My Assessment of the Application Process:
The Commonwealth application process was demanding but very interesting. There were many things that I never considered important in life until when filling the scholarship form. For instance, I came to realize that even my voluntary and leadership experience Just after my General Certificate Examination (GCE) serving as a volunteer teacher in my community due to the remoteness and lack of Teachers was as important as my current Job. Before this time, I was with the opinion that to get a commonwealth Scholarship, one must be politically connected or financially strong. As the saying goes, you never tried, you never know.
I now realized that the CSC is non-religious, non -regional and completely non-Political. You don’t need to be connected in any way to get the Scholarship. From my experience, all that is required from an applicant is commitment and meeting the standards or criteria of Commonwealth Scholarship Council.
How I found out I have won the Scholarship.
Getting the offer Letter from the Universities I applied gave me 30% hope. In my case, I applied to three Universities and each gave me an Unconditional offer Letter. However, University of Leeds was my first choice and they provided me with the CAS which was a mandatory document in the Visa Processing. The remaining 70% of assurance was when I later received the Confirmation of Award and the Confirmation of Financial Support from CSC through my programme Officer in the UK. What concreted my hope of getting the Award was when I was called by a Personnel from the British Council to attend a briefing session with regards my trip to the UK for studies
What the scholarship meant to me
No amount of words will be enough to express what this Scholarship meant to me because studying in the UK, a nation from which our educational system was borrowed had always been my dream. I am with the believe that the skills and knowledge gain will not only benefit me as an individual but Sierra Leone and the world at large.
What I will be studying and in which School.
Come January 2021, I will be going to the UK to read a post graduate programme in Global Development and Education in the school of Politics and International Studies. This Global Development and Education programme at University of Leeds examines political, economic, and socio-cultural transformations in the Global South and interrogates the dynamics, challenges and opportunities confronting its societies – with a focus on education in development.