23 Jan PRESS RELEASE: CANCELLATION OF THE 2021 CYFED SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME (THE 2021 IFOMSSA SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME IS NOT AFFECTED).
The OCI Foundation is deeply saddened to announce that the “2021 Edition of its Cyfed Scholarships Program”, will not hold. This decision, taken after wide consultations with various stakeholders, directors and trustees of the Foundation, is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the 2020 applications stalled, and still to be fully processed till date.
This cancellation will not affect the 2021 IFOMSSA scholarship program (for students in secondary schools), and the dates for the selection exam (the IFOMSSA Challenge), will be announced soon.
For clarity, the Cyfed Scholarship Scheme includes the CYFED UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP (CUS) and the CYFED-BRADLEY HOPE (CBH) SCHOLARSHIP. In ideal circumstances, the application portal for both the CUS and the CBH scholarships open automatically from February the 22nd, every year, and close April the 26th of the same year. This will not be the case for 2021, but will restart in 2022, all things being equal.
Reasons for the cancellation:
- With less than one month to the commencement of the 2021 edition, the applications received for the 2020 CUS program have not been processed. The main reason for this is that, most applicants were yet to submit their supporting documentations before Nigeria went into lockdown, and schools were closed across the Country. Completing the awards without allowing these applicants to submit their documents would be very unfair. As a matter of fact, only the CBH Scholarship (the second component of the Cyfed Scholarship Scheme) was processed in December 2020, and this was because the sponsoring Australian family involved needed to hold a memorial for their late son, after whom the CBH was named;
- Most tertiary institutions in Nigeria, whose students are eligible for the Cyfed Scholarships, have been closed for the best part of the last 12 months, and students that applied as first year students in 2020, are still in same position (first year) till date. As such, there is really no room for new applicants;
- Even if all tertiary institutions are to resume today, the earliest time that the OCI Foundation’s Scholarship Board can process the applications received for the 2020 round, would be from the last week of February, 2021. This is so because, most of the applicants for the 2020 round could not submit their supporting documents due to school closures, and this is still the case till date. As can be seen in this publication HERE, the OCI Foundation promised to allow a minimum of 1 month after schools officially resume, so that the concerned applicants can submit their supporting documents. Thereafter, we will still make out time for interviews, document verification, and so on;
The OCI Foundation is mindful of the fact that, some state-owned universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria continued their academic activities through 2020. Given that the majority of institutions were (and are still) closed down, the Foundation cannot realistically proceed with the scholarship scheme this year, 2021, as most of the eligible applicants will be excluded.
This cancellation is not a decision we took lightly, and the OCI Foundation regrets all inconveniences that this might have caused. The Foundation’s commitment to supporting Nigerian undergraduates remain as solid as ever, and we will continue to provide personalised support to undergraduate students, where needed.
God bless you all.