Women of the Future update – a word from our scholars

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The start of a new year can be a great time to reflect, and today we wanted to look back on our first Chancellor’s Appeal – the Women of the Future Appeal.

The Appeal was fantastically successful in raising over £600,000, exceeding its target, and funding 30 Master’s scholarships to help create the next generation of inspiring Essex women. These 30 women studied at Essex from 2016/17, and will be coming back this July to graduate. We will regularly check back in over the coming years to see where their Essex education takes them.

Recently, we asked some of them to reflect on their time at Essex:

Tuba Ahmadzai, MA English Language & Linguistics. Afghanistan – “The scholarship really helped empower me and others to become leaders and drivers of change. Afghanistan plunged into decades of instability that destroyed our education system and affected the pursuit of learning by women, since the prevailing culture denied them the right to attend school. The scholarship has given me the keys to open up more developments for my people. I will utilise the knowledge I have acquired at Essex to mobilise, teach and engage people in progressive policies such as building infrastructure for quality education, health, business and leadership.”

Thi Thuy Anh Bui, MSc Finance & Investment, Vietnam – “My world has become much larger since I received the Women of the Future scholarship. It gave me the opportunity to chase my dreams and I will always feel thankful for the opportunities to not only study in such a prestigious, professional and friendly university, but also travel and explore the wonderful cultures of European countries, especially the United Kingdom.”

Justine Duncan, MA Advertising, Marketing & Media, USA – “The professors were very helpful and I did not feel hesitant to ask questions. In fact, asking questions and initiating discussions were appreciated and welcomed by all of my professors. I’m so excited to apply everything I have learned during my time at university to a position in marketing!”

Rebeca Nader López, LLM International Human Rights Law, Mexico – “I learned lots of things, both academically and personally. Essex is a university that grants every student a wide opportunity to develop up to our best potential. I would encourage every person to seek such an exceptional and valuable experience as the one that I had due to the Women of the Future scholarship scheme. With all of the knowledge I acquired, I want to embrace the moral and ethical responsibility that I have now of contributing to society as a professional passionate human rights lawyer.”

Marina Lucic, MSc Molecular Medicine, Croatia – “My first year of my journey at the University of Essex has been rewarding and absolutely amazing. I am truly thankful for every opportunity that has been given to me and I can promise I will do my best to learn, to give back and to continue to inspire as I continue on with my Phd!”

Annalivia Polselli, MRE (Master of Research) Economics, Italy – “I have always considered studying to be the most genuine form of women’s emancipation and I firmly believe that we, as educated women, can make as much difference as our male counterparts. I want to use the tools I’ve acquired to address serious economic issues like inequality and the gender gap.”

Thank you to all those that supported the Appeal – that made a donation, or provided an auction prize, who shared our message or attended an event, without you we simply could not have had the success we did. And as you can clearly see, it is with your action that we were able to change the lives of these amazing women, who will now go from Essex with a renewed vigour to pass on that change to others.



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