Ethiopian ambassador visits university and meets scholarship students

The Ethiopian ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Dr Hailemichael Aberra Afework, has spent the day at The University of Manchester, exploring the many links between the University and Ethiopia and meeting the first students from Ethiopia to be awarded the university’s Equity and Merit scholarships.

Equity and Merit scholarships reflect the University’s commitment to widening access to higher education, ensuring individuals gain life changing experiences based on equity as well as merit. The scholarships are jointly funded by the University and the generosity of its donors - the University covers tuition fees in full, and the donors pay for students’ living expenses, return international air fares and visas.

To date, the scheme has supported 255 young professionals from Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania to pursue a master’s degree at the University. This year the scheme has been extended to include students from Ethiopia - Africa’s second largest country by population – who study courses including engineering, renewable energy, environmental governance and international development.

The ambassador met with a number of scholars including International Fashion Marketing student Binyam Andargie, Communications and Signal Processing student Yacob Tsegaye and International Development student Ruth Bezu. They discussed their time so far in Manchester, what they hope to gain from their study here, and how they plan to use their new skills to transform Ethiopia.

The country is experiencing a period of unprecedented political and economic change, and on their return, the students will play an important role in shaping the development of the country. For example, Aida Bayissa has worked as a Senior Analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in Addis Ababa, and has been supporting the Ethiopian government on policies which promote inclusive growth.

We were delighted to welcome the Ambassador to meet our very first group of Equity and Merit scholars from Ethiopia. These students have the talent and energy to make a huge difference, but they wouldn’t have the opportunity to study at a world-class university such as Manchester without a scheme such as this.
Joanne Jacobs, Senior International Officer

"However, this is definitely not a one-way street - the students bring valuable work and life experience which enhances the learning of all our students, and helps make the University a truly global community."

During the day, the ambassador also met Chancellor Lemn Sissay MBE, who has Ethiopian heritage and regularly visits the country. In his role as Chancellor, he has been supportive of a number of new initiatives for under-represented groups including Equity and Merit Scholarships and a new scholarship for black male law students.

The ambassador also met President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, viewed some rare Ethiopian manuscripts in John Rylands Library, and had lively discussions with academics and researchers in the Global Development Institute about the progress Ethiopia has made in tackling poverty and how we can work together to address the global challenge of inequalities.

The Equity & Merit scholarship scheme is only made possible through donations. If you are interested in supporting Equity & Merit scholarships, please visit our donate page.

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