Let’s admit it, Asia is home to some of the world’s fastest ever growing and most dynamic economies. Countries like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and others have seen rapid development and technological advancement in recent decades. This makes Asia an extremely attractive study destination for students from all over the world, including Nigeria.
In addition to world-class universities and an opportunity to experience unique cultures, Asia offers Nigerian students a chance to gain skills and knowledge highly relevant to the future. Degrees earned in Asia are globally recognized and valued. At the same time, costs of living and tuition in Asia are often lower than in western countries.
The biggest hurdle for most Nigerian students is securing funding and scholarships. Fortunately, many Asian governments and institutions offer generous scholarships and financial aid packages specifically targeted at attracting foreign students. This guide will explore major scholarship opportunities available for Nigerians looking to study in Asia’s most promising countries.
Why Study in Asia?
There are many compelling reasons for Nigerian students to consider pursuing their education in Asia:
World-Class Universities: Asia is home to some of the highest globally ranked universities. According to QS World University Rankings 2022, China’s Tsinghua University and National University of Singapore rank 16th and 11th respectively, ahead of prestigious institutions like Oxford and UCLA.
Cutting-Edge Research and Technology: Asian universities specialize in technology, engineering, and science programs. Students gain exposure to cutting-edge research and tech breakthroughs. This know-how is invaluable for Nigeria’s development.
Rapid Economic Growth: Education in Asia prepares students to tap into the region’s rapid growth. Degrees are geared towards Asia’s key industries and equip graduates with knowledge of regional markets.
Lower Costs: Tuition fees and living expenses in most Asian countries are cheaper for international students compared to western nations. This allows students to achieve quality education at an affordable price.
Unique Culture: Students can immerse themselves in unique cultures and customs. Experiencing Asia broadens perspectives and enhances personal growth.
Strong Job Prospects: Graduates from Asian universities are highly employable in the region. Language skills and Asia expertise are major assets.
Major Scholarship Programs for Nigerians
Here are some of the major scholarship programs offered by governments and institutions in Asia:
- Chinese Government Scholarship – Fully funded scholarships for undergraduate, masters and PhD programs. Covers tuition waiver, accommodation, stipend and medical insurance. Available fields include engineering, sciences, management, medicine, arts and social sciences.
- Confucius Institute Scholarship – For students interested in studying Chinese language or undertaking China-related majors at one of the over 500 Confucius Institutes worldwide. Covers full tuition waiver, accommodation stipend, and medical insurance.
- Singapore International Graduate Award – Merit-based scholarships for full-time graduate studies at Singaporean universities. Covers tuition fees and provides monthly stipend.
- ASTAR Graduate Scholarship – For study in science, technology, engineering fields at ASTAR research institutes. Includes living allowance and covers all fees.
- Ministry of Education Tuition Grant – Subsidizes tuition fees for international students studying at MOE-funded universities. Recipients pay same tuition fees as Singapore citizens.
- Malaysia International Scholarship (MIS) – Fully-funded scholarship awarded by Malaysian Ministry of Education for bachelor’s, master’s and PhD studies at Malaysian public universities.
- Malaysia ASEAN Scholarship – For students from ASEAN member countries including Nigeria. Offers tuition fee waiver and monthly allowance for undergraduate and postgraduate study in Malaysia.
- Thai Government Scholarships – Awarded through the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. Covers tuition, visa, monthly stipend, accommodation, and medical insurance.
- DAAD-Thailand Scholarship Program – Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service for postgraduates interested in studying at Thai universities in development-related fields.
- Indonesian Government Scholarship Programmes (Darmasiswa Scholarship) – Partial and full scholarships funded by the Indonesian government for undergraduate and graduate studies. Available across diverse fields based on applicants’ backgrounds and merit.
- LPDP Indonesia Scholarships – Funded by Indonesia’s Endowment Fund for Education. Offers opportunities from undergraduate to doctoral levels especially in fields related to development.
- Vietnamese Government Scholarship Program – Fully-funded undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships at public universities across fields like engineering, IT, science, agriculture and language.
- VEF – Selection of full or partial scholarships for short-term graduate, undergraduate, vocational and non-degree study offered by Vietnam Education Foundation.
Asian Scholarship Application Process
Students should visit official websites of relevant government ministries or university departments to obtain updated information on specific programs, eligibility criteria, and application procedures.
General requirements include:
- Strong academic background with excellent grades
- English proficiency test scores (IELTS/TOEFL)
- Relevant English translations of transcripts and certificates
- Statement of purpose and scholarship essays
- Letters of recommendation
- Application forms and paperwork required by each scholarship
The evaluation process is highly competitive. Students should follow all instructions carefully and submit complete, error-free applications before deadlines. Partnering with an expert consultant can be highly beneficial.
Students should apply to multiple scholarship programs across different Asian countries to maximize chances of success. Preparing applications is time-intensive, so start at least 12 months prior to intended studies.
Here are some top tips for Nigerians hoping to win scholarships for study in Asia:
- Research thoroughly and target countries and universities offering the best programs in your field.
- Tailor your statement of purpose specifically for each application – explain why you are interested in that particular opportunity.
- Obtain excellent letters of recommendation from professors familiar with your academic ability.
- Make sure official English translations are done for all transcripts and certificates.
- Proofread everything extensively and ensure applications follow all formatting guidelines.
- Apply well in advance, at least a year before your intended studies. Competition is intense so start early.
- Contact scholarship offices directly via email or phone to clarify any doubts.
- Get help from education consultants who can review your applications and essays to strengthen content.
- Apply simultaneously for multiple scholarships and financial aid options to maximize chances. Have backups.
Key Countries for Nigerians to Consider
Here is an overview of key Asian study destinations Nigerian students should consider:
China: With a world-class higher education system and lower costs, China has become a top Asian study destination. Nigerians can access generous scholarships from the China Scholarship Council. Programs in STEM, MBAs and Chinese language studies are especially valuable.
Singapore: This advanced city-state offers prestigious universities focused on technology, engineering, business and finance. Cost of living is higher but funding is available through scholarships like Singapore International Graduate Award.
Malaysia: A middle-income newly industrialized country, Malaysia combines development with diversity. Low costs and comprehensive scholarship programs make it accessible for Nigerians seeking quality degrees in Southeast Asia.
Thailand: Thailand offers modern infrastructure, breathtaking beaches, vibrant culture and affordable costs of living. Numerous government and university scholarships are on offer, especially for graduate studies.
Indonesia: As the world’s fourth most populated country, Indonesia is a major emerging economy with enormous potential. Indonesian Government Scholarship Programs provide diverse opportunities across fields.
Vietnam: Rapidly developing Vietnam has invested heavily in education. Government scholarships like Vietnam Scholarship Program fully fund Nigerians seeking English-medium degrees in fields like engineering, science and IT.
Asia undeniably presents immense opportunities for ambitious Nigerian students seeking world-class yet affordable education leading to dynamic careers. Funding and scholarships should not be an obstacle given the range of generous programs on offer.
By securing financial aid and researching programs strategically, Nigerians can access Asia’s academic and professional potential. Partnering with experienced education consultants can further boost success in navigating Asia’s promising but highly competitive scholarship landscape.