EU opens scholarship portal, says youths key to Nigeria’s development

The European Union has called for applications for next year’s Erasmus+ scholarship programme in line with its commitment to expanding opportunities for quality higher education for young Nigerians even as it stated that youths remain the key to Nigeria’s development.

The EU said it is building partnerships between young Africans and their European counterparts because young people will remain critical in addressing current global challenges, including the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and making the world a better place.

At the National Youth Conference organised by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports in Abuja, the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said youths are not only the future, but also constitute the largest generation of young people in history.

Urpilainen said she had mandated EU Delegations across Africa to establish a Youth Sounding Board to ensure youths are mainstreamed into their decision-making processes to reflect diversity and inclusivity.

“In Nigeria, seven youths out of ten are under 30 years old. Whether it’s politics, economy, or the EU-Nigeria partnership, we need youth participation. That is why this Nigerian National Youth Conference is so important. Youth is a top priority in the EU’s partnership with Africa,” she observed.

Also speaking during a presentation, Precious Uchechi Eze, a National Youth Service Corps member and a member of the recently inaugurated European Union Youth Sounding Board in Nigeria, said the NYSC is proposing to set up a Trust Fund for corps members that will serve as a support system for the corps members facing various challenges during their service period.

Meanwhile, the EU has called for applications for next year’s Erasmus+ scholarship programme

The Erasmus+ is the EU’s flagship programme for education, training, youth and sport, offering beneficiaries scholarships to study in some of the most prestigious universities within and outside Europe. It also enables youths, students, staff and higher education institutes to attend or work with European Higher Education Institutions.

The programme equips young Nigerians with the education, skills and competences they need to thrive in a globalised economy, hence, contributing to nation-building.

This year, 134 Nigerians were awarded a prestigious Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree scholarship. This is not only a steep increase compared to previous years, but also makes Nigeria the top country of Africa with most selected students. Worldwide, Nigeria is up there together with Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Mexico and Pakistan as top six countries with most awardees.

The EU urges Nigerians and Nigerian Higher Education Institutes to take advantage of the provided opportunities for investment in knowledge, skills and competences.

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