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UN announces tuition-free masters’ programs for refugees in Nigeria, others 

The United Nations Refugee Agency has announced a fully funded master’s degree scholarship for refugees in Nigeria through its “Project UNICORE 2024” program involving Italian universities. 

The scholarship seeks to increase higher education opportunities for refugees currently residing in Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in Italy. 

UNICORE is promoted by Italian universities in partnership with the UNHCR, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Caritas Italiana, Diaconia Valdese, Centro Astalli, and other partners. 

Aside from being tuition-free, the successful applicants would have access to other study grants. 

  • The UN agency stated on its website that “students will be selected to begin degree courses in September 2024, and will be exempt from tuition fees at the universities participating in the program and will receive financial support for plane tickets and visa-related expenses, as well as a study grant to help them during their stay in Italy.” 

More on the program 

Interested applicants must have been recognized refugee status in the identified countries in collaboration with UNHCR. 

They must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of about 3.0 according to the country of graduation tertiary education grading system, among other criteria. 

However, the selection process would be determined by the individual universities.  

April 15 is set as the deadline for submission of applications. 

What you should know 

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the UN agency responsible for aiding and protecting refugees. 
  • According to the UN, the ongoing violence in North-West and South-West Cameroon drove 4,000 Cameroonians to Nigeria in 2021 and some 14,000 newly registered refugees in 2022. 
  • The total refugee population in Southern Nigeria is said to be around 86,000 by the end of 2022. 
  • Through the scholarship program, the UNHCR intends to carry out its mandate. 

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