Connect with us


449 First Class Graduates write Presidential Special Scholarship Aptitude Test for 100 Scholarship Slots



In a bid to reward graduates of Nigerian Universities who complete their studies with a first class degree, President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated a special post-graduate scholarship scheme for them on May 24, 2012.

Beneficiaries of the special scheme would be entitled to post graduate scholarships in science and engineering courses in the best Universities across the world.

Almost three months after the announcement was made, lots of first class graduates across the country have responded to the scheme as many of them wrote the special aptitude test for the scholarship yesterday.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) announced that 449 candidates met the criteria for selection for the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for innovation and development and wrote the Presidential Special Scholarship Aptitude Test.

The Executive Secretary of NUC, Julius Okojie who visited the Chams Centre in Abuja where the candidates wrote the test said the selected graduates had obtained First Class degrees from recognised and approved universities.

“Of the 449 candidates who are writing the test this year, we are only going to take 100 students from the best of the best,” he told Daily Times. “This scheme is part of the efforts to achieve the goals of Vision 20:2020 and the Transformation Agenda of Mr President. This test will be held annually with 100 students qualifying for the scheme for innovation and development.”

He added that the outstanding students would have their postgraduate studies at the top 25 universities in the world.

Candidates for the scholarship were drawn from courses in Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Economics, special aspects of Biology, Nuclear Physics, Quantitative Genetics, Medical Biochemistry and Aeronautical engineering, among others.


When the scholarship scheme was inaugurated, most of the concerns raised that were raised was regarding transparency in the selection of beneficiaries of the scholarship. As most readers on BN commented when the news broke (click here), the scholarship scheme would be laudable if it was transparent. Another major concern was in the narrow selection of the courses eligible for scholarship.

As the scholarship scheme progresses to the Aptitude Test stage, what are your thoughts concerning it?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Amber

    August 14, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Hmh…..100 best students will be chosen…of course 100 with long legs,with influential people referring them,smh for Nigeria.they start a project,an opportunity for some people to make money.later u hear they released billions for the students welfare when it will not actually get to them.i am not against the project but will the next govt maintain it.did anyone hear about the Nigerian students that went on scholarship to cuba and Russia how naija govt dealt with them?.where are they now,of course half of them have found their way out of the country.well Nigeria will keep contributing to the growth of first world happy for the country that will receive them and modify the students for their own use.kudos to Nigeria as she keeps sowing without reaping.

    • Zania

      August 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

      God bless you darling!God bless you.Presently,I”m in the UK doing an MBA and it’s just appalling to see the situation with majority of the students that come here under these bogus “scholarship” schemes;dull empty heads!It’s annoying because it’s an open secret that out of every 10 people,only 1 gets these scholarships on pure merit(I stand to be corrected)The remaining 9 get it based on man know man,or friends and bed mates in high places.I am not holding my breath on this one.

    • Bianca

      August 14, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Very well spoken.It would be awarded to those who’s parent are connected and as such would pull some strings.Am wondering if at any point these parents cried out that they have problems funding their their children,in my opinion,I think any one who’s parent has walked through the university should pick a job,save and fund his or her msc.The government has lots of issues that have been unattended to.At our age,we lack rail systems,which if in place would reduce possibilities of air and road accidents,this trains could ply interstate.Government provide the rails,let private firms provide the trains at least.This scholarship is an absolute waste of tax payers and federal fund.All the same congrat to any one who gets it.

    • zikirillahi Aminu

      September 12, 2014 at 8:41 am

      Executive governor of kano state Engr(Dr) Rabi’u Musa kwankwanso have send all the indigent of kano state that graduate with first-class nd second class-upper! Morethan one thousand student (1000+) have benefited it. But imagine as a president he can’t even afford 449 student that graduate with first_class? I repeated First_Class? There is god o!

  2. Nelo

    August 14, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Whatever happened to the humanities and the arts? candidates should have been selected from a wider range of courses. i’m not anti-science or anything…but we still don’t have any Nigerian Nobel prize winner for the sciences. #justsaying. Lord knows the glory the arts has brought to this country…#okbye

  3. lola

    August 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

    i see no mass communication, i see no 2nd class upper student . i only see favourism, brueacracy ..

    • missA

      August 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I’m sorry but 2nd class upper is nothing special. 1st class is. its not favoritism.

  4. happyhilly

    August 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Just science and Engineering? Not too good. I pray it’s sustained anyway

  5. versence

    August 14, 2012 at 11:33 am

    i see no art related courses here o . i made a first class too and this isnt fair. Does it mean we dont hv any place in the edcational systems. this is rubbish! GJ KUDOS ANYWAYS….

  6. Princess of Zion

    August 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Great initiative but it shouldn’t be limited to the Sciences; what about arts, business, humanities and other courses? Nigeria has the funds to do more; they really should!

    It’s the Celebration of Marriage week- Appreciate your spouse today!!

  7. Chattyzee

    August 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Nice. A little competition here and there is always good. All the best!

  8. Chukwunonso

    August 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    My question is: How were these people chosen to come and sit for the exam? Was there a form or a website? Because I searched and searched when I 1st heard about this scheme and there wasn’t anywhere somone could apply. Or did the committee only tell their family members and friends?

    • adah

      August 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      Yes there there was an application link on the NUC website. I know people that applied who have no family or friends at the NUC.
      You could check out the NUC’s website for next year’s application;

  9. preety

    August 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Wat of some students who came out of school with spotless 2-1 wnt they be helped too… not against it though but i thought most students dont really worth it sha oo.

  10. Ibukun

    August 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hmmm….sadly, none of the “top universities” is in Nigeria. I visited the Gambia recently, and to thnk that the idea of schooling in Nigeria is such a big deal. It’s similar to what Nigerians think of schooling in U.S, UK or Canada, I was so ashamed. President Goodluck, how about we revamp our schools and make our schools competitive once again. If we have the resources, people will come home…I’m starting my phd program after I complete my masters, I’ll teach in the universities if I have to.
    Nigerians, let’s not fail ourselves.

  11. Bianca

    August 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    By the way,how is the government suppose to benefit from this students upon graduation? has it been structured in a way that they will have to work for the government or what? I can’t understand the point, we have too many graduates and msc holders without jobs.

  12. celebrity?

    August 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Why do people always complain???

  13. ...just saying

    August 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    this article is too vague…we need more details

  14. molarah

    August 15, 2012 at 3:15 am

    Chukwunonso, there was an advert placed in Punch on Friday the 6th of July for applicants

  15. Olufemi Imoemiye

    August 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Hope it gets to the right candidates

  16. adaobi

    August 17, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    what is the criteria for the selection, may God have mercy on our lovely country Nigeria,
    my brother, had first class in engineering, ofcourse the only firstclass in civilengineering since the onset otf the school, in the yr 2010 He broke the record in that school making first class in CVE and till now the only first class in cve in his school, he applied for this pressid and wasnt shortlisted for the test.

    • adah

      August 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Hmmmn… I had this discussion with my friends as well. Was the selection based on the strength of the personal statement written? Or was it based on the prompt response of the references submitted or even uploading all documents required by the NUC including the NYSC certificate?
      I think the NUC should have made the criteria for short listing candidates more open.

    • Ayuba

      October 19, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Which school ur broda got 1st class? I hope is not poly

  17. Celestine

    August 24, 2012 at 8:17 am


    As part of efforts to achieve the goals of Vision 20:2020 and the Transformation Agenda, the Federal Government of Nigeria plans to develop a critical mass of professionals who would serve as catalysts of change and agents of scientific and technological advancement, as well as sustainable economic development. This would be achieved through the sponsorship of outstanding students for postgraduate studies in the top 25 universities in the world. To this end, the Federal Government has instituted the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development.

    Eligibility Criteria for the Scheme

    Interested candidates should:

    be graduates from the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 academic sessions, who would have completed their National Youth Service by May 2012;
    have obtained First Class Honours degree from any recognized and approved University in the following disciplines and aim at postgraduate degrees in the specified and allied disciplines:

    Sciences: Nuclear Physics, Operations Research, Industrial Chemistry, Quantitative Genetics, etc
    Basic Medical Sciences: Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Biochemistry, etc;
    Special Aspects of Biology: Biometrics, Molecular Biology, etc;
    Economics: Econometrics, Development Economics, etc;
    Engineering & Technology: Aeronautical Engineering, Mechatronics, Metallurgy, Material Science and Production Engineering, Nanotechnology, Cyber-Security, Software Engineering, etc;
    Medicine: Oncology, Human Genetics, Hepatology, Nuclear Medicine, Geriatrics, etc;

    *In the case of Medicine, candidates must have a minimum of 2 Distinctions in their Part 3 and Part 4 MBBS examinations; In all cases, candidates must:

    be below 30 years of age by July 2012;
    be computer literate; and
    be ready to be bonded and to work, preferably, as academic staff in any public university or research institute for a minimum period of five (5) years.

    Please note that universities in the United States of America require candidates to sit for the Graduate Record Exams (GRE) before they can secure admission.

    S/N Institution
    University of Cambridge

    United Kingdom
    Harvard University

    United States
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    United States
    Yale University

    United States
    University of Oxford

    United Kingdom
    Imperial College London

    United Kingdom
    UCL (University College London)

    United Kingdom
    University of Chicago

    United States
    University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

    United States
    Columbia University

    United States
    Stanford University

    United States
    California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

    United States
    Princeton University

    United States
    University of Michigan

    United States
    Cornell University

    United States
    Johns Hopkins University

    United States
    McGill University

    ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

    Duke University

    United States
    University of Edinburgh

    United Kingdom
    University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

    United States
    University of Hong Kong (HKU)

    Hong Kong
    University of Toronto

    Northwestern University

    United States
    The University of Tokyo


  18. Kech

    October 26, 2012 at 12:11 am

    am really proud of Nigeria and the ability to equip the Nigerian graduates.pls, when is the date for the nxt one especially for those tha missed this year’s

  19. chiemerie

    November 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I really laud the effort of mr president.please, can someone help list the names and various universities these beneficiaries came from…
    Am an intending student of human anatomy. I hope to work towards being among d beneficiaries.

  20. Suraja Ibrahim

    July 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    This is very good idea Mr. President!
    Pls! When will it be for the 2013/2014 session?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Industry-led conversations on female power, African entrepreneurship, ethical fashion – EFI Podcast Series 2!

Star Features