By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
Last Saturday nine students, out of the long list of Nigerian students who intend to travel to United Kingdom for their university education, emerged winners of the UK student scholarships being sponsored by Preparation For Life (PFL), a UK – based international education consultancy firm.
The nine lucky students, who emerged throughÂ draw from the 24 shortlisted nominees, are among scores of Nigerian students whose applications to universities in the UK are being processed by PFL.
The students went home with 35,000 pound (about N8.7m) which they shared in the following way. Aina Oluwayemi, Akinsanya Aramide, Bassey Emey, Mogaji Idowu and Okuwa Adebayo gotÂ 2,000 pound each while Adelegan Ayodeji, Efetie Eseoghene and Ochei Ikenna got 5,000 pounds each.
The star award of 10,000 pound went to Iyalla-Harry Michelle who applied to study Petroleum Engineering (undergraduate level) at the University of Leeds.
According to the Chairman of PFL, Mr. Lawrie Green, the scholarship is meant to assist the Nigerian students who are exceptionally brilliant, adding that the initiative is a function of the high premium which PFL places on quality education.
He says,â€ PFL wants to demonstrate its commitment to excellent students coming out of Nigeria by putting back into the system. We believe this scholarship will go a long way in assisting the selected students with their education in the UK. This is a long-term commitment from PFL and we hope that the lucky students will study hard to achieve the best.
â€œIn these days of global recession, education has never been more important. As more and more employers tighten their belts, many are reducing the number of staff they are employing. Only those with top quality education and skills can expect to be competitive in todayâ€™s employment market. So we must let education be of higher priority.â€
He continued, â€œAt PFL, we believe in making careers and building relationship with our students. As a company we like to work as a family and we extend that sentiment to all our students. We value our students and the confidence they place in us by choosing our service.
Therefore we strive our utmost in achieving absolute success and this is reflected in our 95% visa success rate.â€
Speaking in the sameÂ vein, the PFL Regional Director, Africa, Mrs Femi Sangowawa said the scholarship award ceremony is a milestone for PFL, adding that the scholarship awards is a way of giving back to their students.
Her words, â€œWe are currently living in challenging times due to the current economic downturn. We have placed many Nigerian students in prestigious UK universities, some of which have graduated with first class honours. Nigerian students are known to be conscientious and hardworking.
That is why we are here to encourage new students going to enhance their skills in various fields of study. We believe in transparency, efficiency, professionalism and genuineness and we engage with people of like mind.â€
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Sarah Sosan lauded the initiative of PFL, adding that education is the best legacy that can be given to a child. Sosan, who was represented at the PFL Scholarship award ceremony by Mrs Awoyinfa, said, â€œThe PFL gesture to our students is highly commendable. PFL is indeed assisting the state government in offering quality education to our children.
Many youths have taken to hooliganism and brigandage due to lack of access to education. So, it is a thing of joy that organisation like PFL is not leaving the funding of education to government alone. We are grateful for your excellent plan and attitude to our children education by offering them scholarship that will enhance their education.â€
Mrs Yinka Ogunde, the Managing Director of Edumark Consult who spoke on the selection process of nominees said transparency and fairness were the hallmarks of the selection process, explaining that she is at a vantage position to assess the international education firm because all her children who are studying in the UK passed through PFL.
Mrs David is another parent who testified to the efficiency and effectiveness of PFL. â€œThe companyâ€™s staff really monitors the needs and progress of their clients. My child was counseled on choice of school and visa application and she was successful.
Whenever Visa application of one of their clients is successful, they will jubilate and celebrate.â€
This year, PFL ran its first exhibition in Nigeria and Ghana although it had ran UK education exhibitions in Nigeria for the past six years under its former brand name of LGE.
However for the first time this year, the company is offering potential options in New Zealand and Australia.
It places Nigerian students in top UK institutions such as University of Glasgow, University of Hull, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Cardiff University, University of Birmingham, University of Liverpool and University of Buckingham amongst others.