By Aaron Ossai
Two alumnae of AUN, Christiana Okere and Marilyn Elechi, have earned scholarships worth altogether $134,100 to study medicine at St George’s University (SGU) School of Medicine, Grenada, in the West Indies.
The duo, who graduated from AUN’s pre-med offerings in the Natural and Environmental Sciences (NES) programme in 2016, was accepted into a five-year programme in Doctor of Medicine that will cost altogether $720,000 in tuition to complete.
While Ms. Okere was awarded the Chancellor’s Circle Legacy of Excellence Scholarship worth $80,100, Ms. Elechi won the International Peace Scholarship worth $54,000.
The Executive Director, Communications and Public Relations of the Institute, Mr. Dan Okereke in a statement said an agreement between AUN and SGU allows AUN graduates to pursue medical studies at the SGU medical school, using their admission into AUN. This cooperative venture is open only to students who meet all the SGU stringent requirements for enrollment in the combined programmes leading to the pursuit of a career in medicine. Such students must complete the relevant courses in the pre-medicine and pre-veterinary medicine programs of AUN’s program in NES.
According to him, Ms. Okere and Ms. Elechi were chosen on merit from among a select group of SGU admission candidates with impressive academic and personal qualities. They were adjudged to possess the perfect combination of intellect, motivation, ability, and compassion to turn ambition into success in the field of medicine.
“SGU medical school scholarships are hard to come by, so this is a big deal,” said Ms. Elechi, who is currently interning at the AUN Foundation School.
The two described the rigorous application procedures that they had to go through, including a video-conferencing interview, to prove that they were deserving of not just the admission but also of the scholarships.
Ms. Okere noted that they still have a long way to go to raise money to cover the full tuition cost of $360,000. “My mum has told the whole church, and she is very proud of me, but we are running out of time to raise the remainder sum.”
On his part, Dr. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob, interim Associate Dean of School of Arts and Sciences, complimented the awardees, saying that the awards reflected well on the quality of education offered at AUN as well as the great relations between the two universities.
He explained that to be accepted into Saint George’s, a candidate must show a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 on a 4-point scale. Upon meeting all AUN and SGU admission criteria, they must then proceed to either the SGU School of Medicine or of Veterinary Medicine to obtain the BS/MD or BS/DVM degree.
“At the SGU School of Medicine, the qualified students will be eligible to complete the first two years of medical study in Granada and then the final two years of this combined program in clinical rotations at affiliated hospitals in the US and or the UK. Students who qualify for veterinary medicine will be eligible to complete the first three years of study in SGU and their final clinical year at affiliated veterinary schools in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or Ireland”. He added.