Chevening is one of the major scholarship opportunities open to Africans who want to study in the United Kingdom.
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Established in 1982, Chevening is funded by the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and other partner organisations.
The scholarship offer is open to bright students from over 160 countries, but they must be those who show uncommon leadership potential. As of 2021, the award amount is £22,000 (about GH₵ 221,210.03).
Since the highly competitive program began, it has awarded scholarships to more than 50,000 students. It accepts applications from students from all fields.
According to the Chevening website:
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"Chevening Scholars study subjects in almost any field, and go on to implement their ideas for positive change in a range of sectors."
Are Nigerian students eligible for the Chevening scholarship?
Of course, Nigerians seeking to study for their master's degree in the UK can apply for Chevening as the country is listed as one of its targets.
Out of the 1500 students that benefited from Chevening in the 2021/2022 phase, 50 were Nigerians.
Popular Nigerian website, Legit.ng spoke to the academician, Dr Olumuyiwa Igbaljobi, and he confirmed that the fellowship is very competitive. He said that based on his assessment, applicants from Nigeria have roughly a 3% chance of getting selected.
When can Nigerian students start applying for Chevening scholarship?
The portal for application for Chevening opens on August 2, 2022. Nigerian students wishing to apply can start their application on that day and submit it before the closing date in November 2022.
How Nigerians can apply for Chevening and get selected
Nigerians seeking to be selected for Chevening can follow this guide.
1. Apply for admission to Chevening partner schools early
The first step towards getting selected by Chevening is to get admitted into UK universities that are partners of Chevening.
There are specific universities that partner with the UK government in awarding the scholarship. You must apply for three different courses, and your chosen programs must be full-time, not part-time.
You must have an unconditional offer of admission from at least one of these schools to qualify for the award.
2. Gather your documents and start the application
Some of the important documents required for the application include two reference letters, university certificates, academic transcripts, and a current international passport.
3. Write your essays very well
One major aspect of the application that gives many applicants headaches is the essay parts. You have to make sure the essay questions are well answered. Each of the four essays must have depth and be written in clear expressions.
Dr Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi says not being able to answer the essay questions well is a major pitfall in the application.
"The most important part is the 4 major essays that address networking, leadership, studying in the UK, and long-term career goals. There are tons of resources online, YouTube channels, webinars, and even Twitter spaces that could be of help.
"Not being thorough enough with essays, especially inability to articulate effectively their long-term career plans."
4. Your work experience counts a lot
To qualify for Chevening as a Nigerian student, you must have at least 2,800 hours of work experience. This is an important aspect of the qualifying criteria.
On this, Dr Igbalajobi says:
"Work experience is also very important, at least two years (equivalent to 2,800 hours) of work experience.
"Funmilola Awosanya won Chevening in 2021 with HND. Her work experience contributed to her being competitive."
How Nigerian students can fill the Chevening Scholarship application form
Once you have all your documents handy, proceed to https://www.chevening.org, create an account, click on "apply", and start filling out the application form. Make sure you have a functional email since all communications are done by mail. If you are selected, you will be contacted by mail for the next phase.
Tips on how to relocate to the UK
Meanwhile, popular Nigerian website, Legit.ng has listed four tips Nigerians can follow if they want to relocate to the UK.
According to the list, the first step is to get a job in the UK before applying for a visa.
It is after seeking and finding a job in the UK that one can easily get a work visa from the UK embassy in Nigeria.
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