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Samuel Muyinza (MSc Development Policy, Process & Practice 2012)

Samuel is currently our International Alumni Ambassador for Botswana. He was also awarded the prestigious International Masters Bursary which is funded with alumni support. 

Biography

I am originally from Uganda. In 1996 I moved to Botswana where I currently reside and work. Prior to coming to Botswana, I worked for a Christian Child welfare charity and in addition volunteered with a community based organization for women living with HIV/Aids. I am currently working as a volunteer in an educational institution which focuses on re-enrolling school dropout youths back into the educational system. I also manage a small business in the city.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

My desire was to pursue further education in the UK – a nation whose educational standards are admired worldwide. A broad search on the web for an institution offering quality affordable education led me to the University of Reading. Ranked among the top 1% universities in the world, Reading turned out to be an easy choice for me. With more research, I came to learn of the excellent learning facilities at the University, teaching staff many of who had published educational material, a large population of international students, as well as fair tuition fee for international students. All the above attracted me to Reading not forgetting the specific course program that I had wanted to pursue for a long time. It’s also worth mentioning that a relative residing in the Berkshire area offered me free accommodation if I chose Reading for my studies. 

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

One of the many great things about studying at Reading was the ever supportive staff. They were always willing to address any academic challenges we encountered during our time. Offering advice or simply a word of encouragement from non-academic staff too made our stay enjoyable. I can’t help mentioning the attractive clean and green environment around the campus!

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

There is a lot happening at Reading; demanding academic work, sports and games, societies, entertainment and much more. My advice to students beginning their studies is to get involved only in a few activities while devoting enough time to your academic work. Meeting academic deadlines is crucial. You are likely to enjoy your time at Reading if you apply the above tips.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am currently working as a volunteer in an educational institution which focuses on re-enrolling school dropouts back into the educational system. I managed the institution before joining Reading.  Upon my return from UK, the school directors requested me to apply knowledge gained at Reading in improving our work in the community.

What are your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

Working in economically disadvantaged communities requires sacrifice. Devoting your time and energies to activities that bring smiles on faces of the hurting and poor must be your motivating factor. Financial rewards for work done should be secondary. My degree focused primarily on challenges to development facing developing countries. Among the many ideas, the programme's emphasis on involving communities in identifying solutions to their challenges is an idea I regularly apply in my work.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The University means a lot to me and I will always be grateful for what I achieved. One of the many special memories is when I received a letter informing me of the International Masters Bursary award towards my studies.  

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