over the years that it has had a national presence. Engen headquarters are currently located in Cape Town.

Engen’s history can be traced back to the late nineteenth century, when German immigrant and businessman Johann Gottlieb Schade began important Vacuum Oil products to South Africa. These products were main used for blacking the horse-drawn carriages used by the upper-class residents of South Africa’s major cities. Vacuum oil quickly proved to be highly popular, and in 1897, an official branch was opened in Cape Town with the help of backing from J.D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. This allowed the company to market a wider range of products, such as axle grease, candles, and a variety of other oil-based products to the South African public.

Within the first decade of the twentieth century, Vacuum Oil had introduced what would become not only its most popular product, but the most widely-recognized brand name throughout South Africa: Mobil Oil. This, together with the introduction of the first ‘horseless carriage’ (the Pegasus Motor Spirit) drove sales even further and cemented the company’s already strong foundation within South Africa.

Despite some setbacks during both World Wars and the Great Depression, Standard-Vacuum Oil (as it had since been renamed) continued to prosper and grow within South Africa, and by the middle of the century it was clear that the country needed its own oil refinery. After much negotiation with the South African government, the Stanvac Refinery was officially commissioned in 1954.

By 1960, joint ownership of the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company had come to an end, with the various international and domestic interests being transferred to the Mobil Petroleum Company and Esso Standard Eastern respectively. The South African company was renamed Mobil to take advantage of the strong presence the oil brand had already established within the country. Throughout the next decade, Mobil led the development of many key innovative technologies that would revolutionise the oil industry not only in South Africa, but also worldwide.

In 1989, during what was arguably the most turbulent period in South African history, Mobil International chose to divest from South Africa, selling its assets to mining conglomerate Gencor. In 1993, the decision was taken to rename the company to Engen, together with a complete rebranding that would go down as one of the most successful in South African business history. Today, the company name is recognized nationwide.

Engen Bursary Program Overview

Engen’s bursary program was established with the goal of creating opportunities for promising young students seeking to pursue careers in some of the many fields that are relevant to the company’s business operations, as well as to the broader industries in which it operates. Of particular importance concerning the program is its potential to create a talent pipeline by which the skills shortage that is currently being experienced in many of these key areas of industry can be rectified and avoided in the future.

The program hopes to achieve this by ensuring that students who have the aptitude and the drive to complete the necessary education and training in these fields have the opportunity to do so regardless of financial difficulties. To this end, candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with demonstrated need are important recipients of Engen bursaries.

In order to be considered eligible for an Engen bursary, prospective candidates must fulfil a set of basic prerequisites to ensure that they have the necessary foundation and innate skills to successfully complete their intended study program. These include holding South African citizenship, as well as a valid matric certificate with a minimum average of 70% across all areas. Candidates must also have been accepted to a recognised tertiary institution for an applicable degree or qualification.

A clear indication of the candidate’s initiative, resilience, positive attitude, and leadership skills are also highly advantageous within the selection process.

Bursary Benefits

Engen bursaries are some of the most comprehensive in the country, covering a wide range of costs experienced by students of higher learning.

First and foremost, all tuition and administrative costs, including administration and examination fees, are covered in full by the bursary. Accommodation at a residence or hostel run by the institution at which the student has been accepted is also subsidised, as are meals provided by this residence.

An allowance is also given towards books, stationery, and any other necessary equipment that may be required for the successful completion of the candidate’s studies. Finally, a stipend may be given to cover basic day-to-day living costs.

Qualifications Covered

Engen bursaries are offered for carefully selected degrees to ensure that bursary recipients can make meaningful contributions to relevant fields as qualified professionals upon graduation.

While the specific list of qualifications covered by Eskom bursaries differ from year to year based on the company’s projected requirements, degrees for which bursaries are most often offered include Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgy, Chemical Engineering, Information Systems, Environmental Science, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, and Industrial Engineering; Bachelor of Commerce degrees in Transport, Credit Management, Procurement, Forensic Auditing, Accounting, and Marketing; and Bachelor of Technology degrees in Credit Management.

Application Process

To apply for an Engen bursary, prospective candidates should follow the online application process for their intended degree of choice, all of which are available on the Engen website.

All necessary information, including supporting documents such as ID copies, matric certificates, and academic transcripts (where applicable) should be provided as part of the online application. Applications for all Engen bursaries close on the 4th of April of each year.

Engen has a 135 year history and can be found in 30 different countries globally.


Application Due Date
04 April 2018


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