Studying abroad in the United Kingdom is desirable for many students looking for world-class education and global exposure. However, the high cost of international tuition and living expenses in the UK can make this dream challenging. Securing scholarships is the best way to fund your higher education in the UK.
The UK government and many universities provide numerous scholarship programs for Nigerian students. These scholarships cover partial or full tuition fees, living stipends, airfare, and other costs. Here are the top 10 high paying scholarships for Nigerian students looking to study in the UK.
Top 10 High Paying Scholarships for Nigerian Students to Study in the UK
1. Commonwealth Scholarships for Nigerian Students
The UK Commonwealth Scholarship program is one of the largest and most prestigious for international students. Nigerian students can receive full funding to pursue a Master’s or PhD in the UK under this scholarship.
It covers airfares, tuition fees, living expenses, medical insurance, and more. On average, 55 scholarships are awarded to Nigerians annually from this fund. The application deadline is in July each year.
2. Chevening Scholarships for Nigeria
Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship program to develop global leaders. Around 35-40 scholarships are awarded annually to Nigerian students for a 1 year Master’s program in any field at a UK university.
The award covers tuition fees, living expenses, airfare, and other costs up to £23,500. Applicants need at least 2 years of work experience and a strong academic background. The application deadline is in August.
3. University of Manchester Sub-Saharan Africa Scholarships
The University of Manchester offers 25-30 scholarships worth £5,000-£15,000 specifically for Nigerian and other Sub-Saharan African students. It applies to undergraduate, masters, and PhD programs in diverse subject areas.
Along with tuition fee reduction, the award also covers living costs. Students need to submit an essay to the university, explaining why they deserve the award.
4. University of Sussex Chancellor’s Masters Scholarships
The University of Sussex Chancellor’s Scholarship fund offers around 10 full scholarships annually worth £24,000 to Nigerian students starting taught masters programs.
The scholarship includes tuition fees along with accommodation, food, and living expenses for the first year. Applicants are evaluated based on their respective academic merit, leadership qualities, and impact on home country.
5. London School of Economics Scholarships for Nigerian Students
The LSE offers the Sambo Scholarship and Anniversary Scholarships specifically for Nigerian students applying to a masters or research program. They cover full tuition fees and some additional funds.
Around 8 Nigerian students receive these merit-based LSE scholarships each year. Strong academic capability and leadership experience is required. The application is made along with the program admission application.
6. University of Nottingham Vice Chancellor’s Scholarships for Nigerians
The University of Nottingham Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship for Nigerian students offers partial fee scholarships worth £4,000-£8,000. Around 5 scholarships are awarded each year.
Eligible programs include undergraduate, masters, and PhD in fields offered by the university. The key criteria are academic excellence along with extracurricular participation.
7. University of Dundee Principal’s International Excellence Scholarship
University of Dundee offers up to £4,000 scholarship for several Nigerian students each year who have shown outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular activities.
The scholarship applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered at Dundee. Students need to apply for this scholarship along with their main course applications.
8. University of Aberdeen Master’s Scholarships for Nigeria
The University of Aberdeen offers a £3,000 scholarship fund for around 10 Nigerian students starting a full-time taught masters program. Applicants are assessed based on academic merit, extracurricular achievements and future ambitions.
The scholarship application needs to be submitted along with the master’s program application before the June deadline each year. Scholarship recipients get £1,500 awarded in two installments.
9. Edinburgh Global Undergraduate Maths Scholarships
Undergraduate students from Nigeria selected for Maths programs at the University of Edinburgh are eligible for these scholarships. Each scholarship covers £5,000 of the total annual tuition fees which amounts to around 50% of the total fee.
Students need to apply before the June deadline and show outstanding potential in mathematics along with extracurricular excellence. Around 20 scholarships are offered.
10. University of Bath International Scholarships for Nigerian Students
The University of Bath offers several international undergraduate scholarships part-funded by the government’s GREAT Britain campaign. Nigerian students receive a tuition fee reduction worth £2,500.
The scholarship application needs to be submitted by June each year. Eligible programs are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
In summary, Nigerian students have access to numerous high value scholarship opportunities to realize their study abroad dreams in the UK. The key is to research the options early and prepare strong applications emphasizing academic and personal achievements. With proper dedication, funding higher education at leading British universities is very much possible.
7 Tips for Your Chances of Winning UK Scholarships
While the competition for UK scholarships is intense, there are some tips that can help Nigerian students maximize their chances of success:
- Start your application early – Give yourself at least 12 months to prepare a strong scholarship application. Research all options and deadlines.
- Get excellent letters of recommendation – Ask professors, employers, or community leaders who know you well to write detailed recommendation letters emphasizing your achievements.
- Create an outstanding portfolio – Include certificates, examples of relevant projects done, publications, leadership awards etc. to showcase your capabilities.
- Ace the tests – For scholarships like Chevening and Commonwealth, you need very high scores in tests like IELTS, GRE or GMAT. Prepare extensively through practice tests.
- Draft stellar essays – The scholarship essays or statements of purpose need to convince assessors that you are deserving. Follow guidelines, be detailed and promote your strengths.
- Apply to multiple scholarships – Don’t just apply to one scholarship. Create a list of 5-10 relevant scholarships and craft customized applications.
- Attend interviews – If called for an interview, prepare thoroughly regarding your academic work, goals, knowledge of the scholarship, achievements and why you should be selected over others.
Potential Career Paths for Nigerian Students Returning Home After UK Education
For many Nigerian students, the end goal after completing their education in the UK is to return home and contribute to their country’s development. Here are some top career paths that Nigerian graduates can pursue upon returning home:
- Work for multinational corporations or banks like Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Zenith Bank, Access Bank etc. These value employees with international exposure and offer attractive pay.
- Join Federal Government agencies like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or Federal Inland Revenue Service. UK graduates are highly desired.
- Practice law at the top law firms in Nigeria. The rigorous education standards of the UK, knowledge of British law and international exposure are invaluable.
- Start your own business, especially in fields like technology, agriculture, entertainment, fashion or manufacturing. Use your learnings from UK business classes and networks.
- Pursue senior roles in Nigerian higher education institutions. Become a professor, lecturer or vice chancellor after completing your PhD in the UK.
- Work for development organizations like UNDP, USAID or DFID-Nigeria—design projects and policies to uplift disadvantaged groups.
The bottom line is if you strategize and leverage your UK education have bright prospects upon returning home. They can achieve success abroad and in Nigeria.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the typical value ranges of these UK scholarships for Nigerians?
The scholarships provide funding from £2,500 to fully funded amounts covering all costs. The average scholarship amount from this list would be £15,000 – £20,000.
What level of study do these UK scholarships target for Nigerian students?
Most of these top 10 scholarships are for Nigerian students pursuing graduate level study – Masters or PhD programs. Some like the Bath and Edinburgh scholarships also target exceptional undergraduate applicants.
Do I need work experience to be eligible for these scholarships?
Work experience is not mandatory for most scholarships beyond Chevening which requires 2 years of work experience. For others, academic excellence and potential are the main criteria. Work experience will add to your application.
When should I apply for these scholarships?
Applications deadlines are usually between May – August each year for programs starting in September. Prepare your applications at least 12 months in advance of your planned study.
How do I strengthen my scholarship application?
Beyond academics, highlight extracurricular activities, leadership experience, community service, and future goals in your application. Get great letters of recommendation. Prepare well for tests and interviews. Show why you are deserving.