Scholarships provide a Bath education for some of the most promising researchers who are answering global questions.
How can we develop a better world?
It’s a question which probably occupies the minds of us all from time to time. For some of our students, particularly from developing countries, it’s what drives them to study at the University of Bath. They apply what they’ve learned when they return home and, in turn, our community learns from them.
Scholars are chosen for their academic excellence, but also their leadership qualities. Many have overcome endemic poverty, or a culture which discourages women from getting an education. The expertise they gain here at Bath gives them the skills and confidence to put their learning into practice and to look further for themselves, their families and their communities.
Tonga Silungwe graduated from Bath with a Master’s degree in International Development in 2015. On returning home to South Africa, she moved into managing a fundraising programme to alleviate poverty in Johannesburg’s inner city. She said:
“Without your help, I wouldn’t have been able to afford such a wonderful opportunity"
Victor Atiase’s Bath experience propelled him to becoming head of Ghana’s biggest micro-finance bank when he returned home. He’s since furthered his academic talents too, gaining a PhD and teaching entrepreneurship and enterprise development, passing on the knowledge he gained from his time here.
It’s clear that the scholars you have supported are proving that their education was worth your investment. Thank you for helping them to develop a better world.
Chilean mathematician, Professor Manuel del Pino, got a pleasant surprise when he arrived to start his new job at the University in 2018. He found out he’d been awarded a Royal Society Research Professorship Award, the most prestigious scientific research award in the UK, and only the second that has been awarded to a Bath academic.
Funding by honorary graduate David Medlock DL ensured that Manuel chose Bath as a place to further his exceptional research into how and when singularities occur in natural phenomena. Now the Royal Society award gives him the freedom to focus solely on these questions, which can ultimately help us to understand more about climate change, the spread of a tumour or black holes.
A clear opportunity
Pollution blights people’s lives across China, as urban populations increase and the economy continues to grow. It’s a problem which inspired PhD chemical engineer Ranran Zhao to research new, low cost ways to clean the water supply.
But pursuing her studies wasn’t easy. Ranran’s parents have worked in the same factory in Anhui Province for more than 30 years. Paying for medicines to care for her ailing grandparents meant they had no money left over to support their daughter’s education.
That’s when Hong Kong network member and graduate Mickey Ko stepped in. His gift set up the Ko Scholarships, which provide financial support to talented science and engineering researchers from China, like Ranran, who would otherwise not have the means to fund their studies.
“Thanks to the scholarship, I have an opportunity to pursue my dream." she says. "I love studying. The University of Bath is the best place in the world to research water science. There are cutting-edge theories, advanced laboratories, experienced supervisors, quiet environments and beautiful views. From here, I can improve myself, widen my knowledge and sharpen my mind. And in the future, I can use my knowledge to make an effort for the whole society.”
Postdoctoral fellow Dr Fariba Alamgir is about to visit her home country, Bangladesh, to study the experiences of Rohingya people, many of whom are living in refugee camps. Fariba’s eldwork aims to understand how their status as displaced people aspects their access to rights.
is is important research that speaks to one of the greatest challenges of our time: how we treat exiled populations and the role of the state in humanitarian crises. And it’s happening here at Bath because of a generous donation, which, since 2012, has brought brilliant young academics to work at Bath on areas of global importance.
“I’m really happy to be part of a great intellectual community of people who have valuable experience of working on global development issues.”