Global Development Institute Blog

My name is John Mukabi and am from Kenya. It’s exactly now two months since I came to Manchester. When I first landed in the UK it was a dream come true! Since childhood, I had ambitions to study abroad and when I graduated with my first degree five years ago the ambition to study abroad grew bigger. I was working with the parliament of Kenya in the last five years and I got more inspiration for world-class education from high-level working officials in the government and parliamentarians all of whom got this type of education. I started exploring universities abroad and the courses they offered and every time I could fall for UK universities all of which were top ranking in world universities ranking. The one year master’s program makes them more appealing! Who doesn’t want to get a master’s degree in one year? Having worked with parliament my career interests were becoming re-aligned to the field of governance and policy. The University of Manchester is one of the UK universities that offers the best courses in this field. My aspiration to join this university was also driven by my fanatical support for the great Manchester United and Manchester City top football clubs in the premier league! Applying to be enrolled to the university is through an online process that is very efficient and straightforward and soon I had an offer to study a postgraduate degree in International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy. My dream to study here came true through securing a scholarship from the British government through the FCO office.

 John Mukabi

John Mukabi

The first days in Manchester were all about settling down and getting ready for an exciting year ahead. Getting to know new people, new stores for shopping, exploring the city, the living halls and the list was endless. The university was so helpful in getting me all the assistance I needed to settle down with older students just a yard away every time I needed any assistance. The stay at Manchester has brought so many new experiences in my life; meeting other students from all parts of the world and sharing different stories from different countries and cultures. The British culture is rich and one of the festivals I recently attended is the Bonfire night that featured the biggest bonfire I have ever seen with great spectacular fireworks! The British sandwiches are amazing and the food is great. The city is full of amazing unique buildings some of which are architectural masterpieces and the transport system is efficiently organized. I travelled on the train to London last month and got to use the underground tube in London. It was a really amazing experience! How about the British weather? It’s getting to winter now but I enjoy the many light showers that dot the day and the cool breezes that blow sometimes under warm sunshine that makes everything beautiful and marvellous. I will be visiting several places in UK in the coming months together with a group of classmates from different countries.

The University of Manchester is world class taught by lecturers most who have authored the books we read. The study is intense but also organized in a way to get the best out of you. There are lectures to attend; tutorials for discussions where you get to exchange ideas and experiences with fellow students; and public lectures where industry and academic gurus in your field give talks on various topics. The assessment of the courses is through essays and also written exams. The essays are critical and they have really helped me in sharpening my writing skills and critical thinking. All essays are submitted anonymously through a software called Turnitin that ensures you don’t plagiarize other people’s works. The anonymous submission also means that the graders do not know whose work they are reading. Students have to do a lot of independent reading for tutorials and coursework otherwise you may be left behind. The facilities for reading are state of art! All books are in the library and computer clusters are accessible in any building next to you with unlimited strong internet running 24/7. There are also numerous career fairs organized to help you with your future career planning and truly the university prepares you for everything ahead of you.

All these experiences are helping me for a great career in future as I dream of working in big organizations in big development projects within and outside my country. The University of Manchester makes you a global citizen and you start thinking in a global perspective. There are numerous great courses for anyone aspiring to come here and the professors are all but available to help you achieve your goals and dream!


Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.