Education is the key that unlocks the door to success and a better future. However, pursuing higher education can be expensive, especially in developing countries like Nigeria. The high cost of tuition fees prevents many brilliant students from low-income families from realizing their academic dreams.
The good news is that there are several fully funded scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students who wish to study abroad or in local universities. These scholarships cover the full cost of tuition, accommodation, living expenses, and even air tickets. They are offered by the Nigerian government, foreign governments, international organizations, universities, and private foundations.
Overview of the scholarships
In this blog post, we will provide an overview of some of the top fully funded scholarships available for Nigerian students in 2024. Whether you are in secondary school and planning for university or already an undergraduate or graduate student, this post will highlight key opportunities you should definitely apply for.
Federal Government Scholarships
The Nigerian government, through agencies like the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tet Fund), offers various undergraduate, master’s, and PhD scholarships annually.
The PTDF scholarship is one of the most popular government-funded scholarships in Nigeria. Aimed at training skilled manpower for the oil and gas sector, the PTDF offers scholarships for Nigerians to study specific master’s and PhD programs related to petroleum engineering and technology, geosciences, environmental control, and management. The scholarship covers full tuition fees, travel expenses, and living allowance.
Previous PTDF scholars have studied in countries like the UK, France, Germany, China, Malaysia, and UAE among others. The application window is usually between January and March yearly.
TETFund also offers both local and overseas scholarships annually to Nigerian students from both public and private tertiary institutions. For the overseas scholarships, priority is given to master’s and PhD students in critical courses like medicine, engineering, agriculture, geosciences, and other science-related courses. The local scholarships target excellent undergraduate students in Nigerian universities.
The scholarship covers full tuition, travel, research grants, and dissertation grants. To apply, look out for application announcements from your school’s TETFund desk officers usually in April/May yearly.
Foreign Government Scholarships
Various foreign governments and organizations also offer fully-funded scholarships to Nigerians every year. Some popular examples are:
- UK Commonwealth Scholarships – Fully funded master’s and PhD scholarships for study in UK universities. Offered to both undergraduate and graduate Nigerian students.
- Australian Awards Scholarships – Fully funded scholarships for Nigerians to pursue master’s and PhD degrees in Australian universities.
3 US Fulbright Scholarships – These scholarships are mainly for graduate Nigerian students to complete postgraduate degrees in diverse fields in the US.
- Chinese Government Scholarships – The Chinese government offers Bachelor, Master, and PhD scholarships to Nigerian students to study in China.
- DAAD Scholarships in Germany – DAAD offers undergraduate, master’s, and PhD scholarships to Nigerian students across diverse fields.
- Erasmus Mundus Scholarships – The Erasmus Mundus program offers postgraduate scholarships for study across European universities. Open to eligible Nigerians.
There are also several international universities that offer full scholarships to brilliant Nigerian students every year. Some examples include:
- University of Toronto – The University of Toronto Mastercard Foundation Scholarship is open to Nigerian students for master’s degrees at the university. Covers full tuition, housing, airfare, living expenses, etc.
- Malaysian Universities – Many Malaysian universities, like Sunway University, University of Malaya, and Universiti Teknologi Petronas award excellent undergraduate scholarships to Nigerians yearly.
- African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Scholarships – This offers full scholarships to gifted Nigerian students to study postgraduate programs in mathematical sciences across their centers in South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Cameroon.
- University of Pretoria Scholarships – The university offers merit-based Mastercard Foundation scholarships for Nigerian students.
- University of Johannesburg Scholarships – UJ offers Nelson Mandela scholarships covering full tuition and living expenses to Nigerian students.
- University of Queensland Scholarships – Offers multiple undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships open to Nigerian students across fields like engineering, agriculture, sciences, etc.
Private Scholarships for Nigerians
There are also different foundations that offer private fully funded scholarships to Nigerian students. Some of them include:
- Mastercard Foundation Scholarships
The Mastercard Foundation partners with universities across the world to offer fully funded scholarships worth millions of dollars to African students including Nigerians. The likes of the University of Cape Town, University of Edinburgh, Ashesi University, Duke University, and McGill University have partnerships with Mastercard Foundation for the scholarships.
- A.G. Leventis Foundation
This awards scholarships annually to Nigerian students to pursue postgraduate studies abroad in fields like agriculture, engineering, computer science, etc.
- Niger Delta Development Scholarships
Open to undergraduate and graduate students from the oil-producing Niger Delta region to study abroad.
- Tony Elumelu Foundation Scholarship
Open to 1000 African entrepreneurs including Nigerians for 7 weeks of training at the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) every year.
- Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowships
This provides funding for female PhD students from developing countries including Nigeria.
- Mobil Scholarships (ExxonMobil)
This is specifically for female Nigerian undergraduate students pursuing careers in engineering, geoscience, computer science, and related fields.
To boost your chances of getting any of these fully funded scholarships as a Nigerian student, here are useful tips:
- Maintain an excellent academic record with high GPAs as scholarships are competitive.
- Prepare early and submit complete, error-free applications before deadlines.
- Get recommendation letters from credible people that highlight your strengths.
- Showcase extracurricular activities, leadership skills, and future goals in essays.
- Apply to multiple scholarships that are in line with your background and future career goals.
- Follow up appropriately and respond to interview invites
- Avoid applying for scholarships you do not qualify for.
- Double check requirements and prepare accordingly for language proficiency, Entry exams, visas, etc.
The opportunities for full scholarships for Nigerian students highlighted in this blog post are life-changing. These scholarships enable many smart Nigerian students from disadvantaged backgrounds to get quality education locally and globally. Eager students looking to further their education should endeavor to take advantage of these funding opportunities in 2024.
The scholarships mentioned above are just a few of the fully funded opportunities available to Nigerian students in 2024. There are still many more scholarships from foundations, religious bodies, endowments from Nigerian philanthropists, and so on. Therefore, having the determination to constantly search online, follow credible scholarship sites, speak to school counselors, and luckily apply to the right ones will land you your desired fully funded scholarship.
The key things are to start your search early, craft excellent scholarship application materials, and apply wisely. Fully funded scholarships can make the difference between dropping out of school due to lack of fees or graduating with an international degree debt-free. So, take advantage of these opportunities.