17 Jan, 2024

How ESSA's African Scholarship Hub Helped a Young Nigerian Student in His Pursuit of Higher Education

In this blog, Krista Samson, Research and Communications Officer at ESSA, speaks with Awe Ayodeji Lucky, a Nigerian student studying robotics in Japan who used the African Scholarships Hub during his application process.

How ESSA's African Scholarship Hub Helped a Young Nigerian Student in His Pursuit of Higher Education

Did you know about the African Scholarships Hub (ASH)? In 2019, Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) established this Hub to assist in matching young people in sub-Saharan Africa with scholarship opportunities in Africa and beyond the region. ASH aims to increase access to scholarships, and thus higher education, for students from sub-Saharan Africa.

ASH is a response to recommendations based on ESSA's extensive mapping and research into over 350 providers globally who offer scholarships to students in sub-Saharan Africa. 

We spoke with Awe Ayodeji Lucky, a Nigerian student studying robotics in Japan. He used ASH during his application process and wants to share his experience. 

Please tell us about yourself 

My name is Awe Ayodeji Lucky. I am 23 years old and from Nigeria. I am studying at the Tokyo Japanese Language School thanks to the prestigious Japanese Government's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Scholarship. After I graduate in March, I will join the Japanese Technology School to study robotics. My ambition is to see Nigeria become a technologically advanced nation. 

How did you find out about the African Scholarships Hub? 

I came across ASH when searching for a fully funded scholarship on the internet a few years ago. 

Prior to using the Hub, how were you able to find scholarship programmes?  

I used Google to look up scholarship-related terms. I used phrases like "fully funded scholarships for Africans," "bachelor scholarships for Africans," and "undergraduate scholarships for Africans." After that, I would go through each webpage one by one. 

Doing this enabled me to access a wealth of information and opportunities. Other scholarship platforms, such as Afterschool Africa and Scholarship Positions, were also helpful to me. 

What do you like most about the Hub? 

It is simple to use. It contains current and detailed information. The Hub is an excellent resource for anyone looking for educational opportunities. It is great! 

What more do you think could be added to the Hub? 

I think you can improve your social media accounts. If possible, these accounts should be updated daily, with scholarship updates and other opportunities posted regularly. I believe it will increase the Hub's visibility and attract many visitors. 

What is something you wish you knew before applying for scholarships? 

I was hopeless at first, given my family's financial situation. I mistakenly believed that all scholarships required standardised tests, such as the International English Language Testing System, which I could not take due to financial constraints. In 2018, I almost gave up on scholarships. Later, I discovered that many full scholarships, such as Turkiye Buslari and the Global Korea Scholarship, do not require standardised tests. Having them would have increased my chances. 

Would you like to share anything with other students like yourself who are applying for scholarships or university?  

I would advise my fellow students who want to study abroad to do their research. It will make the process easier. Use the internet to learn about a specific scholarship or opportunity. Over the last five years, I have had about 25 rejections. It took me five attempts (from 2017 to 2022) to finally receive the Japanese Government's MEXT Scholarship. I am grateful that I did not give up. It is now paying off. Keep trying; you will make it. All the best. 

We just updated our ASH with new scholarship opportunities for students in sub-Saharan Africa. Do not give up if you are in the process of applying to schools and looking for scholarship opportunities, as Awe suggested. Scholarship platforms, such as the ASH, are available where you can find the information you need to apply for a programme.  

All the best as you start this journey. Please visit the African Scholarships Hub here.


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