A total of 53 Nigerians have been awarded Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships for the 2016-17 academic session, and will leave for the UK this month.
The Chevening award is the UK government’s international global scholarship programme, offered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations for fully-funded master’s study in the UK.
In his welcome address at the reception, the High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright said: “This is my second Chevening event since I arrived at post a year ago. On my many travels around the country, I am constantly meeting individuals who are at the very top of their careers and 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 and provide a prestigious platform to further activate the potential of future leaders for greater impact in the development of Nigeria.”
He said since the first Chevening award in Nigeria in 1984, more than a thousand Nigerian professionals have benefited from the prestigious scholarship.
Arkwright added that the British High Commission has entered into a first ever local partnership arrangement with LADOL, a Nigerian company, and continues to pursue more local partnership opportunities to enable a greater number of Nigerians benefit from the scholarship which boasts a global alumni network of 43,000 members.
“For the 2016/2017 Chevening cycle, Nigeria recorded the highest number of applications globally, with about 4,000 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.
“Our aim is to further increase the scholarships slots available to Nigeria and we hope to achieve this through Chevening local partnerships. This is an arrangement in which Chevening, through the High Commission enters an agreement with a partner organisation to co-fund specific Chevening awards.”
He congratulated the awardees on their success, encouraged them to aim for excellence in their studies as great Nigerian ambassadors to the UK and charged them to take advantage of every opportunity the Chevening platform offers.
Responding, one of the scholars, Chigbo Chikwendu, thanked the British High Commission and Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the award. Chigbo, a health professional who had identified his dream course five years ago, thanked the UK government for the opportunity to finally fulfill his dreams through the Chevening award. He stated how much he looked forward to the learning experience the UK has to offer and his contributions to developing the human capital in Nigeria when he returns.