On Monday 15th April, 2013, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqqayatu Ahmed Rufa’i led a delegation on a working visit to Princetown University, New Jersey, United States to explore and cultivate long term ties that would guarantee placements for Nigerian candidates and also accord them special consideration in the admission process.
Professor Rufa’I explained that the Federal Government established a Presidential Special Scholarship for Innovation and Development, PRESSID, in order to bequeath a critical mass of highly skilled professionals that would drive economic growth and also serve as catalysts for change, technological and economic development.
This special presidential initiative, which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s educational development, she said, seeks to identify about 100 Nigerian First Class graduates, annually, for masters and doctoral, studies on full scholarship, in the top 25 universities in the world, one of which is Princeton University.
The scholarship covers all expenses, such as tuition, living expenses, international and local transport as well as ancillary charges.
She further explained that the candidates, who would be subjected to a rigorous selection process, must have obtained First Class honours degree in the following disciplines:
*Sciences: Nuclear Physics, Operations Research, Industrial Chemistry, Quantitive Genetics *Basic Medical Sciences: Anatomy, Physiology, Medical Biochemistry; *Special Aspects of Biology: Biometrics, Molecular Biology; Economics: Econometrics, Development Economics; *Engineering and Technology: Aeronautical Engineering, Mechatronics, Metallurgy, Material Science and Production Engineering, Nanotechnology, cyber-security, software engineering; Medicine; Oncology, Human Genetics, Hepatolgy, Nuclear Medicine, Geriatics etc.
Professor Okojie who chairs the implementation committee of PRESSID enjoined Princeton to consider granting a most-favoured-applicant status to the candidates.
He argued that while Nigerian students stood to benefit from the rich tradition of academic excellence and credibility that the university was known for, the university would not regret admitting Nigerian students, who have proven to be the best among their peers everywhere.