56 African Scholars Get Postgraduate Overseas Scholarships

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No fewer than 56 African scholars from five countries have benefited from the 2023 edition of Michael Taiwo postgraduate scholarship programme to study abroad.

According to a statement signed by Michael Taiwo Scholarship Press Secretary, Nneka Nwogwugwu, yesterday, the programme’s application process commenced on June 26, 2023, and ended on July 6, 2023, with a total of 8,830 applicants from five different countries.

Founder of the programme, Dr. Michael Taiwo, an American-based Chemical Engineer, said the programme was launched to mitigate the plights of scholars accessing institutions abroad.

He said: “When I reflect on my career from primary school through a doctorate degree to becoming a professional, the most challenging part was applying to a graduate school abroad and what made it difficult were both the cost and the means to pay for the application. I decided to help those following me by easing their access to world-class higher education.

“We advertised “The GRE Scholarship” on October 1, 2019, and were surprised by the outcome. In a little over a week, we received over 1,000 applicants. This showed there was a need for this service and thus we decided to make it yearly.

We have since held it yearly even though the formal incorporation of the organisation came much later in September 2022.

“In 2019, we only paid for the GRE and TOEFL, two exams needed to mount a successful application. Now, we have added school application fees and additional score reports (ASR) so that we can give our beneficiaries the best possible chances of getting a fully-funded admission into a school of their choice.”

Taiwo, who spoke on the future of the scholarship programme, added: “The goal is to run this programme in perpetuity, and for it to outlast me. As such, the scholarship team is working on different funding models to make this happen.

“I want to see more black people do amazing things on the global stage. Indians are running the biggest companies in the world, thanks to their attending good American universities after completing their undergraduate programmes in their home countries.

“I want to see Africans achieve something similar. This is how we can change the narrative. I know we have many brilliant minds; they just need the chance to prove themselves.”

He, therefore, urged well-meaning individuals and organisations to partner with the initiative and help more scholars have access to higher learning abroad.

Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries, Miss Jennifer Hilejime, a First Class student from Benue State, who expressed gratitude to the organisers, said she learned about the initiative from a Whatsapp group where she was encouraged to apply.

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