Minister: 30,000 Nigerians have benefited from Commonwealth scholarships
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, says no fewer than 30,000 Nigerians have benefited from the Commonwealth Scholarship awards since its inception in 1959.
The award is the UK’s primary scholarship scheme focused on supporting British international development goals. It is designed to attract outstanding talent to UK universities whilst also supporting sustainable development overseas.
Adamu said the idea behind the scholarship was to make scholars acquire the requisite knowledge and skills, and return to their home country to make a meaningful impact in their various fields of study.
The minister was speaking on Tuesday during the launch of the 2021/2022 nomination interview of Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) in Abuja, where he was represented by Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of the ministry.
He noted that majority of the award holders had returned home to make significant contributions to the development of Nigeria, mostly in the tertiary institutions.
“Education is critical to the achievement of the present administration’s transformation agenda, which is expected to accelerate economic growth, engender social change, create a stable polity and improve on the quality of life of the Nigerians,” he said.
“This can only come to fruition through human capital development.
“Consequently, the education sector has been saddled with the responsibility of propelling our country to the realisation of her development goals so as to become one of the top economies of the world and improve access to tertiary education.
“I have no doubt that all candidates in this nomination interview have done research on Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), its mission, vision and guidelines among others.”
The minister said applications have been limited to PhD candidates, based on instructions from the CSC, and that they would be graded based on academic merit, quality of research proposal and development impact on the completion of the study as PhD candidates.
Ndajiwo Asta, director of the Federal Scholarship Board, said as a result of the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, candidates for 2020 were advised to defer their scholarship to 2021.
Asta explained that in 2020, there were 336 offers made to the 54 commonwealth countries with an average of six candidates per country.
She said 4,424 candidates applied through the electronic application system (EAS), adding that Nigeria received 24 awards.
“The awards are very limited in number compared with the large number of applications received each year,” she said.
“This year, approximately 350 candidates applied through the EAS.
“The value of the award per awardee depends on the field of specialisation and it is adjudged to be sufficient, with provision to spouses if indicated, thus makes the award scheme the most competitive and prestigious in the world.”
Source: The Cable Newspaper