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The 2022 European Union (EU) scholarship program will benefit no less than 200 Nigerians, The Nation has learned.

NewsReport that the scholarship falls under the flagship program, Erasmus+, and is intended for prestigious universities in Europe.

Since 2004, the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Program has benefited more than 700 Nigerians.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Samuela Isopi, told reporters in Abuja, that this year’s award shows a significant increase in the number of scholarships awarded to Nigeria.

According to her, Nigeria is second behind Pakistan in numbers.

She said: “This is a record number for us and it represents a very important increase since last year, and a very important increase since three years ago. We have significantly increased the number from 44 in 2019 to over 200 this year.

“So, we think this is something that is extremely important. This is a study programme that we have run from one to two years and this is a Master’s study programme.

“As you can easily understand, this is something which is extremely important. This year, Nigeria is the second country in terms of number of scholarships awarded, just after Pakistan.”

Isopi said from the ninth position in 2020 and the sixth position in 2021, Nigeria currently has the second highest number of beneficiaries, globally.

“And I think what we have to do is not to congratulate ourselves but congratulate Nigeria and to congratulate young Nigerians because the selection process is purely based on merit and it is performed at the central level. This means Nigeria was able to present very good candidates that could be selected for this important programme,” Isopi added.

Despite the increase in the number of scholarships awarded to Nigeria this year, the EU official noted that the union would have loved to do more.

She described Nigerian students as extremely good in academics.

“We know that we can do more. But still, we are very happy with what we have achieved so far and what we have managed to achieve this year,” Isopi added.

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