On Thursday (1 September 2016) the British High Commission Abuja hosted a farewell reception for young Nigerians who have been awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship for the 2016/2017 session. A total of 53 Nigerians have been awarded Chevening Scholarships and Fellowships for the 2016/17 academic year and will be pursuing their postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom from September.
In his welcome address British High Commissioner to Nigeria, 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 program which aims to train exceptional individuals and provide a prestigious platform to further activates the potentials of future leaders for greater impact in the development of Nigeria.
He added that since the first Chevening award in Nigeria in 1984, more than a thousand Nigerian professionals have benefited from the prestigious scholarship.
The High Commissioner disclosed further 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 prestigious scholarship which boasts a global Alumni network of 43,000 members.
The High Commissioner said:
Permit me to quickly give a few updates on the Chevening Scholarships program in Nigeria. 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 (37 of these new scholars are present here today while others were hosted to a reception in Lagos last week). 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 2016-17 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.
In response, one of the scholars, Chigbo Chikwendu, thanked the British High Commission and Foreign and Commonwealth Office for granting him the award. Chigbo, a health professional who had identified his dream course 5 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.
The President of the Chevening Alumni Association of Nigeria, Tom Odemwingie alongside many other Chevening alumni and guests were also present to felicitate with the departing scholars.
About Chevening Scholarships
Chevening award is the UK government’s international global scholarship programme, offered by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and partner organisations for fully-funded Master’s study in the UK.
The scholarship programme has long been renowned for giving its recipients the opportunity to study in British universities which rank among the best in the world whilst, at the same time, experiencing the best that the UK has to offer.
Applications are currently open for 2017/18 Chevening Scholarships and will close on 8 November 2016.