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Ali Abdullahi (PhD Livelihoods - International and Rural Development 2014)

Ali is currently our International Alumni Ambassador for Northern Nigeria


I have been an member academic staff of Bayero University, Kano – Nigeria and was sponsored by McArthur Foundation and Bayero University to read for a PhD Livelihoods (International and Rural Development) from 2010 to 2014.

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

My main interest and knowledge of University of Reading were developed out of motivations by former students of the University, particularly the former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) Bayero University, Kano and the present Director, Agricultural Research Council, Abuja – Nigeria. Another reason for choosing University of Reading was its’ outstanding position in agriculture related courses.

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

The best bit of living and studying in Reading was conducive and greenish environment, in addition to effective IT services. Student support services were helpful in creating stress free and enabling environment for learning.

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

The following are the top tips I would like to give to prospective students;

• Engage in various campus activities to interact with students from different places.
• Register with clubs/societies of interest to enjoy your stay in the University of Reading.
• Attend various training and communication skill classes for improving your level of interaction.
• Engage in voluntary activities like open days guide, peer support and RED AWARD.
• Make the best use of IT and other facilities in the University of Reading for self-development.

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

I feel I completed my PhD programme with exceptional research and transferrable skills and presented my research work in no less than five international conferences and workshops. This success was in part due to excellent supervision, international conferences and workshops sponsored by the University of Reading, various transferrable skills workshops organised by Graduate School, IT, and other University Supporting Services.

How has the University helped you in your career ?

As an academic member staff engaged in research and teaching, I learnt various skills which enhanced my teaching and research. I expanded my horizon and improved my analytical thinking and understanding of contemporary issues in international and rural development. I also learnt various research approaches that are relevant to improving farmers’ livelihoods.

What University activities are you still involved with and why do you volunteer?

I am an International Alumni Ambassador for Nigeria on voluntary basis. For me, it is a good way of giving back. I hope  with this capacity, I would be able to foster and promote the development of beneficial relationships among the University’s alumni,students, staff, the wider University community, and the general public. In particular, I wish to help prospective students from my country by answering their questions on the University and student life.

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

Reading mean the world to me! It prepared me to face different challenges in both academic and real life situations. Some of my favourite memories involve chatting with my PhD colleagues over coffee as we shared our experiences as postgraduate students

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