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GIIDAE International Scholarship – University of Reading

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GIIDAE International Scholarship

MstAE2

Student name: Mst Dilruba Shabnam

Programme undertaken: MSc Agriculture and Development

Name of scholarship/bursary: GIIDAE International Scholarship

Start date: September 2020

What did you do before coming to Reading?

Before joining Reading, I was a member of the Bangladesh Civil Service, working for the Department of Agriculture Extension as an Additional Deputy Director.

What are your career aspirations?

I hope to gain a deeper understanding of key agricultural developmental issues and use my knowledge and experience to later serve my country’s agricultural development team.

What interested you in your chosen area of study?

I was particularly interested in the way in which the learning sessions in this area of study are designed at Reading. They offer a fascinating way to learn which allows students to share experiences with each other, and as a result knowledge is not only shared with students within the School, but also in other Schools around the University.

Why did you choose Reading?

For any agriculturalist, the University of Reading is a dream as the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development is ranked 1st in the UK and 12th globally for Agriculture and Forestry (QS World Subject Rankings 2021), therefore, deciding to study at Reading was an obvious choice. Furthermore, academics in the School are known for their global research and I also love the beauty of the award-winning green campus.

How do you think this qualification will help you in the future?

As a Developmental Worker from a South Asian developing country, I strongly believe that the expertise that I will develop from this international learning environment, will help me to contribute important policy development programmes for agricultural development in the future.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Reading?

As a result of the current pandemic, my time at Reading has been unique. I have missed the opportunities to mix with peers from the programme and attend various fieldtrips. However, the pandemic has instead, created another opportunity to learn through virtual communication tools which I find interesting.

Would you recommend the programme to other students, if so why?

I would highly recommend the programme to other students because studying agriculture and development, is an incredibly powerful tool to create change.

How has the Scholarship helped you?

The GIIDAE Scholarship in partnership with the Scholarship for Strengthening Government through capacity building of Bangladesh Civil Service officials, is an honour to receive and has eased financial stress, making my journey at Reading smoother. 9) Is there anything that you would like to add? I have truly fallen in love with Reading!

 

SolongoAEStudent name: Solongo Tumur

Programme undertaken: MSc in Agriculture and Development

Name of scholarship/bursary: GIIDAE International Scholarship

Start date: September 2020

What did you do before coming to Reading?

Prior to joining Reading, I worked for Arysta Lifescience Co, an agrochemical company, based in Japan as both a IPM Technical Consultant and a Technical Sales Representative. I have worked there for eight years, advising on the use of beneficial insect as a pest controlling method.

What are your career aspirations?

In the future, I wish to expand my career internationally and experience working in a number of different nations around the globe in unique and diverse situations. Also, I would like to contribute to the development of the horticultural sector in Mongolia by improving the standards of pesticides usages.

What interested you in your chosen area of study?

Now more than ever, the food industry is extremely important in sustaining livelihoods across the globe. As population levels dramatically increase and climate change factors worsen, the food sector has significant importance in addressing the issues of food security. I hope to contribute following on from the completion of my time at Reading.

Why did you choose Reading?

There were a number of factors that influenced by decision to join Reading. The main ones being the combination of the study environment offered within the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development and the excellent teaching available to students. Another factor was the School’s internationally recognised ranking - of 9th in the world (QS World Rankings 2020. When all of these factors are combined, it promises a high employment/ further study rate post-graduation.

How do you think this qualification will help you in the future?

Despite only being in Reading for two months, I have experienced some really interesting seminars and lectures and have been impressed by the depth of what is taught. I believe my qualification will not only boost my career prospects, but also help me to become a person who takes care in the world.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Reading?

I have really enjoyed meeting students from a range of diverse backgrounds who have such impressive experiences. Everyone within the Graduate Institute of International Development, Agriculture and Economics (GIIDAE) are respectful of each other’s identity, experiences and thoughts. This is something that I regard as particularly important when joining a University. Despite the challenges raised by the ongoing pandemic, I am having regular online video calls with my course members where we discuss a range of relevant topics related to my course. These calls usually last up to three hours and are full of important discussion and lots of fun!

Would you recommend the programme to other students, if so why?

I would definitely recommend the programme to other students, particular to those have already gained work experience in the field but are now looking for an opportunity to focus on a particular area of study. For me, I have been thinking about studying in an English-speaking country for some time now to further improve my knowledge of both the English language and also the culture of the country. Besides the academic work, Reading offer a fantastic career service that is accessible to all students,

How has the Scholarship helped you?

For me, the finances were complicated, but thankfully the scholarship I was given eased some of that stress. This made my decision to join Reading somewhat of a no-brainer and I am so happy with my choice.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

The phrases that I was impressed to hear in some of my early seminars were:.

  • Do not suffer in silence. (tell your module convenor or your academic tutor if you have any difficulties in learning)
  • We respect everyone’s voice. (people could be in different level learning, but don’t worry about sharing your any thoughts or asking any questions)

 

fatumahbirungiresized1Name: Fatumah Birungi

Programme undertaken: MSc Food Security and Development

Start date: September 2019

"My decision to study at the University of Reading was more than a mere desire for the academic qualification as I am concerned about the most vulnerable human populations and am passionate about bringing relief to their burden of chronic food insecurity and underdevelopment which is usually linked to poverty, high food prices, malnutrition, lack of education, and landlessness.

I chose Reading based on its reputation. However, after having spent some time here, I now recognize that there is far more to GIIDAE than just a reputation. I am in the right place, with the right people and in the perfect program as the university has such a conducive environment. It's welcoming to all people of different kinds...it's the perfect place for everyone to develop their skills."

Prior to her MSc, Fatimah had independently founded and contributed to various projects directed at social change and improving food security back in Uganda. The projects that she ran were related to human capacity development and the development of value-added agricultural businesses. She had also worked as a Finance Manager and Project Coordinator for UNEGA Integrated Farms.

Fatumah joined the university as a Scholar, having received a GIIDAE International Scholarship. Talking about her funding she said: "I am indeed honoured and proud to have been selected to receive the Scholarship and I must confess, receiving such a sum was a turning point in my life. The scholarship made it possible for me to enrol on my programme and cover all expenses."

 

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