About 200 Nigerians are set to study in 20 European countries under the Erasmus Plus scholarship awarded by the European Union (EU).

The Erasmus Plus scholarship is an initiative of the EU, which aims to enhance quality higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between the union and the rest of the world.

EU Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Samuela Isopi, announced this yesterday in Abuja in an opening address at this year’s pre-departure orientation.

The envoy noted that the number of Nigerian students who have received scholarships since 2019 had quadrupled, compared to previous years.

Isopi said the numbers increased from 44 winners to 93 in 2020; 133 in 2021 and 200 in 2022.

She added: “This year, we have reached the record number of over 200 Erasmus Plus scholarships in Nigeria.

“Over 100 of them have joined us today. And they are in this whole group. Others are following online. So, let’s put our hands together for them. They deserve it. Also, because they had been selected to a highly competitive process based on fuel marriage conducted worldwide by a consortium of top European universities.

“As you know, this is a Master’s degree programme that will run for 12 or 24 months. Nigerian scholars will go to 75 different universities in 20 different countries across Europe, including 18 EU-member countries. During that period, they will have the opportunity to visit up to six countries across Europe.

“This year, Nigeria is the second country worldwide with the highest number of scholars, just behind Pakistan.

“In three years since 2019, Nigeria has been able to quadruple the number of students participating in the programme, moving from the sixth to the second position, right behind Pakistan.”

Deputy Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki, said the event was a groundbreaking achievement.

He said it was a proud moment for Nigeria as the second country with the highest number of scholars in a single year.

Education Minister Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Director of Federal Scholarship Board, Asta Ndajiwo, urged the beneficiaries to be law-abiding and avoid unnecessary issues in their institutions to excel in their fields.

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