Nigeria’s higher education sector has been “overburdened” by strong population growth and a significant youth population explosion. That’s why it’s clear that many enthusiastic and ambitious Nigerian students who cherish the dream to acquire quality university education won’t have the opportunity.
Report indicates that only 30 percent out of 1.7 million candidates who wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) were admitted in 2017.
It is against this backdrop that StudyFree, an international Edtech startup is out to help Nigerian students study abroad for free with the help of grants and scholarships through an online platform.
Dasha Kroshkina, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of StudyFree said the firm was founded to assist ambitious and goal-seeking students to realise their dream, study abroad for free with the help of grants and scholarships.
According to Kroshkina, “My international experience together with entrepreneurial thinking drove me to launch the platform that offers programmes from a bachelor’s degree to PhD with scholarships around the globe”.
Kroshkina observes that financial limitation and lack of family support hindered a lot of students from fulfilling their dream for international education.
“I was born in a provincial Russian town and couldn’t even think about traveling or education abroad. I overcame all challenges and gained prolific expertise while studying in Spain, China, and the USA. I then understood that I should share my experience and prove that education is the most powerful instrument that can break any barrier”. Kroshkina said.
Commenting further, Kroshkina said among other developing regions, our choice fell on Nigeria as we found out that this country is rich with talented youths. However, there are also huge gaps between proactive students who strive for success and opportunities that African countries can offer. That’s why it’s all about the impact that our startup can make in Nigeria. Our goal is to help students who don’t have opportunities to study abroad but who possess strong motivation and aspiration.
“In recent months we held more than 150 interviews with Nigerian students. Our team was inspired by their sincere motivation to study. It’s worth mentioning that in other countries students consider education abroad as an opportunity to move, whereas in African regions students want to accumulate state-of-the-art knowledge and come back to their home country to drive change, develop their regions, and give their experience back to the community. When our team hears such inspiring stories of African students, we’re especially glad to make the Nigerian market our major focus”.
“Another great reason why we choose to focus on the Nigerian market is the fact that Africa is a fast-developing continent. If China and India don’t surprise people with its economic breakthrough, the African market holds much potential. That’s why if we give Nigerian students a chance to gain a good education abroad, they will come back to their country with high-quality education and will expand business opportunities in Nigeria, developing the market”.
To Kroshkina, “Even now we’re super excited and proud to have 25 local ambassadors from Nigeria and South Africa in our team. Together we can promote the values of equal, quality and free education and open doors to the world of opportunities for every Nigerian who is eager to fulfil their education dream”.