U.S. extended scholarships of almost $9 million to Nigerians in 2018 – Envoy
The U.S. Government says about 13,000 Nigerian undergraduate students study in the U.S. every year and it extended scholarships of almost $9 million to Nigerians last year.
According to Ms Malia Heroux, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, U.S Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria becomes the country with the highest number of African Students in U.S schools.
Heroux disclosed this while speaking during the U.S. Embassy 2019 EducationUSA College fair with the theme “Solidifying Connections and Exploring New Frontiers”.
Heroux said that that 39,000 students from the African continent studied in the U.S. every year, with 13, 000 of them being Nigerian.
She said that that number of Nigerian students represented one-third of all African students studying in the U.S.
According to her, there are no specific targets for the number of students who study in the U.S. every year from Nigeria, explaining that studying in the U.S is voluntary.
She further said that all EducationUSA officials advised about 81,000 students across Nigeria on the benefits of studying in the U.S. last year through emails, skype, various messages, and phone calls.
Heroux, however, said that the number of students from Nigeria studying in the U.S. did not in any way mean that Nigerian educational institutions were not living up to expectations.
She said there was a wide variety programmes being offered in both the U.S. and Nigeria, including linkages between universities in the U.S. and Nigeria.
“We also have a lot of graduates students looking to go after they have completed their undergraduate education here,” Heroux said.
In the area of scholarship, Heroux also said the U.S. extended scholarship of almost $9 million to Nigerians last year.
Speaking earlier, Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy said that the EducationUSA programme provided assistance to promote a number of Nigerian students in U.S. educational institutions.
FitzGibbon said that according to the Institute of International Education, Nigeria recorded nearly 10 per cent increase in the number of those studying in the U.S., the this making the country to lead the rest of Africa.
She urged Nigerian students to keep the lead and to increase the percentage.
FitzGibbon said that studying in the U.S. would afford the students the opportunity to pick up some of the skills Nigerians are known for and apply them to the development of the country on their return to Nigeria.
She said that Nigerians made up the most entrepreneurial immigrant class in the U.S.
“Prominent Nigerians have studied in the U.S. and returned to contribute to the development of their country. As many of you know, former President Nnamdi Azikiwe, attended Columbia, Howard Universities; Onyeka Owenu, the (former) Director-General of the National Center for Women Development, attended Wesley College and The New School for Social Research”.
“So, these are people that you see on a regular basis who were educated in the United States,” FitzGibbon said.
She said that representatives from the 55 universities participating in the fair would make known the admission processes and scholarship opportunities to prospective Nigerian undergraduate and graduate students. (NAN)