Abdirashid Ahmed

abdirashid ahmed profile

Black Academic Futures (BAF) Programme, Community Bursary Award Holder

Joining us from: Bolton, UK

MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology) (2022)

I was born in Somalia and as a child fled with my family when a civil war broke out in 1991 to neighbouring Kenya. Therefore, I grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya where I finished my secondary education. I finished my undergraduate degree in Kenya and while in the UK, I undertook MA course in Development and Emergency Practice and then a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course to become a qualified teacher in 2016. I have extensive work experience as a teacher both in the UK and overseas, where I also worked with a few International Charity Organisation. Currently, I am a school governor and executive volunteer to a small education charity that I have co-founded and MSc Education Course Representative at the Department of Education. I am passionate about refugee education and I do volunteer charity work whenever I have spare time. 

I am currently studying MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology). My interest in education and teaching in particular has been a unique one as it was deeply motivated by a childhood event. I think, I was about eight or nine years old when in the dust and scorching sun of a recently established refugee camp in Kenya called Dadaab Camps, then there was not any formal class or teacher but we were taught under a tree by one volunteer teacher. With no board he used to write the alphabet and numbers on the sand and we would circle around to learn and repeat before it was wiped away by the kid's feet. Since there was no structure or shelter, there was no class when it rained, when it was too hot or during dust storms. Then, I remember one day the volunteer teacher never showed up and I was eagerly looking forward to the mini-session as a lifeline to learning. With no class on my way back home it hit me hard and I murmured to myself that if I become anything in life I want to be a teacher to help a child to never experience an empty learning. True that, I became a teacher and I am still a teacher.

Separately, my research dissertation looks at the refugee initial educational experience in the UK, and I will be looking at two case study schools in Bolton, one high school and primary school. I am now at the initial stage in finalizing my research question and research design. 

The scholarship makes it possible for me to realise my lifelong dream to one day pursue a course at Oxford University. Getting an admission at Oxford is already hard enough but even sourcing the funds after a conditional offer is even harder. Therefore, getting the scholarship took a huge burden off my shoulders and it gave me the mental peace I needed to focus on my course without worrying about the fees.

My future ambition is to continue to pursue my academic journey to DPhil level and engage in academic teaching and meaningful education research practice that can positively contribute to the policy and practice of the educational system of the society and nations in Sub-Saharan Africa.