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The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) an organization founded to enhance the capacity of higher educations in Nigeria. To raise awareness about the role of higher education and Nigerian Universities in social, economic, and political development. To Achieve this mandate, the foundation has expanded its scope to seven (7) public institutions of learning in Nigeria, namely;

  •  Ahamdu Bello University, Zaria,
  • Bayero University, Kano,
  • The University of Ibadan,
  • The University of Lagos,
  • University of Nigeria (Nsukka),
  • The University of Port Harcourt.
  • Kwara state University

Amongst its interventions and program, the foundation organizes an annual essay scholarship competition for undergraduates across the 6 NHEF partners. The competition currently in its 5th edition has gained more interest and gained recognition amongst partner’s schools.

The delivery of NHEF’s mandate of changing the narrative of Nigerian students in the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria continues as each edition challenges students to think critically and strategically about change and how they can affect change in Nigeria.


  • All students at any NHEF Partner University are qualified to participate in the essay contest.
  • NHEF Partner Universities include Ahmadu Bello University, Bayero University (Kano), University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria (Nsukka), and the University of Port Harcourt.
  • NHEF Scholars are not eligible to participate in this competition.
  • Students enrolled in their penultimate year are third-year undergraduates of a 4-year degree program or fourth-year undergraduates of a 5-year degree program. NHEF will verify the enrollment of each contestant with the University Registrar.


The COVID-19 Pandemic has dismantled global conventions, and most notably, impacted the activities of higher education institutions. Adapting to a new stay-at-home landscape, global education systems have responded with digitally innovative methods of teaching and learning that will redefine the future of classroom training.

Using relevant examples, critically analyze the role of digital technology in transitioning higher education in Nigeria to a post-pandemic system.

Submission Deadline: May 28, 2021

Maximum Word count: 2000

For More info, visit


All essays must comply with the following contest rules before submission:

  • Only one essay may be submitted per student;
  • No literary form other than an essay will be accepted;
  • The essay must reflect the contestant’s ability to explore and discuss ideas and ethical concepts;
  • The essay must demonstrate the conduct of research and a sufficiently detailed summary;
  • The essay must be 2000 words maximum, double-spaced, (12pt Times New Roman), and numbered pages with one-inch margins excluding bibliography & title page;
  • Submitted essay must include a Title Page, a Bibliography and a scanned copy of the contestant’s current student ID;
  • The essay title should be saved as Year NHEF Essay Competition – Name of Applicant
  • The student’s name, university, and registration ID# must appear in the header section of each page;
  • References in the essay should be included and clearly identified;
  • Entries must be submitted in PDF format;


  • Prepare an outline or diagram on the Essay topic.
  • Write your thesis statement.
  • Write the body.
  • Write the introduction.
  • Write a conclusion.
  • Add the finishing touches.

NOTE: Students are encouraged to study rules on how to avoid plagiarism, as the essays will be checked for intellectual authenticity.


First Prize:

  • ₦100,000
  • Tuition Fee
  • Laptop
  • 1 Online course
  • 1 year internet subscription

Second Prize:

  • ₦75,000
  • Tuition Fee
  • 1 year internet subscription

Third Prize:

  • ₦50,000
  • Tuition Fee
  • 1 year internet subscription


  • Competition only open to students enrolled at NHEF Partner Universities.
  • References in the essay should be included and clearly identified.
  • All entries are to submit via e-mail to latest by 11:59 pm WAT on May 28, 2021.
  • The online certificate course (for first prize winner) may not exceed $100 on Udemy, Coursera, Alison or EDX.
  • 1 year internet subscription estimated at 24GB of each winner’s preferred mobile network.

Students are encouraged to study rules on how to avoid plagiarism, as the essays will be checked for intellectual authenticity.


Read More on Writing Program Administrators


5th Edition NHEF Scholarship Essay Competition (2019)  

Essay Topic Theme; Human Capital Development

Essay Question: “To anchor the economy over the long term, investments in infrastructure and competitiveness must go hand in hand with investments in people. People without roads, ports, and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports, and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy”  

Bill Gates, Co-Founder & Technology Advisor, Microsoft Inc.

 Using a case study or example, provide a solution(s) to address the challenges of human capital development in Nigeria

Essay Winners

  1. First Runner-up: Morenike Oyeleke (University of Lagos)
  2. Second Runner-up 1: John Igbozurike (University of Lagos)
  3. Second Runner-up 2: John Joshua (University of Ibadan)

4th Edition NHEF Scholarship Essay Competition (2018)

Essay Topic Theme; Technology, Youth Engagement, Gender, and Socio-Economic Growth

Essay Questions: 

  1. “According to the National Population Commission, Nigeria’s population is currently estimated at 182 Million, with more than half of the population under 30 years of age. Assess the importance of Youth engagement in Nigeria’s socio-economic growth”
  2. “The higher education curriculum, in particular, always serves as a means of socio control, legitimating (sic) existing social relations, representing somebody’s version of what constitutes important knowledge” What are the benefits, if any, of instituting a gender-inclusive higher education curriculum in Nigeria?

Using a case study or example(s), explore how technology can drive social change in Nigeria.

3th Edition NHEF Scholarship Essay Competition (2017) 

Essay Topic Theme; Gender, The Nigerian Economy, and Information Privacy.

Essay Questions: 

  1. “There is a problem with gender as it is today and we must do something to fix it” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  2. “The Nigerian Economy is achieving projected diversification for growth and development” Discuss 
  3. The proliferation of online platforms is in constant tension with the right to privacy; one must give way for the other to thrive”

2th Edition NHEF Scholarship Essay Competition (2016)

Essay Topic Theme; Higher Education and The development of The Nigerian Economy.

Essay Questions: 

  1. “The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead” Aristotle. Discuss the validity of this statement. 
  2. Explore the relationship between a developed higher education sector and long-term economic growth?
  3. What is the role/function of innovation versus tradition in Nigeria’s development?

Essay Winners

  1. First Runner-up: Adebajo Adekunle (University of Ibadan)
  2. Second Runner-up 1: Chinazo Nnacheta (University of Nigeria)
  3. Second Runner-up 2: Oyintare Jennifer Abang (University of Portharcourt)

1st Edition NHEF Scholarship Essay Competition (2015) 

Essay Topic Theme; Gender, The Nigerian Economy, and Information Privacy.

Essay Question: The role of higher education in strengthening democracy in Nigeria?

Essay Winners

  1. First Runner-up: Odonoekuma Onyebuchi (University of Nigeria)
  2. Second Runner-up 1: Chidi Nkwocha (University of Nigeria)
  3. Second Runner-up 2: Aniah Justin (University of Ibadan)


Scholarship and Award prizes will be permanently lost if the student:

  • Does not attend an eligible NHEF Partner University
  • Winners will be announced via media channels (NHEF Facebook account, NHEF Instagram account, NHEF Twitter account, and NHEF Website)
  • Winners will be contacted via communication method provided during application submission
  • The NHEF will make reasonable attempts to contact winners following announcements via media channels
  • Failure to claim prizes within 30 DAYS of announcement date, will automatically forfeit winnings
  • The student is found to have provided false or misleading information in claiming the award
  • The student fails to provide documentation to clarify an error or contradiction regarding his or her claim information that is discovered after the being selected
  • Unsatisfactory academic standing /Academic Probation will result in immediate forfeiture
  • Enrollment will be verified with the University’s registrar.
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