2000 Nigerians jostle for Commonwealth postgraduate scholarship

• 30,000 have so far benefited ― FG

The federal government on Monday flagged off the 2022/2023 nomination interview for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), with more than 2000 Nigerians jostling for the limited but highly prestigious award as it covers the awardee and the spouse.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu who flagged off the exercise in Abuja disclosed that since its inception in 1959, more than 30,000 individuals have benefited from the awards and the majority of the awardees from Nigeria have returned to make significant contributions to the development of the nation, particularly in our tertiary institutions.

He said this was in line with the overall objective of the scheme which is to ensure that the returnee scholars make a meaningful impact in their various disciplines.

He said: “it is instructive to emphasize that this interview is keenly contested, due to the limited number of awards. Part of the ratings for the awards was concluded during your completion of the Electronic Application System (EAS) forms.

“Similarly, the panellist here today, are a carefully selected team of experts and professors in the relevant fields of study and have been assigned to authenticate the significant correlation between your interview scores and that of the Electronic Application System (EAS),” he said.

Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Arc Sonny Echono, told the candidates that their applications and submissions would be graded based on academic merit, quality of study plan and likely development impact on the completion of the study.

“It is therefore imperative to further inform you that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission’s nomination criteria give high priority to applications that present the strongest relevance to national development,” he said.

The Director, Federal Scholarship Board, Mrs Asta Ndajiwo, in her remark noted that the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (UK) sent a note verbal, inviting Federal Scholarship Board (FSB) to nominate qualified Nigerian candidates for Commonwealth Scholarships in the United Kingdom.

She said the ceremony was to kick start another nomination process for the most qualified Nigerians to compete globally with candidates of other Commonwealth Countries.

“It is important to inform you that the award is highly competitive with a very limited number compared to the large number of applications received yearly and this year, almost 2000 applied through the Electronic Application System (EAS),” she said.

She recalled that because of the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, only the PhD candidates were interviewed last year but this year, both Masters and PhD programmes were made open.

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