Background of the study
The level of educational attainment of a population is a key measure of the total amount of human capital acquired by a country, making it one of the most important factors in determining a country’s level of prosperity and economic competitiveness on the international stage (Ace- moglu and Robinson, 2016). According to the World Economic Forum, higher education is critical to the competitiveness of a nation because “today’s globalising economy requires countries to nurture pools of well-educated workers who are able to perform complex tasks and adapt rapidly to their changing environment and the evolving needs of the production system.” This statement highlights the significance of education beyond the high school level for national competitiveness (Schwab, 2015).
Higher education is particularly important to the competitiveness of nations with developing and transitioning economies, such as the 15 former Soviet Socialist Republics, which have been transitioning from socialist systems to market economies since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Although labour market policies and other forces also play a role (Rashid & Rutkowski, 2015), higher education is particularly important to the competitiveness of nations with developing and transitioning economies.
A significant reorganisation of the labour market is necessary in order to complete the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Because of this reorganisation, “a considerable weight” is typically placed on the education and training sectors of the economy in order to “smooth any labour market transition” (Clark, 2016).
One strategy that a number of countries, including those that were formerly part of the Soviet Union (such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Russia), as well as governments in other parts of the world (such as Brazil, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia), have implemented in order to develop their human capital is to provide financial assistance to students from the home country so that they can attend postsecondary institutions in other countries (Knight, 2016).
The assumption made by the governments of the countries that fund international scholarship programmes is that the advantages of obtaining a higher education from a school located in a country other than one’s own are distinct from the advantages obtained from studying at a school located within one’s own country (Messer & Wolter, 2017). This strategy may be able to build the international perspectives of the population of the home nation by taking advantage of the long-standing and high-quality educational offerings that are available in other countries (Knight, 2016). It may also promote the transfer of knowledge and the development of skills that are required by employers. In 2010, around 3.5 million people, or 2% of all students enrolled in higher education worldwide, pursued their education in another country (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2015). Even if the proportion is low, the potential benefits of studying abroad to individual and community prosperity may be significant, particularly in a country that is undergoing economic and political upheaval in particular.
Governments may encourage the accumulation of individual human capital by sponsoring programmes that provide financial and other support to study in and earn degrees from postsecondary institutions outside the home nation. These programmes may also benefit the home nation by improving national economic growth and productivity, the internalisation of democratic values, human rights practises, and “international understanding and knowledge” (Edelstein & Douglass, 2016).
Statement of the Problem
According to the findings of numerous studies, going to school in another country is beneficial not just to the participants themselves but also to their home countries (Crossman & Clarke, 2017). Despite this, research that investigate the results of receiving an education in another country have significant methodological and theoretical constraints. Twombly & colleagues (2015) reached the conclusion in their comprehensive review that the positive effects found in research examining U.S. students who study abroad may be overstated. This may be the case due to the reliance on data from single institutions and small and non-representative samples, insufficient theoretical grounding, and inattention to the self-selection of students into study abroad programmes or the growth and development that would occur among college students regardless of their choice to participate in study abroad programmes.
It is likely that the conclusions drawn about the benefits that result when students from the United States study abroad have limited relevance for other nations, particularly nations that restrict eligible countries, institutions, and majors and/or have requirements for studying abroad after graduation. Despite this, the finding of Twombly et al. (2015) that the individual benefits of studying in a foreign nation vary depending on features of participants and the programme, in addition to characteristics of the host nation, is likely to be true regardless of the student’s country of origin. Whether or if students choose to remain in and contribute to the economy of the nation in which they received their education and find employment after completing their studies will determine the extent to which a home country benefits from its citizens’ educational experiences abroad (Bergerh-off et al., 2015).
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the benefits of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition of youths. Specific objectives of this study are:
i. To determine the extent Nigerian youths access fully funded scholarship.
ii. To find out the benefits of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition to the Nigerian youths.
iii. To find out the impacts of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition of the Nigerian youths to the country.
iv. To find out the challenges of Nigerian youths in assessing fully funded scholarship.
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
i. To what extent do Nigerian youths access fully funded scholarship?
ii. What are the benefits of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition to the Nigerian youths?
iii. What are the impacts of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition of the Nigerian youths to the country?
iv. What are the challenges of Nigerian youths in assessing fully funded scholarship?
Significance of the Study
This study will be of great benefit to the Nigerian society as the findings of this study will reveal the benefits of fully funded scholarship to the youths and the impact it has on the Nigerian society.
This study will also influence the policy makers and educationists decisions on the need to improve the different scholarship schemes across the nation and to make it easily accessible to the teeming youths.
Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the benefits of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition of youths. Specifically, this study is focused on determining the extent Nigerian youths access fully funded scholarship, finding out the benefits of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition to the Nigerian youths, finding out the impacts of fully funded scholarship on educational acquisition of the Nigerian youths to the country and finding out the challenges of Nigerian youths in assessing fully funded scholarship.
Selected youths of Gwarimpa in the Federal Capital Territory will serve as the respondents for the survey of this study.
Limitations of the Study
During the process of carrying out this study, the researcher was confronted with a number of obstacles, some of which were limitations pertaining to time and finances, as well as difficulties pertaining to language and the attitudes of the respondents. Nevertheless, the researchers were able to overcome these obstacles in order to guarantee the success of this investigation.
In addition, the case study approach that was used in the research presented the investigator with a number of difficulties, such as the chance of making erroneous judgments and being subject to prejudice. In spite of this, the investigator was successful in overcoming the difficulties by adhering to the broad principles of respect for processes, justice, fairness, impartiality in observation and recording, and the weighing of evidence.
Definition of Terms
Fully Funded Scholarship: A fully funded scholarship covers all expenses that your college life entitles you to and the funds may not be utilized otherwise. The scholarships are typically offered by colleges and universities or private organizations with generous benefactors.
Education: Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty.