POSSIBLE SUSPENSION OF FOREIGN SCHOLARSHIPS BY TETFUND AMID FOREX CRISIS

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has found itself grappling with challenges arising from the recent monetary policy changes instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria. These changes have adversely affected the disbursement of tuition fees and stipends for students enrolled in foreign scholarship programs. Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, brought these difficulties to light during a noteworthy Stakeholders Engagement event held in Abuja.

Echono revealed that the financial allocation provided to TETFund is proving insufficient to adequately support its Tertiary Scholarship for Academic Staff (TSAS) program. In view of these constraints, TETFund is considering the possibility of suspending foreign scholarship initiatives. Instead, the fund is contemplating a shift towards bolstering local scholarship opportunities to better serve students within the country.

One concerning issue that has emerged is the trend of scholars not fulfilling their obligations to return and serve their bonds with their home institutions upon completing their studies. This problematic trend has undermined the effectiveness of the TSAS program and necessitates a reevaluation of its implementation strategies.

Echono emphasized that the Stakeholders Engagement event was orchestrated precisely to address such challenges and to collaboratively devise solutions that would ensure the seamless execution of scholarship programs.

Despite these challenges, TETFund has actively pursued collaborations with overseas institutions. Echono disclosed that the organization has recently entered into Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with prestigious universities across different countries, including Malaysia, India, Brazil, France, and the United States.

These collaborations are aimed at elevating the quality and impact of the TSAS program in the future, despite the present difficulties.

Chris Maiyaki, the acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, offered insights into potential strategies for overcoming these obstacles. He emphasized the need for TETFund to explore innovative funding approaches and urged the organization to enhance its monitoring processes to ensure quality assurance. This, he believes, would lead to a more favorable return on investment for the projects undertaken by TETFund.

In conclusion, TETFund’s contemplation of suspending foreign scholarships as a response to the ongoing forex crisis highlights the intricate challenges faced by educational institutions in Nigeria. The complexities surrounding financial allocations, scholars’ obligations, and international collaborations underscore the necessity for adaptive strategies to ensure the continued advancement of education and research within the country.

 

 

 

 

 

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