The British High Commission in Nigeria has taken a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and equal access to education by extending the prestigious Chevening scholarship for the 2024/2025 academic year to select Persons Living With Disabilities (PWDs).
This initiative, driven by a commitment to fairness and equal opportunities for all, aligns with international conventions and underscores the British High Commission’s dedication to fostering collaboration between the UK and the Nigerian government, particularly in the realm of education.
Ms. Gill Atkinson, Deputy Commissioner of the British High Commission in Nigeria, unveiled this groundbreaking development during a presentation held in Abuja.
Chevening scholarship initiative
The event was designed to introduce the Chevening Scholarship to PWDs and guide them through the application process.
Atkinson emphasized that Chevening, a significant educational initiative, plays a pivotal role in strengthening cooperation between the UK and Nigeria, particularly in the field of education, while simultaneously championing the inclusion of PWDs in all aspects of society.
She stressed that Chevening’s approach is rooted in inclusivity and offers equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.
Atkinson articulated the purpose behind this initiative, stating, “The reason we are doing this is to help Nigeria’s brightest and best take their country forward.
We want to see young Nigerians equipped to move their country forward.”
Highlighting the significance of including persons with disabilities in the Chevening programs, Atkinson affirmed, “The inclusion of persons with disabilities into the programs is a way the UK government shows them that they are just like every other person with great abilities.
Persons with disabilities cannot be left out because they also have a lot to impact on society, which is why the inclusion.”
Mrs. Oluwafunmilayo Ladepo, the Chevening Programme Officer in Nigeria, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that the inclusion of persons with disabilities is driven by the desire to harness the positive contributions they can make to Nigeria.
This initiative recognizes the untapped potential and valuable impact that individuals with disabilities can bring to the country.
Ladepo shared an inspiring example from a previous scholarship recipient who, despite visual impairment, completed a master’s program and secured an internship with the BBC.
She stated, “This is because of his ability and intelligence, and he will be back after his internship to contribute to the media.
So this is the basic thing, partnering with Nigeria, to improve Nigeria and also to gain from Nigeria because if we have these people going, we are also having strong people coming back to build Nigeria.”