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Analysis

PEMEX Corporate University

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 14:24

In September 2013, PEMEX formally inaugurated its own higher educational center: PEMEX Corporate University. Emilio Lozoya Austin, CEO of PEMEX, said the university is now a keystone in transforming PEMEX into a world class company. He pointed to human capital as being the company’s most valuable asset, making capacity development a fundamental element of competitiveness and productivity. PEMEX University is not seeking to replace higher education establishments, but to be a link between them and PEMEX to generate talent fitting the industry’s needs. As it is not a traditional academic institution, PEMEX Corporate University will cater to company employees, strengthening and certifying their technical capacities. It will not grant degrees nor will it accept students from outside PEMEX’s ranks. Instead, its certifications will complement existing educational offerings by focusing on the critical areas of the firm’s modernization process. This is not the first institution of its kind in Mexico, as many companies have established similar institutions to develop competencies. Similarly, PEMEX is following the lead of national oil companies such as Ecopetrol and Petrobras in improving its technical and operational skills. Víctor Díaz Solís, Corporate Managing Director of PEMEX, says the university will seek feedback and support regarding its programs, which are created in collaboration with the Mexican Petroleum Institute (IMP). It is worth mentioning that the ITESM was deeply involved in crafting the academic platform of the PEMEX Corporate University based on the aforementioned programs. According to Díaz Solís, the contribution of more universities will be sought to develop the institution’s curricula. PEMEX devised the PEMEX Corporate University idea in order to address technical aspects and business related concepts with members of its labor union, trusted collaborators, and its executive team. The goal is to create 32 schools based around the following bodies of knowledge: upstream, downstream, logistics, commercialization, technological asset management, financial asset management, business direction and human resources, and physical asset management. The last category includes the School of Maintenance Processes, which was the first area of the university to begin classes with 120 initial students.

Prior to this, PEMEX has offered online academic programs since 2001. However, the limitations inherent to virtual models of learning led it to the creation of classroom-based courses. This sees PEMEX Corporate University’s programs being taught 80% through on-site classes and 20% through virtual classrooms. In May 2014, Lozoya Austin and the governor of Queretaro, José Calzada Rovirosa, announced the creation of a new campus for PEMEX Corporate University in a 40- acre territory in the state. Queretaro has long served as an innovation hub for other industries, such as aerospace. Lozoya Austin and his fellow PEMEX executives hope some of the technological capacities developed in the state for other industries will filter to the oil sector in a technology spillover. The first step in the creation of this facility will be building the campus’s Training Center for exploration, production, and industrial transformation. The initial investment for this center will hover around US$190 million coming from PEMEX, assisted by capital from the CONACYT-SENER Hydrocarbon Fund. This joint investment program will aim to train more than 1,000 young professionals each year. The specific goal of this training center will be to incorporate academic content from business administration to technical projects. An overarching mandate will be the promotion of a business focus throughout the company, fulfilling some of the mandates included in the Energy Reform.