By Martin Paul, Abuja
The European Union (EU), under it ErasmuaT Programme, has awarded 40 Nigerian university students scholarships to study in European countries.
The Erasmus+ is a European Union flagship programme for higher education. It offers opportunities to students and staff to attend or work with European Higher Education Institutions.
The Ambassador of the European Union delegation to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, who spoke about the scholarship during the pre-departure orientation for the students in Abuja, said the EU had supported young Nigerians who got the scholarship with 6.6 million Euros, about N2.6 billion since inception of the programme in 2014.
Larlsen said over 1000 students applied for the 2019 scholarship programme but only 40 of were selected.
“The students will be going to 10 different European Union countries. Among the countries are Italy, Spain, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Poland, Netherlands and Germany.
“We have seen a high record because there has been a consistent increase in the number of students coming to Europe since 2014. This year’s scholarship scheme experienced an increase of 25 per cent. I cannot see a better way of investing in development opportunities for the youth. Over the decade, we have 12,000 Nigerians who have studied in Europe on a different scheme,” he said.
The diplomat said the EU has supported Nigeria with about N600 million for development programmes across in the country.
Speaking on migration, Larlsen said the EU has seen a drop in irregular migration and an increase in regular migration.
“This is a very powerful message because we want to engage Nigerians and we are not closing our borders. We are only saying there should not be irregular migration, people should not risk their lives,” he said.
He said the only challenge the EU faced was tracking some of the alumni of its educational programmes.