The European Union (EU) has awarded Masters degree scholarship to 135 young Nigerians under the 2023 Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme.
Ms Samuela Isopi, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.
“The awardees will be engaged for their masters programme for 12 months and some for 24 months in three different countries in the EU, including Turkey, United Kingdom, and Serbia.
“At the end of their masters programme they will be given a masters certificate”, she said.
Isopi said that tNigerian students’ performances in the programme ranked them first in Africa and fifth in the world after Pakistan in first position, followed by Indi, Brazil, and Bangladesh in second, third, and fourth positions respectively.
She expressed regret that the number of Nigerian youths participating in the programme had dropped from more than 200 in 2022, to 135 in 2023.
She attributed the drop in number of participants in the programme to inadequate publicity.
The ambassador said it was the reason a focal point desk was established in schools with the help of the Federal Ministry of Education.
She expressed optimism that the measure would help sensitise some educational institutions across the country to the availability of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme so that they could take advantage of it.
“The selection process had 15,000 applications from around the world, of which 135 young Nigerians were selected for the 2023 Erasmus Mundus Masters Programme.
“This shows the bloc’s commitment to strengthening the already existing bilateral relations between Nigeria and the EU in the educational sector,” she said.
Also speaking, Ms Leila Mathieu, EU’s Head of Human Development, said that Nigerian students had been doing well in all categories of the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship schemes since its inception.
“Nigerian students are doing well abroad. They are resilient and great in what they do abroad which makes them good ambassadors of their country,” she said.
Mr Gbadewole Oladayo, who was awarded scholarship to study International masters in Environmental Technologies and Engineering said it was easy for him to be selected because he already had all the requirements ready.
Miss Gift Oparah, who received a Masters Scholarship to study Resilience in Educational Context, said that a school friend encouraged her to apply.
She said that though the process was a little stringent, she was grateful for the opportunity the EU has given to young Nigerians to study abroad, “especially, those who cannot afford it”.