Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has announced additional 100 Chevening scholarship slots for African students — about 30 percent increase in existing slots.
The Chevening Scholarship is an international scholarship scheme which enables students with leadership and networking skills from 144 countries and territories to undertake postgraduate study or courses in universities in the United Kingdom.
Speaking in Cape Town, South Africa, the prime minister said this will be an opportunity for the best and brightest Africans to study in some of the best Universities in the United Kingdom.
The objective of Chevening is “to support foreign policy priorities and achieve FCO objectives by creating lasting positive relationships with future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers”.
This is part of the UK’s commitment to expanding its diplomatic and trade relations in Africa, following its exit from the European Union via Brexit.
According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) over 8,000 African students have benefitted from the scholarship scheme since it kicked off in 1983.
In September 2018, 340 African students will begin their masters programme in the UK on the scholarship scheme, over 30 of those will be Nigerian students.
There are currently 43 Nigerian students rounding off their masters degree in the UK, on the same scholarship, which is estimated to be worth about N20 million per student.
For the 2017/2018 session, the highest beneficiary out of Africa was Egypt, with 67 scholars.