Federal government has flagged off the 2021/2022 Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (SCFP) nomination interview.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu during the flag off on Tuesday said applications shall be graded based on academic merit, quality of research proposal and development impact on completion of the study as PhD candidates.
He noted that the Commonwealth selection criteria give high priority to applicants that demonstrate the strongest relevance to national development.
Adamu who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Arch Sonny Echono, said since the inception of the scholarship award in 1959, more than 30,000 scholars have benefited and majority of the award holders from Nigeria have returned to make significant contributions to the development of the nation, mostly in the tertiary institutions.
“To this end, the Commission’s mandatory regulation for scholars is to acquire the requisite knowledge as well as skills, and return to their respective home countries at the end of the award period to make meaningful impact in their various fields of study to achieve multiplier effect,” he said.
The minister explained that “it is in the realization of this objective, that the CSC adopted a scholarship policy aimed at ensuring greater and equitable access to higher education by a greater number of qualified citizens of the Commonwealth member nations.”
Awards limited in number
In her remark, the director, federal scholarship board, Hajiya Ndajiwo Hammanjoda said the awards are very limited in number this year compared with the large number of applications received each year due to COVID-19.
“This year, approximately three hundred and fifty (350) candidates applied through the Electronic Application System (EAS). The value of the award per awardee depends on the fiel of specialization and it is adjudged to be sufficient, with provision to spouses if indicated, thus makes the award scheme the most competitive and prestigious in the world.
“It is important to note that the grading score of applicants this year is based on Academic Merit, Quality of Research Proposal and Development Impact on completion of the study.”
She said: “336 offers were made to the 54 Commonwealth countries with an average of six per country. Last year, 4,424 candidates applied through the Electronics Application System (EAS). Nigeria received a total of 24 awards, due to the high quality of candidates’ presented.”