EU Gives Flagship Postgraduate Scholarships to 200 Nigerians
By Adedapo Adesanya
The European Union (EU) has offered postgraduate scholarships to over 200 young Nigerians in top European universities under its flagship educational programme, Erasmus+.
The figure represents a steep increase from the number of Nigerians that benefited from the initiative last year. The number of Nigerians selected for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree Scholarships has quadrupled in the last four years, rising from 44 awardees in 2019; 93 in 2020; 133 in 2021 to the record number of over 200 awardees in 2022.
It also places Nigeria second among countries with the highest number of students selected for the prestigious programme in 2022 – coming only after Pakistan.
From the ninth position in 2020 and sixth in 2021, the country now has the second highest number of beneficiaries globally, leaving behind countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Mexico in the top bracket of countries with the most awardees globally. Over 730 Nigerians have benefitted from the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree since 2004.
Each scholarship awardee will, on successful completion of the programme, receive a master’s degree to be jointly awarded by a consortium of universities, in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters programme – a key component of Erasmus+.
The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters are high-level and integrated study programmes at the master’s level, delivered by an international partnership of higher education institutions.
The studies will run for 12-24 months and will see each beneficiary studying in at least three different universities in as many countries during the duration of the programme.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, said the steep rise in the number of Nigerians benefiting from the programme in recent years reflects the premium the EU places on its partnership with the country.
She also reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to ramping up programmes and activities targeting Nigeria’s vibrant young people.
“The Erasmus+ programme is an example of the great cooperation we have with Nigeria, and reflects the EU’s commitment to widening the space and increasing opportunities for young Nigerians to actualise their dreams and play their role in contributing to the development of their country,” Ms Isopi said.
According to her, the gesture exemplifies regular migration opportunities for ordinary Nigerians to travel abroad based on their capacity, merit and abilities in their respective fields.
“With the increased number of opportunities, I hope that in the coming years, even more Nigerian students and Higher Education Institutions can benefit from this programme,” Ambassador Isopi stated.
The Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Programme is open to applicants worldwide, and scholarships are offered to the best-ranked applicants from all over the world.