Equity and Merit Scholarship graduate helping to make a difference in Ethiopia

A student from Ethiopia who was able to study at The University of Manchester after being awarded an Equity and Merit Scholarship is already using his skills to make a difference in his home country.

Nebeyou Bikila Legasse learned about our Equity and Merit Scholarships while browsing the British Council website. The University awards these each year to academically excellent students from Sub-Saharan Africa, in order to empower them to contribute to sustainable development in their home countries and beyond. 

The scholarships are jointly funded by the University and its donors. The University covers students’ tuition fees in full, and the generosity of our donors pays for their living expenses, flights to the UK and visas.

Nebeyou obtained his MSc in International Development, and is now working as a project supervisor for an AI company. He has around nine years of experience working with vulnerable communities in local NGOs, including people with disabilities and other groups. 

Telling us about the motivation to apply for E&M scholarships, he explained: “I am interested in pursuing knowledge in terms of international relations or international development. I found the course at The University of Manchester and the scholarship opportunity to be a good fit.”

It was a challenging environment for us because of the pandemic. The University has created social support groups and helped me to monitor my wellbeing. My academic advisor in particular gave me advice from time to time, and others have done the same. Apart from the University, my friends also create support groups on social media platforms like the international development pathway group. It was really nice.

Nebeyou Bikila Legasse

He said that his time studying at our University has been unforgettable. Due to Covid, all the study sessions had to be online - yet he was still able to get to know a lot of people, and received a great deal of support from the University.

The situation back in Ethiopia is not so good, according to Nebeyou. As the population grows and cities increase in size in Africa, he focuses on coping with these issues and how to assess urban informality issues and aspects of urban migration. He is also learning more about digital skills that he is currently engaging in, and he therefore hopes to pursue both fields in the future. 

Joanne Jacobs from the University’s International Office oversees the Equity and Merit Scholarships. She said: ‘I am delighted to see that Nebeyou is doing so well, and I'm sure he will continue to make more significant contributions to sustainable development in Ethiopia. Our Equity and Merit scholars really do change lives, but that's only because of their calibre and the hard work and effort they put in. Nebeyou is one of many students we have supported throughout 15 years and we're looking forward to helping other talents in the future.’

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