The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has awarded scholarships to twelve Nigerian lecturers from public tertiary institutions to undertake doctoral, PhD, studies on science-related disciplines in France, under the TETFund Scholarship for Academic Staff Intervention, TSAS, programme.
Speaking at a pre-departure briefing of the scholars in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, said the event flagged off the implementation of the agreement between TETFund and Campus France reached in April of 2023.
Echono, who disclosed that the fund has trained nearly 40,000 Nigerian academics in postgraduate studies, locally and internationally, said the TSAS is aimed at providing financial assistance to lecturers of Nigeria’s public tertiary institutions pursuing postgraduate studies.
The TETfund boss disclosed that the sum of N63,457,600.40 or € 77,862.16 was approved in favour of each scholar for the 3-year duration of the programme, which amounts to a total of 761,491,924.80 or € 934,345.92 for the 12 approved scholars.
He added that the funds would be disbursed to each beneficiary in line with the provisions of the agreement with the Campus France which was reached on Tuesday, 18th April, 2023.
“The sum of N63,457,600.40 (€ 77,862.16) was approved in favour of each scholar for the Three (3) year duration of the programme, which amounts to a total of 761,491,924.80 (€ 934,345.92) in favour of the 12 approved scholars which would be disbursed to each beneficiary in line with the provisions of the agreement,” he said.
While stating that the 12 scholars were approved by the management of TETFund from 8 beneficiary institutions, he said this approval was Cohort 1 and was sequel to the call for presentation of eligible prospective scholars earlier communicated to all TETFund beneficiary institutions.
“The Successful prospective scholars would be undertaking various postgraduate programmes of National Priority at the underlisted Universities in France: Universite Paris -Est Creteil (UPEC), France: 3 scholars, University of Strasbourgh, Paris, France: 1 scholar; Universite De Lorraine (L.G.IPM), France: 2 scholars; Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon 1, France: 3 scholars; Universite Lyon 2, France: 1 scholar; Cancer Research Center of Lyon, France: 1 scholar and Institute Superieur D’Electronique de Paris: 1 scholar,” he said.
Echono charged the scholars to be good ambassadors of Nigeria and take full advantage of the opportunities to participate in cutting-edge research projects, work with world-renowned researchers and have access to state-of-the-art research facilities.
He noted that this will help to foster innovation and contribute to the development of the Nigerian research and development sector and further enhance / Improve Nigeria’s Global Citation Index as it were.
“May I also remind you that, during your studies: all acts of Unionism by TETFund sponsored scholars is not allowed: all forms of communication / clarification on matters concerning your studies should be done in a civilized / organized matter through the appropriate channel: you do not engage in any action or activities that may likely affect the reputation of Nigerian Government whatsoever.
“You do not serve as an official representative of any government: you do not engage in political activities or in other activities of a public nature likely to affect the reputation of Nigerian Government adversely: you shall NOT combine the TETFund scholarship with any other sponsorship, scholarship, and/or maintenance support from any other public or private organization during the period of study,” he warned.
Earlier, the Director of Academic Staff Training and Development at TETFund, Muhammed Garba, said the predeparture briefing was approved by TETFund management to sensitise scholars on the fund’s guidelines, provisions of the MoU and agreements, general conduct of scholars among others.
On her part, the Manager of Campus France, Nigeria, Laura Moras, expressed delight at the swift operation of the agreement, stating that both parties started managing its implementation in August.
Moras, in a presentation, provided orientation to the scholars on what to do before and after arrival in France, urging them to ensure all original documents to be used for travelling, accommodation and others were handy.
“You have to possess your passports, your visas; you have to possess your admission latter, your accommodation paper. Don’t forget to bring ID photos and translate your birth certificate; you can do that at the French institute in Abuja or the French alliance,” she said.