The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Board has updated its guidelines for scholarship for academic staff. According to the Director, Directorate of Research, Innovation and Partnerships (DRIP) of FUNAAB, Prof. Abdul-Rasaq Adebowale, unconfirmed academic staff are now eligible to be beneficiaries of the scholarship. The Director said sponsorship for bench-work, which had been restricted to only scholars being sponsored locally by TETFund, would no longer apply as requirement for sponsorship for bench-work. Accordingly, beneficiary institutions are free to present for sponsorship, PhD scholars, desirous of sponsorship for bench-work abroad, notwithstanding whether they are being sponsored by TETFund, locally or not. Beneficiaries under this category are restricted to those doing their PhD programmes in Nigeria.
TETFund has also refined its operational processes towards ensuring the smooth processing of applications for scholarship that would substantially eliminate delays towards eventual commencement of study programmes by prospective scholars. The procedures became effective from January 1, 2020 for study programmes commencing in September 2020. Hence, applications for scholarships, which would be processed for payment en-bloc by TETFund twice in a year; firstly in May, for those commencing their study programmes in September; and secondly in October; for those starting their study programmes in January 2021, he stated.
Prospective scholars, who wish to be sponsored and who would begin their study programmes by September 2020 are mandatorily required to submit their applications for sponsorship, not later than May 31, 2020, as any application received after the date would only be considered against the next due date of commencement of studies, which is January of the following year. Intending scholars are specifically required to obtain tuition fees invoices from their intended training institutions that would state the total amount payable for the entire duration of their study programmes, forwarded to TETFund alongside their admission letters, the Director disclosed.
The invoices should contain the fees payable for the entire duration of studies and not for one year only, as had been the practice. The invoices should bear the full names of prospective scholars, and bank account details of the institutions, where the tuition fees would be paid to. Requirement include the total amount payable for the courses, which should reflect, or must be shown on the invoices; bank names; bank addresses; account numbers; Sort Code; American Bankers Association (ABA) routing numbers for United States of America institutions; Swift/Banker Identification Code (BIC); International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for Europe and United Kingdom institutions; Transit Code (for Canadian institutions); Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) numbers for Indian institutions; and other parameters that would enhance the payment of applicable fees. Any application for scholarship that does not meet this mandatory requirements would not be considered for sponsorship by the Fund, Prof. Adebowale added.
Conveyance of approval would only be given as a notification, but the release of funds would be put on hold until after the end of the submission periods; May and October. Tuition fees would be paid directly to the training institutions, while upkeep and related allowances would be credited to local institution’s TETFund-dedicated accounts for the scholars. The DRIP Director further expressed the determination of the Fund at ensuring hitch-free delivery of its intervention programmes and enjoined beneficiaries to look out for necessary updates and guidelines.