Every year, thousands of Nigerians migrate overseas to the top ten education destinations on UNESCO’s list. This high rise of Nigeria’s demand on the foreign education market is due to the current educational standards, employability, course/area of study, and more importantly the booming middle class. In recent years, an average tuition fee for international students in a UK university is £12,000 and above, combining this tuition fees with the average cost of living in the UK, which is estimated to about £12,056, the total average costs to study in the UK is £24,056/Year, but this depends on your location, it might go higher in metropolitan locations.
The question is how you pay for these expenses; studying abroad for Nigerians is no longer privy to the upper and middle class, even the not so vibrant lower class can still afford tuition fees and living costs of these top notch Ivy League institutions. Well, a majority of these tuition fees are usually funded by parents, personal finance, loans or scholarships.
There are various prominent scholarships for Nigerian international students to study in the UK; these scholarships are offered by the Government, Commonwealth organization, private companies, individuals and NGOs to eligible Nigerian students with intentions to oversee or influence the future development of the country. These scholarships are widely available to postgraduate Nigerian students but a bit scarce for undergraduate study. These scholarships for Nigerian students usually cover the following costs:
- University tuition fees, some have a tuition cap of £18,000
- Arrival allowance, monthly stipend and eventual departure allowance
- Travel costs to and from the UK
- Field trips
- Grant to cover your thesis study
- Grant to cover study materials costs
- Visa application fees
Your UK Scholarship Eligibility
To determine your eligibility to apply for these scholarships, you can follow the checklist below:
- You must be a Nigerian citizen and permanently reside in the country, this is particularly necessary for Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships
- You must be available to start your academic studies in the UK in the academic year of your scholarship application
- Secondary school results e.g. WAEC, NECO, GCE
- You must possess a Bachelor degree of at least upper second or lower second (2:1 OR 2:2) honors, or a second class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification or viable work experience in your field of study preferably 2-3 years. Always check this before applying.
- Return to your country of citizenship for a minimum of two years after your scholarship has ended
- You must have received an unconditional admission offer from a UK university in the required course choices, or will get one before the close of application. Check this article for top UK universities
- English language proficiency requirement by the time of application i.e. IELTS, TOEFL, WEAC. The IELTS with overall score of 5.5 is widely accepted among UK universities and can be registered for via the British Council, the test is taken in eight locations across Nigeria such as Benin, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Ilorin and Ibadan. Registration is at least 2 months before test date, test fees cost N52,000 paid in any bank draft addressed to the British Council. Some UK universities such as Sheffield, Plymouth, etc accept a good grade in WAEC.
- Letter of recommendation from an upstanding official in the Nigerian government, these individuals include your Local Government Chairman, State House of Assembly member, Federal Senator in your constituency, High court judge or a first class traditional ruler
- Local government identification certificate via your local government office
- National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate
- Birth certificate from the National Population Census, this is because some scholarships have certain age limits
Prior to starting your scholarship applications, you must have gained admission into a post graduate degree course in the UK or applying to get one, this is quite easily done online by registering an admission account with your intending school, uploading your documents, passing your assessments such as phone interviews or SKYPE chats. Just ensure that you have your necessary admission requirements available, such as:
- Two to three references to be provided in a letterhead format and written in English by a current employer or university professor
- Secondary school results e.g. WAEC, NECO, GCE
- English Language test certificate
- University academic transcripts (undergraduate or postgraduate), this can be gotten from Exams and Records department in the Academic office of your Undergraduate school, they usually cost N2000 – N20,000 depending on the urgency and courier services.
- Valid international passport or national ID card, click here on how to get one
- Passport Photographs with 450 x 450 pixel dimensions on white background
- Statement of purpose indicating your reasons, passion and intentions for the course of study
- Proof of sufficient funding i.e. Bank statements
- Curriculum Vitae
The scholarship application season is all year round, but early applications are necessary just so you don’t miss the September/January university admission resumption window. Here are seven Nigeria scholarships for postgraduate study in the UK.
- Chevening Scholarship
- Commonwealth Scholarships for Master’s and PhD study – developing Commonwealth country citizens
- Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Post Graduate Scholarship
- Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Post Graduate Scholarship
- Nigeria Liquefied and Natural Gas (NLNG) Post Graduate Scholarship
- Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Niger Delta Post Graduate Scholarship Scheme
- Nigerian Agip Exploration (NAE) Post Graduate Scholarship
Pay attention to scholarship announcements on Hotnigerianjobs and other useful scholarship website links, which I have included in the useful links section below. Scholarship applications are done online, so just have a good internet connectivity, Laptop and scanner. Some of these scholarship programs require good test scores and interviews to be awarded, these tests can be computer based or handwritten, GMAT, GRE and SHL test materials will be a good start for your study requirements, Nairaland Jobs section and Google is a good place to get some.