A symposium was held recently for staff and students of the University on the available opportunities under the commonwealth scholarships and fellowships to either advance their careers or pursue postgraduate studies in United Kingdom universities. The symposium was organised by the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association of Nigeria (COSFAN), a non-profit organisation, consisting of Nigerians, who have enjoyed Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) scholarships. The event was held in collaboration with the Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) of FUNAAB.
The National President of COSFAN, Dr. Abiola Adimula, revealed that members of the association had come together to offer their time, intellect and resources toward national development. She added that the core objective of the association was to promote and advance education, scholarship, and excellence through the institution of awards in United Kingdom to deserving Nigerians. She noted that COSFAN recognised that the commonwealth had invested in the intellectual advancement of its members in their respective professions and in the spirit of giving back to the society, is putting in place, scholarship committees to organise sensitisation programmes across 36 selected universities across Nigeria.
Delivering a lecture, Dr. Samuel Ekundayo from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, who was a Commonwealth Split-site Scholar at the University of Bath, United Kingdom, said that over 750 scholarships and fellowships for postgraduate studies and professional development exist each year and that over 27,500 commonwealth scholars and fellows had been funded since 1959. He listed available opportunities to include commonwealth Ph.D scholarships, split-site scholarships, Master’s scholarships, shared scholarships, distance learning scholarships, and professional fellowships. While identifying the tips for writing winning scholarship proposals, Dr. Ekundayo stated that a proposal should be such that it would be relevant and have potential impact on the development of the society, addressing present needs and issues in the society.
Mrs. Janet Olubiyi from the Federal Scholarship Board corroborated Dr. Ekundayo and seized the opportunity to enlighten participants on the process of applying for available scholarships through the board. Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Felix Salako, who was represented by the immediate past Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), Prof. Amidu Mustapha, appreciated COSFAN for its selfless service of giving back to the society and described the symposium as educative, especially for those who wished to tap into the idea of winning scholarships and fellowships. The Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, represented by his deputy, Prof. Taofik Shittu, lauded COSFAN for its efforts at bridging the gap in education, as past scholars and fellows of the commission, shared experiences at the symposium.