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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School Postgraduate study

Vivienne Rwang MSc Education Management and Leadership

PhD Student in Education at the University of Southampton

Vivienne Rwang's Photo

I wanted the kind of course that would give me the chance to be able to contribute to policy making in my country and fortunately I found what I wanted in Southampton

Why did you choose Southampton?

I chose Southampton because I had a connection to it after I received two brochures at a school exhibition that took place in my country. After reading them my heart just went to Southampton and that was it for me. It had exactly the course that I wanted to study, so I didn’t need to look any further. I feel like Southampton is now a part of my life and I think that’s the reason why I am coming back for a PhD.

What was it, specifically, that you were interested in learning about?

I had always wanted to learn about leadership and management in schools, because I’ve always worked with schools. I wanted the kind of course that would give me the chance to be able to contribute to policy making in my country and fortunately I found what I wanted in Southampton, so I went for it.

What was your experience of the course?

The course was very rewarding for me. First of all I learnt to study by myself, research independently, analyse things critically and come up with my own ideas. I really appreciated the support from the teachers and lecturers, they gave us 100 per cent support and created a warm environment at the Faculty office from the day I arrived. The lecturers really helped to ensure that I believed in myself, and that I had confidence in myself. When I first arrived, I remember one of my lecturers telling me “Don’t worry, you can get through this, it will be fine!” I like the university environment and the fact that all the resources are readily available. Everything I ever wanted, I got it, I didn’t need to struggle to get resources to do my work, and I am very grateful for that.

What is it like studying at postgraduate level for this subject?

It’s not easy. But with the support from the lecturers and the department, I was able to get the hang of everything. It might start out tough but it gets better, and the lectures and the taught sessions are wonderful. We had a chance to interact with each other, interact with the lecturers, and they made it very interesting. I learnt a lot.

What did you do before coming to Southampton?

I have been teaching for over ten years, and I also started running my own consultancy in my country to train teachers and primary schools about best practices and all things related to education. But when I arrived at Southampton, I felt as though I didn’t know much because I was exposed to so much new information. And now, lots of places are calling me to do trainings because they know that I have something different and new to offer. I’m glad that I am now able to stand before people and talk to them at a different level to what I could before, thanks to everything that I learnt during my time at Southampton.

What difference will this degree make to your career?

It’s already made a difference to my career: I know that I’ve already progressed. I went home for the holidays and had the chance to train teachers in different schools, and I can tell that the level of my training has improved. In my home state in Nigeria I’ve tried to get links with my government to see openings where I can go in and help and share this experience that I’ve gained from Southampton. And of course my consultancy outfit is better for it, now that I’ve been through this experience. I actually feel more intelligent!

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