Paul Arkwright, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, has revealed that the UK government has awarded 53 Nigerians with Chevening scholarships for 2018.
Arkwright has made this known during a dinner organised for the beneficiaries of the scholarship and Chevening Alumni in Abuja on Monday.
He told News Agency of Nigeria that the beneficiaries were selected out of no fewer than 6,000 applications, adding that the number of awardees had increased from 43 in 2017.
He said: “Last year we had 43 and this year it is an increase of 10, to 53, which is great.
“It means that the standard is very high because over 6,000 people applied for Chevening Scholarship this year.
“To get 53 scholarships this year is a real bonus and it is wonderful that so many young, intelligent and bright Nigerians want to study in the UK.
“Over 6,000 applications.
“This is the highest number anywhere in the world actually.
“We have increased the number of women from 33 per cent to 40 per cent.
“Our target next year is 50 per cent.
“It is so important that Nigeria encourages girls to go into education.
“There are 12 million Nigerian children who do not go to school and the majority are girls and women.
“It is therefore really important that we do everything we can to encourage girls to get the education they need.”
Arkwright added: “I would like to increase that number.
“Britain is a very welcoming place for students.
“We like to encourage more people to apply.”