Nigeria will, once again, be among beneficiaries of the Rhodes scholarship, the world’s most preeminent post-graduate scholarship scheme. Two exceptionally bright students will receive full funding, valued at between £40,000 to £50,000 per annum, to study at the prestigious Oxford University, United Kingdom.
Mr. Charles Conn, Chief Executive Officer of The Rhodes Trust and Warden of Rhodes House in Oxford, announced the re-introduction of the scheme during the 3rd Business Forum of the Oxbridge (Oxford & Cambridge) Club of Nigeria, facilitated by Afrinvest, at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja recently.
Conn explained that the Rhodes Scholarship covers all university and college fees, a personal stipend for room and board, health insurance and travel, as well as the costs of the Rhodes Programme including those of Rhodes House.
“Depending on the course of study, the total value of the scholarship could range from £40,000 to £50,000 per annum, with the average tenure for a Rhodes Scholar being 2.8 years and 3 – 4 years for PhD courses. Over time, up to four scholars in residence will be supported under each Scholarship at a total of approximately £200,000 each year per Scholarship, which is sustained by a 4% take rate on the endowment funds.”
Ike Chioke, Managing Director of Afrinvest and a Rhodes Scholar, is driving the 15-year campaign with the Rhodes Trust to reinstate the Nigerian award which led to Conn’s visit to Nigeria as a guest speaker at the Oxbridge Club Business Forum.
According to Chioke, “The Rhodes Scholarship is indeed a great opportunity for young Nigerian scholars to fulfill their dreams. As a beneficiary of the scheme, I am passionate about helping young people develop to their full potential through quality education and training. This is the surest way to secure the future of our country and the African continent as a whole.”
Nigeria was among countries from which Rhodes Scholars were selected until it was dropped in 1993 on account of political interference. To reinstate the Nigerian awards, the Rhodes Trust is seeking to partner with contemporary Nigerian philanthropists who share the desire to help identify and develop young leaders for Nigeria’s and indeed the world’s future. The Trust seeks to fully endow two Rhodes Scholarships for Nigeria to ensure that they exist in perpetuity, which requires £9m in funding or £4.5m for each one.
Established in the Will of Cecil John Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all‐round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional young leaders. A class of 83 Scholars is selected each year from 30 countries around the globe. The scholarship has been in existence for 111 years.