The Chevening Programme Officer, Jibike Faborode, says that the average cost for an award of scholarship under Chevening United Kingdom Scholarships Scheme is about N14.3 million (£30, 000).

Ms. Faborode stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.

She explained that the scheme was being funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations.

NAN reports that Chevening is a global scholarships and fellowships scheme with an influential global alumni network, aimed at developing global leaders professionally, academically, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.

The UK scheme provides the opportunity for talented individuals, who possess leadership potentials, to study for a fully funded master’s degree at any university in the United Kingdom.

According to her, it is fully funded. The average cost of an award is 30, 000 Pounds, that’s the average cost for one person only.

‘’And that covers monthly stipend, tuition, grants for essential upkeep and some events in the UK, traveling here and there; it is quite comprehensive,” she said.

Ms. Faborode said that already, a total of 43 Nigerians had been awarded the scholarships for 2017/2018 academic year, adding that there is no set maximum number for the award but a minimum of 38 candidates.

‘’We don’t have a set slot every year, it depends on what is available for the budget but we do have a minimum of 38 scholarship slots for Nigeria.

‘’In 2015/2016 academic session, we sent 44 candidates; 2016/2017, we awarded 53 and this year, 43,’’ she said.

She said that the number for 2018/2019 session slot, which application was already opened since August 7 to end November 7, might increase depending on what would be available.

Ms. Faborode said that the scheme started in Nigeria in 1984 and had been in operation since then.

She added that the scholarship was for a one-year master’s degree programmes, which covered any field of study in United Kingdom with no age bracket as long as the candidate exhibited leadership qualities in the application.

She said the criteria for eligibility included being a citizen of Nigeria and acquisition of a university degree to gain a placement at the graduate school in UK.

Others include a minimum of two years work experience and the candidates should not have received any funding from UK government programmes in the past.

‘’Ideally, we want academically sound candidates, people with upper class and above have an advantage but I always encourage others, who fall below this to as well try to augment other areas that Chevening is looking for.

‘’There is no open age limit for Chevening, in fact, most of our applicants come from 25 to 35 age bracket and we receive some applications from 35 years old to 45,’’ she said.

Ms. Faborode said that the application was an online process which did not require curriculum vitae but personal information, educational background as well as the four essays.

She said that among the essays was the carrier plan, which even if the candidate had a first class but could not write sound carrier plan, the candidate might be disqualified.

NAN reports that Chevening conducted the first road show on Wednesday in Port Harcourt to sensitise and encourage applications from Nigerians for the scholarships scheme.

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