Student Experiences - Uganda

Constance Nyamikola - MEd Educational Leadership, Policy and Development

Constance NyamikolaI am currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership, Policy and Development at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol. I won a Commonwealth Shared Scholarship to study here, courtesy of the UK government and the University of Bristol.

I learnt about the University of Bristol when I first visited United Kingdom in 2010. Prior to my visit I was working as a deputy head teacher and link coordinator for Kinyara Sugar Works Primary School in Uganda. My visit was intended to allow me interact with the teachers and children of Easton Primary School (which is situated within Bristol) in order to explore areas of English curriculum management in UK schools. My visit to Bristol was funded by British Council in Uganda which runs educational link partnerships with teachers in Bristol and Masindi district in Uganda.

During my adventure in Easton Primary School, I interacted with the staff, pupils and parents. I visited Bristol Museum near Wills Memorial Building, home to the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. I was impressed by the structure of this building and this sparked my inquiry. The deputy head teacher of Easton who came with me told me that it was a University of Bristol building. She asked me if I would love to study in this University in future. I wasn’t very sure because I did not have funds but I remained hopeful that one time I will get the opportunity. It certainly increased my anxiety to be part of this unique learning environment.

During my stay in Bristol, I have been impressed by a lot. First, the commitment spirit of the tutors and the quality of teaching is outstanding. Tutors have a vast experience in their areas of expertise evidenced by their engagement in research and interactive teaching. Secondly, the university is a strong research institution with an excellent global reputation and has definitely unlocked my potential in terms of research activities and abilities to unveil hidden knowledge. It has also boosted my critical thinking and the capacity to lead effectively when I return back to Uganda. Thirdly, Bristol city is metropolitan.  With a mix of people from all walks of the world, the city is coloured by different cultures with the spirit of togetherness. The hospitality shown to me since I came to the University has been awesome.

University of Bristol has definitely shaped my career trajectory. I intend to apply my experience of educational leadership, policy and development that I have gained in the University of Bristol for the betterment of future generations in Uganda. I am also concerned about the quality of primary school education in Uganda. It is my interest to work with international agencies in education to help improve the future of the young Ugandans in rural settings. I also hope that in future I will join other women activists in the struggle to fight for their rights and the rights of girl-children education in Africa.

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