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Commonwealth Awards Over 800 Scholarships, Fellowships Annually



 The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Harriet ompson has said that Commonwealth awards over 800 scholarships and fellowships each year to commonwealth state citizens. is she said recently during a panel discussion and welcome reception organised by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), for Commonwealth Alumni at the Great Hall, British Council in Abuja.

The CSC is an executive non- departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID).

The CSC manages the UK contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP), an international programme under which member governments o er scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries.

The opening address was given by Mrs. Lucy Pearson, Country Director, and British Council. e British Envoy, ompson, who gave the welcome remarks, stressed that the CSC aims to contribute to the UK’s international development goals and wider overseas interest, to support excellence in UK higher education, and sustain the

principles of Commonwealth. “We select candidates on the basis of merit and their potential to contribute to the needs of their home countries,” she said underlining that the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships in the UK are funded by DFID (for Developing Commonwealth Countries), and the Department for Education (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with the UK Universities. ompson noted that CSC o ers Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD research and master’s studies among others.

The CSC also o ers other scholarship opportunities like the Commonwealth Split- site Scholarships for PhD candidates to spend up to 12 months in the UK as part of theirdoctoralstudies,aswell as the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for Masters Study, for students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK. All of these are jointly supported by UK Universities.

There are also Commonwealth Distance learning Scholarships for Master’s studies, for students from developing countries to study UK Degree courses while living in their home countries.

Available also is the Commonwealth Academic Fellowships for early career academics from developing countries to conduct research and network and Commonwealth Professional Career for mid-career medical and dental sta from developing countries to enhance their clinical skills.

The CSC also nominates UK citizens for Commonwealth scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries.

On her part, Mrs. Fatima Jiodum Ahmad, Director Federal Scholarship Board, representing the Ministry of Education/Scholarship Board notes that the CSC is a worthy partner and that the Alumni from Nigeria should strive to seize the available education and training opportunities provided by the scholarship to harness their abilities in readiness totakeupthedauntingtask of bringing those skills and trainings they have acquired to create solutions in Nigeria and the entire Commonwealth Community.

Similarly, Professor Fidelis Oditah (SAN) a bene ciary of the Commonwealth Scholarship Programme in 1986, delivering thekeynoteaddressnotedthat he understands the importance of a system that is run based on meritnotmediocrity.Withthe challenges in Nigeria, genuine skilled and trained persons must not continue to abandon the political space for charlatans

who have no business being in government. One of the objectivesoftheCSCistotake young people, enhance and change them into change agents themselves.

“ The problem with Nigerian education is not investments but the incapacities of the curriculum, irrespective of the fact that we have lecturers; the lecturers themselves are part of the problem so we should stop blaming the government alone. CSC should involve itself in policy advocacy, policy formulation and engage seriously to address development challenges of our time,” he said.

Other prominent individuals and members of the panel include; Prof. Fidelis Oditah (SAN), Adetola Tola Onayemi, Authority/Assistant Chief Negotiator at the Nigerian o ce for Trade Negotiations (NOTN), and Olufunke Baruwa. Gender and Development Practitioner and Board member, Nigerian Women Trust Fund the event was moderated by Channels TV Maupe Ogun.

The CSFP was established at the rst Commonwealth education conference in 1959 and is reviewed by education ministers at their triennial meetings. e CSFP has enabled 30,000 individuals to study in over 20 countries across the Commonwealth.

Cross section of the participants during a panel discussion and welcome reception, organised by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), for Alumni at British Council in Abuja Commonwealth Awards Over 800 Scholarships, Fellowships Annually.



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