No fewer than 200 Nigerians have been awarded postgraduate scholarships by the European Union (EU), to study in the best European universities under the Erasmus+ programme.

EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Samuela Isopi, said this at the send forth for the students on Wednesday in Abuja.

The ambassador said that Nigeria was ranked second after Pakistan among the countries benefiting from the programme.

Erasmus Plus scholarship is an initiative of the EU aimed at enhancing quality higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between the union and the rest of the world.

Isopi said there were an increasing number of Nigerian students, who received scholarships, compared to 2021.

She said, ”in the last four years, there had been a quadrupling in terms of the number of Nigerians selected for Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Scholarships.

”The number increased in 2019 from 44 winners to 93 in 2020, 133 in 2021, and a record number of more than 200 were awarded this year.”

She said during their stay for the period, they would have the opportunity to visit up to six countries across Europe, saying that the potential of Nigeria was very high in the scholarship.

“The programme is aimed at connecting and uniting young people across Europe and across the globe.

“To build a new generation of words citizens, keen to work together for peace, for prosperity and for the common good.

”So, this year, we celebrate these achievements, but also to further boost our cooperation with Nigeria.

“On education, we have decided to combine the traditional pre-departure orientation event with a study in Europe fair.

“We expect to receive today more than 2,000 visitors in just the first time we organised this fair in a few months, we promise we can meet to make it bigger in 2023,” she said.
The Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Chris Maiyaki, said the event was a groundbreaking achievement as well as a proud moment for Nigeria as the second country with the most cut in a single year.

He commended the EU for its tremendous support and contributions in generating, disseminating and expanding the frontiers of knowledge to develop Nigerian manpower.

Maiyaki said the commission, in conjunction with critical stakeholders, had recently embarked on some legacy projects including the much awaited guidelines on transnational education.

He said this would allow foreign investors and universities into the Nigerian university space through the establishment of four campuses in Nigeria.

“They can also undertake partnerships with existing universities under six competitive models.

They are franchise, the branch campus, the twinning and articulation and then the distance learning and or acquisition and merger.

“We’re living in an age of knowledge, an age where education or human capital holds the key to our success and our opportunities.

“Only education, particularly the type of quality education produced in some of the best academic traditions and good eras most universities can instigate rapid, social, economic, scientific and technological changes.

”These changes are needed to guarantee our march to the future with pride and confidence.

“Education remains our most potent weapon for injecting hope in our youth and in our ability to negotiate a better quality of life for our people.

“And here, I will like to rephrase the deep sense of gratitude that we continue to feel as a university system to the EU and the European delegation to Nigeria, to Erasmus scholars,” he said.

Also, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, thanked the EU delegation and the ECOWAS for organising the event for Nigerians students, while congratulating the successful awardees.

Adamu, who was represented by Mrs Asta Ndajiwo, the Director, Federal Scholarship Board, urged the awardees to be law abiding, so as to excel in their fields. (NAN)

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