If you have just completed your Bachelor’s degree and you’re looking for scholarships for graduate students in Nigeria, there are several options to help relieve or alleviate your financial stress. This can be achieved through scholarships, assistantships, or fellowship. For this post, we will be looking at some scholarships for graduate students in Nigeria. Before we dive right in, let’s run through the differences between the three at postgraduate levels.
Scholarships, Assistantships, or Fellowships
A postgraduate scholarship is the full funding of students to help them cover the cost of a Master’s degree or other types of postgraduate courses. Ideally, they cover the total tuition and living expenses of beneficiaries. Unlike a postgraduate loan, a scholarship doesn't need to be repaid.
An assistantship is quite different from a scholarship and is similar to a work-study program. Here, you are assisted by being employed by your university of study in a job role related to your field of study as a student. You receive tuition reimbursement for tasks performed for a faculty member, the department, or the entire college. It avails graduates of part-time and paid job opportunities as well and professional knowledge acquisition, expansion, and experience, with supervision in their fields of study. The salary given does not count as a financial aid award as in the case of fellowships.
Fellowships are usually sponsored by associations, to provide financial support in exchange for short-term professional development opportunities lasting anywhere from a few months to a couple of years in a specific field setting. Though similar to scholarships, they cover costs such as tuition fees, housing, textbooks, and other essential supplies.
Please note that the above should not also be confused for bursaries and studentships.
Now, for Scholarships for graduate students in Nigeria, we have the following options. They are awarded to Nigerian students who meet all the given eligibility criteria required for them to qualify for the scholarship. Fellowships are sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education, government agencies and universities, philanthropic foundations, and other corporations. They could be merit-based, discipline-based, or means-based; that is, for students with proven financial incapability.
Prominent scholarships for graduate students in Nigeria
- Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) scholarship: offers 10 Nigerian graduate students a chance to study full time for a Master's qualification at a UK university every year.
- Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG): for five exceptionally intelligent students from Nigeria and Ghana who wish to pursue their Master’s in Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government (BSG), University of Oxford yearly.
- NNPC/Total National merit scholarships
- Agip postgraduate scholarships
- Shell scholarships
- The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) scholarships
All scholarships provided by these oil and gas companies usually cover tuition fees basically and some other costs. Foundations that also give scholarships to graduate students in Nigeria include the following.
- MTN Foundation scholarship
- Jim Ovia Foundation Leadership Scholarship
- David Oyedepo Foundation scholarship for African Students
- Gani Fawehinmi Scholarships.
Various other scholarship opportunities exist in Nigeria for Nigerian students and international students. However, scholarships for graduate students in Nigeria tend to heavily favor the local students.
Finally, ensure that you do NOT pay any charges to win scholarships for Nigerian graduate students to avoid being swindled as applications are usually free. Best of luck trying out any of the options above.