The Australian government has awarded scholarships to 340 Nigerian students to undertake higher degree studies in Australia at Masters level.
The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Lehmann, who disclosed in an interview with The Guardian in Abuja, said some of the awardees would also be able to undertake short-term, targeted professional training courses in a range of development-focused sectors.
He added that the scholarships are in areas where the Nigerian government places priority for economic and social development.
He said : “Australian government has provided 340 scholarships to students in Nigeria, some are for masters, while some are for short courses. That is one way we intend to contribute to the development of Nigeria.
We are proud to say that almost half of that scholarship has been awarded to women. We are making our efforts real by investing in the talents of Nigerian women and men’.
The Australian High Commissioner added that the number of Nigerian students who are currently studying in Australia has quadrupled in the last few years.
You may wish to know that Australia is the country with the third highest number of international students in the world. Not only are there more Nigerians hoping to study at Australia’s world-class universities, more students in the world in general.
“We are blessed with a strong tertiary education system and our universities have strong reputation for academic excellence. It is not surprising in any way that Nigerians are also studying in Australian world-class universities,’ he added.
Lehmann, who stated that Australia and Nigeria enjoy a very warm and long standing relationship, said the country is working assiduously to increase the number of Nigerian students who are interested in studying abroad.
“Nigerians studying in Australia provides benefits for Australians, it is a two way interaction. We are also offering expertise in some fields that are particularly important to Nigeria.