No fewer than 19,323 candidates have applied for the 2019/2020 overseas MSC and PhD programmes of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), the agency has said.
In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, Mr Kalu Otisi, the Head, Media and External Affairs of the fund, said: “The total number of applications received for 2019/2020 academic year for overseas masters’ and PhD programmes is 19,323.
The over 19,000 applicants will be jostling for less than 500 slots given on the average by the PTDF.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that between 2007 and 2013, 2,417 masters’ degree and 642 doctoral degree students benefited from the organisation’s overseas programmes, giving an average of 437.
“In the 2016/2017 oversees scholarship scheme, 175 MSC and 80 PHD candidates benefited from the programme.
For the 2019 application, Otisi said: ”For MSc Overseas Scholarship Scheme we received 15,822 while for PhD Overseas Scholarship Scheme we received 3, 501.”
He said that the physical and oral interviews for the candidates would start on Monday April 29 and end on May 10th, 2019.
Otisi said PTDF had arranged different venues for the selection interview in the six geo-political zones.
He said the interview for candidates in the South-South zone would be at University of Port-Harcourt, while candidates in the South-West zone would be interviewed at University of Ibadan.
Candidates from North-Central zone will be interviewed at PTDF Tower, Opposite Yar’adua Centre, Central Business District, Abuja, and those from South-East zone will be interviewed at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nsukka, Otisi said.
He added that candidates from North-East zone would be interviewed Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, while those from of North-West would be interviewed at Kaduna State University.
The fund on Nov. 28, 2018, opened its portal for application by ualified candidates for the overseas MSC and PHD programme and closed it after six weeks.
The PTDF overseas scholarship scheme has over the years trained professionals in engineering, geology, environmental studies, renewable energy, among others, to service the oil and gas sector of the economy.
A total of 4,816 Nigerians have benefited from the programmes with 1,449 scholars undertaking PhD programme