Scholarship Schemes

Postgraduate Scholarship

Since 2010, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has been supporting scholarships for one-year postgraduate degrees for applicants from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states. The objective of the scheme is to provide an opportunity for qualifying students from the three states to further their education in courses that are relevant to the oil and gas industry.

Ten scholarships are awarded annually, and these are in partnership with three  internationally recognised universities in the United Kingdom: Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Leeds.


To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • display intellectual ability and leadership potential
  • meet the University’s English language requirements (usually at least 6.5 in IELTS or equivalent TOEFL score valid for Sept 2014 admission)
  • be between 21-28 years by end September of the year of admission
  • be indigenes of Rivers, Delta or Bayelsa States (proof of this will be required)
  • currently reside in Nigeria
  • return and take up permanent residence in Nigeria after completion of the proposed programme of study
  • have obtained a university degree equivalent to a UK Second Class Upper (Honours Degree) at a minimum
  • not have studied previously in the UK or any other developed country
  • have a valid Nigerian passport valid till December, 2015
  • be neither current nor former employees (who have left employment less than 5 years before) of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies or Karamat Ltd
  • not be a spouse, child or ward of staff of Shell Companies in Nigeria or Karamat Ltd

The scholarship will cover tuition fees, one return flight ticket from Nigeria to the UK and a contribution towards living expenses only*.

MORE INFORMATION CAN BE OBTAINED AT or through the individual universities.

*Please note that the stipends are based on the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) published living rates and are limited to this only.  

University Scholarship Scheme

The University Scholarship Scheme, a programme run by SPDC on behalf of the NNPC/Shell/Elf/Agip Joint Venture, makes a quiet but very profound commentary on the company’s interest in the promotion of capacity building in the country.

Every year, more than 4,000 Nigerian undergraduates write aptitude tests to join the evergrowing list of students which Shell Nigeria supports in Nigerian Universities. The applicants are shortlisted on the basis of the national SSCE and JAMB examination results. This is followed by an aptitude test at the PortHarcourt, Warri, Enugu, Lagos and Abuja centres.

There are two categories of the Scholarship Scheme, the National Merit Award (NM), open to Nigerian undergraduates and Areas of Operation Merit Award (AOM), for students from communities in which Shell Nigeria operates. Only first year students are eligible for the awards in both categories.

An average of 16,000 applicants respond to advertisements by Shell Nigeria every year, inviting qualified candidates to apply for the scholarships which are tenable only in Nigerian Universities. 

Secondary School Scholarship

The Shell Nigeria Secondary School Scholarship Scheme is for host communities in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo and Rivers states.

Every year, an average of 2,600 post-primary scholarships are awarded in the seven states. The Secondary School Scholarship Scheme is to help students pay through school, as well as enhance academic achievement in host communities.

The scheme, which is also a welcome relief for many parents and guardians in the education of their children, has become so popular that annually, thousands of parents and children look forward to it as a golden opportunity.

Indeed, it has today become a welcome feature of educational development, especially in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.

Cradle-to-Career Scholarship

Students in school yard

The Cradle-to-Career Scholarship is an all-inclusive scholarship programme that provides opportunities for brilliant pupils of less-privileged background to attend reputable secondary schools in Nigeria.

The Cradle-to-Career scheme is designed to bridge educational inequalities resulting from geographic and socio-economic difference as well as help to enhance high literacy level in the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.

There are two categories of the Scholarship Scheme;

  1. The SPDC JV Cradle-to-Career Scholarship scheme managed by Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited (SPDC) on behalf of the joint venture.

    Started since 2010, candidates are selected from key Niger Delta States of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta. Three hundred and fifty (350) talented students are already enrolled in quality secondary schools.

  2. The National Cradle-to-Career Scholarship scheme, managed by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo) on behalf of itself, its co-venture partners and the NNPC.

    Candidates are selected from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, out of which the best three (3), who also meet all other award criteria are awarded the scholarship.

    The scheme is in its second year with 60 beneficiaries already placed in very good private secondary schools.

Shell Nigeria Cradle-to-Career scholarship has received several local and international commendations. At the 2011 United Nations (UN) Innovations Fair in Geneva, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon described the scheme as “a landmark initiative” and acknowledged its impressive contributions to educational development in the Niger Delta and Nigeria.

Shell Scholars

The Shell scholarship programme commenced in the 1950s. with awards to qualified Nigerians in various fields of study, both within and outside Nigeria. Many of them returned home to occupy key positions in public service, commerce and industry.

Shell Scholars' Forum - Promoting Academic Excellence in Nigeria

As Shell worked to produce and export the first barrel of crude oil for Nigeria, it also had the foresight to think of the generations of Nigerians who would one day drive the development of the newly independent nation. A quick way of achieving this was to train the required manpower through scholarship awards.

The Shell scholarship programme commenced in the 1950s with awards to qualified Nigerians in various fields of study both within and outside Nigeria. Many of them returned home and some still occupy key positions in public service, commerce and industry.

The Shell Scholars’ Forum inaugurated in 2013 is intended to create an avenue for older beneficiaries to mentor the younger ones. Relatedly, a new Shell education portfolio strategy was launched also in 2013. The objective is “to generate the intellectual and creative energy required for sustained economic performance and global competitiveness of Nigeria”. Element of the strategy include; Building Scholars, Promoting Digital Transformation and driving Growth and Development in Nigeria.

As a mark of recognition and appreciation of Shell’s effort in supporting quality education in Nigeria from the 1950s to date, the company emerged “Best Company in Education” at the 2013 Social Enterprise Report & Awards (SERAs).

Have you ever been awarded a Shell scholarship? You are part of a distinct club! Join the Shell Scholars' Forum.

The Shell Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has established the Shell Scholars’ Forum for all past recipients of Shell university and postgraduate scholarship awards. The Shell Scholars’ Forum is a great networking forum.

Why join the Forum?

Over 14,000 people have passed through Shell’s scholarship programmes over the past 50 years. Most of these scholars have excelled in their various fields and occupy exalted positions in commerce, banking, industry, academia etc.

The forum provides a common platform for networking and relationship-building among the scholars, afford them the opportunity not only to contribute to future improvements in SPDC’s education strategy, but also provide communiqués that may positively influence government policies on education. The forum would also serve as a platform to impact the younger generation of scholars and help address the educational challenges of today.

To join this forum, kindly fill out the registration form.

Scholarship Disclaimer

Our attention has been drawn to the activities of some individuals parading themselves as representatives of Shell for the purpose of our Scholarship Programmes.

These individuals, who pose as middlemen, claim to have access to Shell scholarship processes with powers to influence or secure scholarships for applicants.

We have not authorised or appointed any persons or organisations to act as middlemen or agents for any of our scholarship programmes and do not collect any fee from candidates.

Shell scholarship programmes and application guidelines are advertised in national newspapers, on the company’s website and Twitter handle.

Please be guided accordingly.