The Federal Ministry of Education on Monday began screening of prospective students for the Bilateral Education Agreement Scholarship Award (BEA) across the country.
Malam Abdullahi Jibrin of the Federal Scholarship Board told journalists in Kaduna that the exercise, which would last till Friday is taking place in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Jibrin, who is the leader of the screening team for Northwest Zone, said that about 200 beneficiaries would be selected from each zone, based on the number of applicants and their performance at the interview.
He explained that the scheme began about 30 years ago between Nigeria and some non English speaking countries who exchange students for both undergraduate and post graduate degrees.
According to him, the countries award full scholarship to the beneficiaries, adding participating countries only support the students money for maintenance.
“The countries include Russia, Hungary, Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, Serbia, Egypt, Ukraine, Romania, Cuba, China and Tunisia among others.
“But only China, Russia and Turkey would accept student for postgraduate this year.”
He however disclosed that there was low participation of students from the Northwest Zone over the years and urged students from the zone to tap from the opportunity.
Also speaking, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Nok, urged the student to do their best at the interview, adding that only the best would be selected.
Nok, who was represented by the Director of Higher Education in the ministry, Mr John Gora, noted that many students are not aware of the scheme in the state.
The commissioner said that the state would carry out massive awareness campaign to enlighten students about the scheme to increase the number of beneficiaries from the state.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Kaduna State Scholarship Board, Hajiya Jummai Dikko, said the scholarship covers all courses in sciences, social sciences, environmental sciences, the arts and the humanities, both for undergraduate and post graduate.
Dikko however said that only China, Russia and Turkey would accept candidates for post graduate studies this year.
“The criteria for undergraduate is five distinction in Mathematics and English language and any other three relevant subjects in WAEC obtain from 2015 or 2016 and the candidate must be from 18 to 20 years.
“For post graduate student, applicant must have a first class or second class upper division and the age limit of 35 for masters and 40 for Ph.D, “she said.