The UK Government has awarded Chevening scholarship to 53 Nigerians for the 2016/2017 Chevening cycle, the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, has said.
Arkwright stated this at the pre-departure orientation programme in Abuja, organised for Chevening scholars to commence their study programmes in the UK this September, according to the High Commission.
“For the 2016/2017 Chevening cycle, Nigeria recorded the highest number of applications globally, with about 4000 eligible applications.
“Following this, a total of 53 Chevening scholarship and fellowship awards were made available to Nigerians this year.
“This is a massive upgrade from the 12 scholars who were selected in 2014, further demonstrating the UK’s commitment to Nigeria,” he said.
Arkwright said Chevening currently boasts of an influential global alumni network exceeding 43,000 members, of which over 1,000 are Nigerians.
He said some notable Nigeria alumni included Amb. Sola Enikanolaye, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr Habiba Lawal of the Ecological Fund.
Others were Mohammed Babandede, Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigrations Service; John Momoh, founder of Channels Television, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Group Managing Director, First Bank and Valentine Ozigbo (Managing Director, Transcorp Hotels.
“On my travels around the country, I constantly meet individuals who are at the top of their careers; it is always pleasant to hear them introduce themselves as Chevening scholars.
“This further demonstrates the fact that the mission of Chevening is being met – a scholarship programme which aims to train exceptional individuals.
“Chevening also provide a prestigious platform to further activate the potential of future leaders for greater impact in the development of Nigeria,” he said.
The UK envoy said the Chevening Scholarship programme was an important element of Britain’s public diplomacy effort.
“Young professionals with outstanding academic and leadership talents are given the opportunity to study for a one-year Masters degree at any UK University of their choice.
“Afterwards, they are required to return to Nigeria to assist in further development of the country. Chevening Scholarships are therefore, structured to create lasting positive relationships with Nigeria.”
He said application for the 2017/18 Chevening cycle was now open and would close on Nov. 8, 2016.
He advised prospective applicants to visit the global Chevening website (www.Chevening.org).
“Our aim is to further increase the scholarship slots available to Nigerians and we hope to achieve this through Chevening Local Partnerships.
“I’m delighted to announce our first local Chevening Partner, Ladol Integrated Logistics Free Zone Enterprise, who are co-funding an award in the energy sector, starting 2017/18,” he said.
He said the average cost of an award is £30,000, adding a Chevening Local Partnerships allowed Chevening, through the High Commission, to partner with an organisation to co-fund specific Chevening awards.