16 January 2014, Lagos -Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, is inviting applications to its 5th post-graduate scholarship scheme for 2014. Applicants between ages 21 – 28 who have obtained a university degree at Second Class Upper Division and display intellectual ability and leadership potential are qualified to apply. The scheme is aimed at providing opportunities for graduates from Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states to study courses relevant to the oil and gas industry, including engineering and geosciences.
“The feedback in the four years since the programme was launched has been impressive,” said General Manager, Nigerian Content Development, Igo Weli. According to him:”Many of the students have been employed by SPDC and other companies. In fact, one student was retained by the University of Leeds for a doctoral programme due to scholarly excellence. The Niger- Delta Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme is sowing the seeds for a greater Nigerian oil and gas industry.”
Weli explained that the Niger-Delta Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC)-operated Joint Venture has given opportunities to more candidates to acquire higher education in three top universities in the UK. He said that SPDC will award 10 scholarships for a one-year Master’s degree in partnership with Imperial College, London, University College, London and the University of Leeds for the academic year commencing September 2014.
Going down memory lane, he noted that the scheme is in addition to SPDC’s regular scholarship programme which was introduced in the 1950s through which thousands of Nigerians have been sponsored in diverse fields of study. “Support for education by Shell Companies in Nigeria involve innovative scholarship programmes and the promotion of educational excellence and academic achievement through science fairs and quiz competitions,” he added.
“SPDC has also endowed eight University Professorial Chairs in selected disciplines for teaching and research and sponsored the establishment of two Centres of Excellence in two Nigerian universities with the mandate to promote educational advancement and the pursuit of excellence in the area of Geosciences, Petroleum Engineering and Environmental Management and Control. These efforts have been acknowledged by various organisations. Shell emerged Best Company in Education at the 2013 edition of the annual Social Enterprise Report Awards (SERAs),” he said.