The European Union, through its Erasmus Plus programme, has awarded scholarships to 40 Nigerian students to study in various European countries for a masters or PhD degree.
The awardees of this year's scholarship programme would attend universities in 12 different European countries including Greece, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Poland, UK, Portugal, Germany and Netherlands.
Speaking at the pre-departure event in Abuja yesterday, the EU Head of delegation and ambassador, Ketil Karlsen, said over 1,000 persons applied and the 40 awardees were selected based on their academic achievement and aspirations.
He explained that each of the students would be in Europe for about one year to participate and the travel package covers the journey, education and accommodation.
Karlsen stated that the Erasmus plus programme is an important pillar for Europe in collaborating and engaging Nigeria.
He said, "For us, investing in human capital and above all investing in Nigerian youth in particular is the best investment we can make in order to support our Nigerian partners. Above all, we need to increase the competitiveness of Nigeria and there is no other way to do that than creating those academic skills and know how that can be gotten from the best European universities."
"This is an opportunity to make their families and Nigeria proud to demonstrate how capable and dynamics Nigerian youths are, coming back to Nigeria with new experience, better academic knowledge and of course better understanding of other places and cultures, contributing to the development of Nigeria."
Speaking further, he revealed that European Union has spent €6.6 million since 2014 in supporting Nigerian youths to study in Europe for these programmes.
"The last decade combined, the European Union has supported 12,000 Nigerians going to Europe. 32 students left last year and 40 students will go this particular year. It is not an easy programme, having a programme where all the expenses are paid, it is quite and attractive package, only for those who fundamentally deserve this by the end of the day for this to happen," he said