Meet our 2016-17 Scholars

Keele would like to welcome our new scholars for the 2016-17 academic year. 

We asked our scholars about their life before Keele, receiving their scholarships and arriving at Keele.

Tiwaa Addai -Ghana

Tiwaa (Dorcas) Addai, Commonwealth Shared Scholar, Ghana

Course: Human Rights, Globalisation and Justice, MA 


Photo of Commonwealth Scholar Tiwaa Addai What were you doing before you came to Keele?

Before Keele, I was working as a Corporate Social Responsibility officer and a Portfolio Manager with an investment firm. During this period, I was able to learned alot about the world of investments, business ethics and how to mitigate environmental impacts of an organisation's activities. However, I had planned to further my education in the area of human rights and when I got to know about the Human rights programme offered by Keele University; I decided to go for it.

Why did you choose to study at Keele?

I had always wanted to pursue a career in Human rights and was searching for a course that will suit my needs and help further my academic and career prospects. A friend sent me details about the MA Human Rights, Globalization and Justice programme, Keele University was offering and it was just what I was looking for. On researching more about the programme and Keele, I got to love the idea of studying at Keele. I liked the structure and the interdisciplinary nature of the course. I was also excited about the large green beautiful scenery Keele campus was adorned in and the fact that Keele has been recognized as first for student’s satisfaction in the UK. All these influenced my decision to choose Keele as the number one place to pursue a higher education in the UK.

How have your first few months been - what are your first impressions of Keele and being in the UK?

The first few months in the UK has been very good, although I had little challenges adjusting to the weather and the academic environment. However, Keele has been everything I had read and watched prior, to my arrival at Keele campus. I like the range of support systems, available at Keele to help international students settle in well and feel at home. Everybody is ready to help; from the academic staff to fellow students and housemates, all it requires is to ask and everyone is happy to help you adjust and find your way around campus.

How do you feel the scholarship will make a difference for you?

Aside granting me the opportunity to study for a Postgraduate degree in the UK, the Commonwealth Scholarship will greatly help in my personal and career development. I have developed my interpersonal relationship, self-confidence and perspective on varying areas in my field of study. The scholarship has also given me the opportunity to interact and network with other scholars studying in the UK from various countries around the globe and this will go a long way in shaping my career in Human rights and International relations. I have been inspired and hope to learn more from the diverse perspectives and experiences of my fellow students and the academic staff. These experiences will be of immense benefit to my dream of being a human rights advocate in Ghana; particularly in the area of domestic violence and child marriages.


Ndueso Akpan - Nigeria

Ndueso Akpan, Commonwealth Shared Scholar, Nigeria

Course: Politics and International Relations (Global Security), MA


 What were you doing before you came to Keele?Photo of Commonwealth Scholar N. Akpan

Having completed the mandatory National Youth Service in 2015, I was working as an operations officer in a real estate company. After a while, I felt it was time for me to further my education. Hence, I decided to apply for admission to study at Keele university.


Why did you choose to study at Keele?

There were three reasons why I choose to come to Keele:

  • Studying in overseas especially in the UK is quite challenging in terms of funding. The availability of funding under the Commonwealth Shared Scheme prompted me to apply for admission in the first place. When I checked out the eligibility criteria, I was very optimistic that I would be nominated for the prestigious award.
  • In course of my research, I discovered that Keele had an MA programme which happens to be in line with the desire of my career path to foster peace and development within my home country. Hence, my application for admission to study Politics and International Relations (Global Security).
  • Prior to my application, I consulted my former tutor. He once studied in the UK. He recommended Keele University because it has an excellent environment and facilities for post graduate studies.


How have your first few weeks been? What are your first impressions of Keele and being in the UK?

So far, my first few weeks have been wonderful. I made new friends from different countries at the beginning of the semester. The environment is clean and fabulous. There is an excellent rapport between tutors and students. I like the social aspect of Keele as there are various social events and places to unwind. In addition, UK is a multicultural society. I have not experienced any form of violence within campus and off campus which confirms the fact that, UK by international standard is a safe country with low level of violence and crime.

How do you feel the scholarship will make a difference for you?

I feel very positively because the scholarship and by extension my course of study will further develop my critical, analytical and communication skills.


Junior Nuwahereza - Uganda

Junior Nuwahereza, Commonwealth Shared Scholarship, Uganda

Course: Environmental Sustainability and Green Technology (MSc)



Photo of Commonwealth Scholar J. Nuwahereza

What were you doing before you came to Keele?

I was working for an environmental consultancy firm, conducting environmental impact assessments for new projects and also environmental audits for operational projects. I had also worked for the UN Food and Agricultural organisation attached to a climate change adaptation and resilience project in Karamoja region, North Eastern Uganda.

Why did you choose to study at Keele University?

Keele had the Master’s course of interest. My undergraduate background is in Environmental Science Technology and Management, and the opportunity to advance in that career path was appealing.

Keele has a good reputation for Environmental Sustainability studies.  Also one of the things that compelled me to apply to Keele was its record and reputation for student satisfaction and I was looking forward to experiencing that myself. I only applied to Keele because of the course match and I found Keele through an internet search.


How have your first few weeks been? What are your first impressions of Keele and being in the UK?

Keele has met my expectations.  The first time I stepped in Keele and breathed the air, it was wonderful. Keele is a green campus and I think it is one of the best in the UK. The serene environment is conducive for studies and given its location out of town, with no noise, it is the perfect place for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

I am enjoying everything, the studies, seminars, the whole teaching and engaging with lecturers. I enjoy being given the opportunity to participate and so you really feel you are part of the course. The academic resources you can access physically and online, resources can be accessed online in your room via the internet.

Keele has met my expectations and the course has too because I did my background search and I was very sure what I was going to study so you can’t ask for more. People are very helpful, everywhere you go, particularly the course director, Dr Sharon George, anytime you have a problem you can talk to them and they will reply quickly to emails. The way things run here is quite different to back home.

How do you feel the scholarship will make a difference for you?

The system of learning here gives a remarkable foundation for research, given the essays we write, I think I will be good at making research and writing reports.  I want to acquire as much knowledge as possible.  I hope having an international qualification will open the door to working in an international organisation, dealing with climate change and maybe make an impact internationally or across Africa or in Uganda specifically.  This was my dream, when I finished my undergraduate and got a first class, I had a dream of studying in the UK. My education will be like a benchmark for me if I am to do my PhD in the UK or elsewhere. This qualification will open up new avenues for the academic world, becoming a lecturer in Uganda or any other part of the world and I can also start my own environmental consultancy firm and start giving services back home. 

Joseph Oloo - Kenya

Joseph Oloo, Commonwealth Scholarship, Kenya

Course: PhD in Mathematics


 Commonwealth Scholar Joseph Oloo What were you doing before you came to Keele?

I have been lecturing in the Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Actuarial Science, at The Catholic University of East Africa, which is a regional university based in Kenya that serves students from over 25 countries in Africa. I have taught there for two years and it is the same institution where I got my Masters of Science degree.

Why did you choose to study at Keele University?

I searched a list of universities in the UK via the internet and came across Keele. My main goal was to find a PhD supervisor for my project.  I went through a list of universities and was lucky to come across a faculty member in the School of Computing and Mathematics, Professor Victor Shrira, who had lots of experience in my area of research. We had initial contact via email and his response was very prompt and positive, we started discussing on my proposal and exchanged emails and immediately organised a skype interview. Beside this I also sent him my MSc thesis for his perusal and advice. It took 3-4months working with him, to develop my PhD research proposal before applying for the Commonwealth Scholarship. After submitting the proposal to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK, it took another 4 months before getting any feedback, this was the most stressful period due to the competitive nature of the scheme, and competing globally with students from over 53 Commonwealth countries globally.  On 1st April 2016, I received notification that I had been provisionally selected, and this was the beginning of the light at the end of the tunnel.

How have your first few weeks been? What are your first impressions of Keele and being in the UK?

It has been a wonderful experience for me but being several miles away from home is a tough experience. I was longing to have an education in the UK. One of the things that really encouraged me when I arrived in the UK was my supervisor, who picked me from the airport and it was very encouraging and motivating to have that support. He helped me to complete a number of things on that day and left me after I had settled in my room. Living on campus, the hostels were easy to locate and this helped with settling in, since I had booked my accommodation while in Kenya. Settling in is not easy bearing in mind you have come from far and left people behind but I think the environment is very conducive for learning and everyone is friendly. I appreciate the diversity of cultures, with students from over 180 Nationalities at Keele University. So far, I have not experienced anything in a very negative way but I am trying to adjust more in terms of food; this has been more of a challenge. I miss my traditional delicacies and staple meals such as fish, Tilapia and Omena.

Keele has got the best sporting facility.  I like the gym and the entire sports complex, and have joined the volleyball team too. One person who will always remain in my memory is The Director of Postgraduate Research, Prof Greenough. He helped and guided me throughout the application and admission process. I would also like to thank the Vice Chancellor of The Catholic University of Eastern Africa for granting me  study leave to complete my 3year research PhD.

What does your research involve, and what will you be doing during your PhD studies?

Mathematics is fun!!! and it is meant to provide a real world solution to a real world problem. The research is mathematical modelling of the evolution of wind waves under storms and hurricane conditions.

The research will focus on an area that has been an issue for Kenya. We have had instances where people lose their lives in large water bodies like Lake Victoria, Indian Ocean within the Coastal city of Mombasa. 90% of Kenyan international trade takes place through Indian Ocean, many fishermen die each year and properties worth billions are lost due to strong waves in the water bodies. My main goal is to mitigate and provide timely forecast of wind waves due to storms and hurricanes. My work will deal with modelling and simulation of waves under different wind speeds and get to understand the dynamics, with the main aim of providing timely wave focused into the users of oceans and lakes in Kenya and other African countries.

I will have the opportunity to visit the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMFW), to learn more about modelling and simulations. I will also have the opportunity to attend conferences in Europe and the United States. There are a lot of laboratories for wave modelling in the United States. I am already attending departmental workshops and seminars and these are good opportunities for learning from experts, who come from outside to present on my area. Meeting students across the UK is equally paramount and also good for networking.